Family history research, genealogy, ancestry, it’s all just the study of past relatives. It takes on a different form depending on who does the research and what the purpose is. For many Americans, genealogical research is about finding where our families came from. For others the request can be more specific. Maybe a relative died at war, ran a successful business, or was rumored to be a criminal and you just want to know more about them. All of those are good reasons to dive into historical documents.
How do I research?
Advances in genealogical databases makes the internet a very powerful research tool. It can be tricky though to know where to start. There are several websites that offer historical documents and indexes in searchable formats. The trouble is that each website has its own nuances, like subscription fees to complete searches or a limited amount of available records. I subscribe to several family history specific sites and also to newspapers.com which is an archival newspaper site. This variety of sources makes it easier to locate meaningful information. In my experience, newspapers are the best way to get information on the parts of the past that feel the most human. Census documents listing occupation, age, and family are undoubtedly helpful. A newspaper article detailing your great grandparents dramatic elopement or their contributions during the war have always felt more special to me. That is what I hope to provide people.
How do you submit a request
Several months ago I started taking family history related questions from family and friends. As I researched, I discovered that the research I was doing didn’t need to be about my own family to feel fulfilling. To give someone a glimpse of their past is incredibly rewarding and I genuinely enjoy the research. Since I started, I’ve been able to share some delightful stories, but something to remember is that not all stories from the past are positive. The people we’re descended from are just that, people. Some people abandon their families or cheat on their spouses or steal from their employer. I would suggest only going forward with research if you’re willing to take the good with the bad.
If you’re interested in submitting to have family research done for you, please go to the Contact page and fill out the form provided.
“Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.” – Unknown