Category: Research

Learning About Our Forebears – The Curious Joys of Genealogical Research

One of the more fascinating things that we learn about ourselves is where we came from. Most people tend to know their immediate family, a few cousins, and their grandparents and possibly great-grandparents. It can be challenging to find more extensive information, but it’s well worth the research into your family tree.

If you’ve been thinking about doing some genealogical research, there are plenty of ways to go about it whether it’s paid or simply speaking to extended family members. You’ll find that there are many great benefits to knowing your family’s history. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest joys behind doing genealogical research.

Preserving History

You won’t be the only member of your family that wants to know about history, so it’s important to make sure that each member knows and can pass it along to their children, as well. If you’re able to do your family’s research now, it will make it much easier to document for future generations. 

They’ll appreciate the hard work that you put into preserving the history, and the story of your ancestry will become more detailed as the years go by. Thanks to living in the digital era, we’re able to keep photos, documents, and more with the greatest of ease. You can bring binders to the family reunion to pass along and share, as well.

Know Who You Are

One of the biggest reasons why people research their ancestry in the first place is to learn more about themselves. We can begin to connect with our own personal history when we actually know who our family was and where they came from. 

By finding out the ethnic and geographical background of your family, you can revive some traditions that may have been lost over the years. Some that have done genealogical research have been surprised to find that they’re partly from a country where they had no idea they had roots. 

Medical Reasons

No matter what your reason for going to the doctor is, they’re going to want to know your family’s medical history. Doing your genealogical research can help you discover any potential problems that may arise for you, your siblings, and your offspring. 

Though it’s obviously not one of the more wholesome reasons to discover your ancestry, it can end up being the most beneficial. Things like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease can be prevented with precautionary care when you know that it runs in the family. If some of your family members lived to be 90 or older, you may even be put at ease.

Family Bonding

There are a lot of family members that tend to grow apart over the years as they start their own families and have less time to reconnect, especially if the distance becomes an issue. Putting together the family history can help to get back in touch with a lot of those family members you haven’t seen in years, and talking about the history is a fantastic bonding opportunity.

If you have family members that enjoy putting together scrapbooks, videos, and albums, then you can make some great physical keepsakes with your family’s details. It’s a great way for older family members to share stories of older generations that the younger kids of the family never got the chance to meet.


While we can get inspired by classic tales of people that have overcome a lot of odds to find success, there may be some untold stories sitting right in your family tree. Many of your family members probably came from backgrounds where they had to escape persecution or became a rags to riches story.

You might find some inspiration from family members you never knew existed and emulate their stories. You never know where inspiration can come from, so why not turn to a person that’s part of your family and get that hope that you need. 

How To Read For The Purposes of Study

Reading for enjoyment is very different than reading for the purposes of study. When you need to read something and really comprehend it, you need to employ a different strategy. Here’s how to read for the purposes of study.

First, have a highlighter pen ready. If you don’t want to use a highlighter, you can use a pen. Just make sure it’s in a contrasting color than the ink in the book. Use the highlighter or pen to highlight essential information. You can also use it to highlight something that you need to do further research on.

Next, don’t be afraid to write in the margins. Forget the old rule about never writing in a book. Remember when Harry Potter used Tom Riddle’s book in the Half Blood Prince? The margin notes made Harry Potter go to the top of his potions class. Margin notes can help you get an A in your college class, too.  Make all the margin notes you want to, and include questions if they might help you to go find more information about the subject.

If it helps, you should try reading the text aloud. Sometimes reading something out loud helps you retain the information better. You could even use a funny voice or an accent to help you get into the feeling of the text. Funny enough, this can help you to understand even better. You might want to ask your roommate to leave while you do it, though.

Visualize what you just read. If you come across an abstract idea or something that’s hard to understand, visualize it. Put the book aside for a minute and try to picture what the author is saying. In many cases, pictures help us remember things better. Then, when it comes to getting tested on the material, you can just pull up that picture in your head to help you get a good grade.

Use your dictionary. Whenever you come across a word that you don’t know, don’t skim over it. Words are important. It’s essential that you understand all the words. Otherwise you might get the wrong meaning. If the sentence you’re reading has a word that you’re unfamiliar with, pause and look it up in the dictionary. Then go back and read the sentence again and make sure you really understand what it’s saying.

Use bookmarks. Another great way to read for the purposes of study is to use bookmarks. You don’t need a fancy bookmark. Just a small slip of paper will work. Insert a bookmark anyplace that’s really important, or in an area that you want to read again.

Finally, test yourself. After finishing a section or chapter, take a sheet of paper and jot down the key points. Then check to see if you’ve got them right.

Whether you’re reading to study for a college class, to pass an exam or to impress a client, these tips will help.