Monday, January 18, 2016

Genealogy - still not just for retirees!

As I noted in 2007, so many people think of genealogy as an "old person's hobby" or something retirees do. But this is simply not true. Believe it or not, many of us are in our 20's, 30's, and 40's. I am not sure what fuels this passion, what it is that could make me drop everything to pursue a slender lead on an ancestors, but it is enjoyable.

I am a Nancy Drew collector, and have read these books since I was 9. Maybe this is part of it? My enjoyment of mysteries? I'm not much into mystery and suspense other than Nancy Drew; I suppose there is a love of both history and mystery there together. I adore vintage things, making puzzles, and more.

I am generally the youngest person in the local LDS, and I am the kind of person who loves to sit and listen to you talk about your family history. I have mine memorized for several generations, as well as my husband's!

This is not a hobby that appeals to older folks only; it appeals to anyone who enjoys mingling history and discovery, adventure and personal ties.

One thing I learned in the last year is there are way, way more of us Gen Xers and Millennials "into" genealogy than I imagined.  This is a fantastic thing, because we are the ones having children now, which means yet another generation that could be inspired by family history.

What fired my personal passion for genealogy was discovering an old leather wallet full of photographs, family documents, and other keepsakes from my dad's side of the family. I wondered who had taken the time to save everything and why. Not knowing my mother or anything about her family at the time probably helped add to the interest that kindled within me that day.  I was only 12, but I started climbing the branches of my family tree that very day, and never stopped.

As a parent, this is now more than personal interest and the thrill of the hunt. It's also about sharing a rich legacy with my children, nieces, and/or nephews, that I hope they will take the time to hand down to their families as they grow.

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