Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Collecting vs. Saving: Genealogy is another form of collecting

We all have an ancestry, parentage and relations. We all have an origin; the foundation of our existence, and we all have a heritage, and it is this birthright and legacy we should all honor.

Before the computer age, when one wanted to look into family history, it was time-consuming and difficult at best. I have deep respect for all those who endeavored in their searches, making every effort to investigate and find their family’s ancestry. Years ago my daughter and I visited Ellis Island to see if we could find any records on my Italian grandparents. Unfortunately, we did not. This whole movement to discover one’s ancestry did not come together until the Internet and mostly until the online search engine, became the investigative source. There are many other online sources. Check out this one.
Parentage is the study on how a family is connected. The paternal & maternal lines and how they are all intertwined (like a tree, hence the Family Tree) can be mind-boggling. When backgrounds and pedigrees are established, a completer picture is created. But when these details are missing, one can get very lost as they climb those branches. So research and collet those leaves.

Relations are another matter altogether. Connections, associations, links and lore, make interesting ties that bind. "As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well." However, we all need to work on our relations with family members. This can be accomplished by creating a Family Museum.       
Our origins are the stuff we are made of. Our roots, our beginnings and endings. Our DNA and RNA  (chromosomes) and our genetic material. Where did we come from? What routes did we take to get where we ended up? My husband participated in National Geographic Geno
2.0 Project and was very surprised to find out what his origins were. It is very enlightening and this research should become a part of your Family Museum. 

A couple of years ago I participated in Ancestry. Com’s DNA research and was absolutely gob smacked at what I discovered. Throughout my childhood I was told that I was more Italian than Lithuanian, but that is not true. I always thought I was more like my father then my mother. Now I know it to be true. So give it a go and discover not only from whence you came but what makes you, you.

As for heritage, how would you feel if you did not know who your people were, what societies they belonged to, what customs and traditions and beliefs they passed down to you and from you to your family? Our ethnicities are who we are. A simple way to understand heritage is by observing your own traditions. What do you do for the holidays? What kind of food are you most familiar with? How do you decorate your home? What histories interest you? All of these and so much more is what your heritage is made up of. I discovered this site that really has a profound emotion to it. Never be afraid to discover you.
So how is genealogy a form of collecting? Antiques and heirlooms passed down through generations as remembrances not only have sentimental value, they also have genealogical value. Your Family Museum is a great way to start building the foundation and creating a family tree. Instead of just their names and dates on a piece of paper, the keepsakes reveal aspects of your ancestor’s lifestyles, social status, level of education, attitudes of the times, and so much more. They come alive through your interpretation of their lives. Start collecting your genealogy today!

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