Genealogy: Taking Steps to Build a Family Tree

One of the new directions this website will be going, is Genealogy. A new tab will be added to the navigation bar at the top of the page, as well as a new category added to the sidebar.

I first became interested in my ancestors when my children were born about 20 years ago. Prior to that there was just me and my immediate family. There were no grand parents, aunts and uncles or cousins, let alone distant relatives. Of course, I had all these relatives, but the closest lived 3,000 kilometres away. I always considered myself from a very small family and when my sons were born, I suddenly developed an itch to know where we had come from.

Hence, the questions started. Back in those days, there wasn’t the convenience of the internet. Everything was done by post and everything took months before I started seeing results. I questioned my grandmother and her sister-in-law until they probably cringed every time they saw an envelope with my hand writing on it. But they were fantastic and patient, and provided me with a firm family tree foundation.

Later, many years later in fact, the internet popped up and after a while I restarted my search as I found new sites generating databases filled with valuable information. In the few years that followed my discovery of the internet, my family tree went from 200 or so people to over 6,500 people. Every name I found, spurred me to look some more. More importantly, I connected with other family members who were researching the same family names. These people were complete strangers, even though they were distant cousins, and now they are friends.

However, during those early years of research I made a terrible mistake. I didn’t “source” my information, which means that my family tree is virtually useless in genealogy circles. By the time I realised my mistake, I had gone too far to turn back…or so I thought.

Recently, only two weeks ago, I purchased a new version of the genealogy program I’ve been using for a couple of years. With that new version came the urge to record my tree correctly. Yes, it’s going to be a huge job, but in the long term, it will be worth my time and effort. I look at it like this…I am making an investment for my descentants. When someone looks at me as their ancestor, I want them to be grateful that I put a lot of time into building a tree that will make their life a lot easier. And to do that, it must be properly sourced.

That mammoth job will begin soon…and it will be recorded on this website.

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