Since becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have really taken an interest in genealogy and been really interested in my family's history. When I was first introduced to genealogy, I always thought that only old people did that stuff (and that theory was often confirmed whenever I walked into a genealogy center or library). BUT, I've come to the realization that you can do different types of genealogy at different times in your life...and even dabble here in there in everything. So, I wanted to write a post about my attempts at genealogy and family history in my life.
There is little history of my family written down anywhere so as far as personal family history goes I, with some help from other family members, have started to do pedigree and family group sheets for everyone in my family. In my PAF file, I have 126 names entered and most of those are only my immediate family...I haven't gotten much past my 4 generations. My goal is to someday get much further, but everything is one step at a time. Ft. Wayne has an amazing library here chuck full of Family History resources and my wonderful mother in law is willing to watch our little bug while I sleuth around (once her long term sub job is over). In the past, I have found census and military records with the names of my ancestors!
When I can't or don't have time to work on my own personal family history, I do Indexing on the church's Family Search Website. Indexers are looking at various types of documents (like census records or military records) and type the vital information so it can be loaded into a database where it can be searched so that others who are doing personal family history can find the documents to get information about their ancestors. Anyone doing family history can benefit from the indexed documents and find the information without having to locate the physical form. The goal is to Index everything so genealogy can be done from home and everything can be search able and available. Then those searching can print the actual document. Indexing can be taxing trying to decipher people's writing, but I LOVE it. You can index as much or as little as you want-I often do it during naptime. If you're reading this and thinking...i could do that...I promise you-you can. Even if you aren't a member of the Church, you can sign up here to volunteer to do indexing.
I have such a strong testimony of Family History and how it brings us closer to those ancestors (and even our living family members) by doing family history we get an opportunity to know everyone on a much deeper level. While Temple Work is vital component of family history work, I feel that if we do not get to know and love our ancestors the sacred and special Temple Work performed for our ancestors is partly in vain. As I research and build on the knowledge of my family, I gain a respect for those ancestors I never knew. Family history is more than gathering names and dates and going to the Temple....Family History is Love...Family History is Discovering Your Roots and Yourself.
This Post turned out to be a lot longer than I intended. In the spirit of Family History, I'd like to leave you with a scripture form the Old Testament.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers...