Why would a person spend long hours at the library
over a desk or microfiche reader?
Why would a person spend a small fortune making
photocopies of old documents?
Why would a person make frequent trips to the local
Why would a person frequently prowl through old
Why would a person store boxes upon boxes of old
photographs, letters, trinkets of all sorts, old faded
Why would a person become incomprehensible
after locating an unknown relative, especially one
that has been dead for hundreds of years?
For most of genealogists the primary purpose of
genealogy is to document their family history.
It is human nature to want to know where we
came from and perhaps then have a better idea
of where we are headed. Though genealogy has
surged in popularity during the last few years it is
still pursued by a very small percentage of people.
Few people have a lightbulb go off and instantly
become bitten by the genealogy bug. The genealogy
bug usually attacks quietly and innocently.
For many, the genealogy bug hits later in life,
when a child inquires about a great-grandparent.
Suddenly you find yourself digging in the far reaches
of your mind to pull out your grandmother’s maiden
name. Your first thought might be to head for the attic
where you know there is an old musty box
containing old letters, photographs and other family
You quickly discover that you are trying to find the
proverbial “needle in a haystack” and are not having
much luck. Eventually you find your grandmother’s
maiden name but during your search you find out more;
she and your grandfather migrated from the east to
the west via the Oregon Trail, according to the contents
of a few old letters you read. You also find that the trip
was anything but routine after he was almost killed by
a herd of buffalo.
Now your curiosity is running at a fever pitch and
really want to know more details. You then call several
local libraries and find one that has a large genealogy
section. After hours of fruitless searching through the
volumes of information at the library you break down
and ask one of the volunteer genealogy section assistants
for help. She guides you to a census report on microfilm
where you eventually find him. After returning home
you find yourself spending hours online surfing for more
Without realizing it you have become infected with
the genealogy bug. In a short time you are flabbergasted
by the number of relatives you find. Soon you have to
make a decision where to cut off your research; will it
be at the 3rd, 4th or 5th cousin level? Soon you also
find yourself attending meetings of the local genealogy
society and your circle of friends quickly grows to new
proportions. You discover for every research problem
someone probably has a solution. You find that you
can hardly wait for each monthly meeting to come
around so you can be with your wonderful new circle
One day you are surfing the web and find another
person on a forum looking for the same line you are
interested in. Instantly you discover you have
something in common and you have a new long-
distance friend. So it goes in genealogy.
Thole Genealogy Project
Hardy Genealogy Project
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