Becoming A Family Historian

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The picture above shows my great-grandfather and his wife, along with a friend and the friend's children.  I scanned that picture in a couple of days ago, and it was the first time in my life that I'd held something that was quite literally one hundred years old.  That picture was taken in 1910, and as it is now 2010, I have a piece of family history that's a century old.

This is the first of what will eventually be many pictures.  I'm also working on a family tree on Ancestry.com, which has been a fascinating process.  It looks as though I've been able to trace back my father's side to the 1740s, and if the information I've found is correct, there were even some of my ancestors who were born in America – while it was still part of England!  My mother's side is proving more difficult to trace, but I'm certainly not giving up.  With information technology as it is today, it was much easier to start the process and actually get results, and it doesn't require looking through musty old books.  I certainly won't object to that if it comes to it (and it may), but I was surprised how quickly I was able to get meaningful results.  As I've shared those results (and many of the pictures) with my family, they've been able to help as well – I've started to get pictures emailed to me, and many are planning on scanning others in, along with digging up information on people they know and love.

If you haven't had the opportunity to do a little genealogical research, I recommend you start.  While it does take time and some money, it's well worth it for the knowledge gained and the strengthening of familial bonds.

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