What is Genealogy?
By Fred Hawks
Genealogy (which comes from the Greek words genea, meaning family and logos meaning knowledge) is the study of family lineages. Usually this is done by collecting names of family members (both living an dead) and looking for a link between them, based on evidence and documents. The results of these investigations are then used to build family tree.
In the past genealogy was very important for nobles who depended on it to determine the rightful heirs to titles and inheritances. Detailed records were kept to ensure that titles were passed down to the right person. Nowadays genealogy is a science and hobby practiced by many people around the world.
Genealogists usually begin their search with a person’s parents and grand-parents. From there they begin to dig deeper and deeper into the family’s past by looking at documents such as marriage records. Genealogy has been described as a very complex puzzle. To get a reliable picture of a family’s origins requires a lot of study and investigation.
Thanks to the Internet anyone can now easily do genealogy research. In past researching family history was a lot of work and very time consuming. Today, thanks to the many public records and genealogy sites available online, it has become much easier and faster. In fact, genealogy is one of the most popular subjects on the Internet.
Genealogy can be absolutely fascinating. For many people it can feel like a journey through time. It also makes them appreciate all the things their ancestors accomplished during their lives.
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