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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Storytelling

Genealogy is the study of families and tracing lineages and history.  It is, in fact, defined as so much more than that according to the official definition and experts in the study of the subject.  As a popular hobby (and becoming more popular by the day), it is a way for individuals to find their own roots and offer facts for more accurate storytelling about their own family line.

The storytelling is what I am looking for with some accuracy.  I am also interested in finding out what people were like.  It is people's personalities and character that I wish to identify in my own family tree.  That can be hard to pin down as these attributes are sometimes left up to a subjective perspective and life experience.  Some personality traits are inherited, I suppose, and/or learned and handed down from generation to generation.

It is interesting to me to find quite a variety of reasons why certain groups research their family tree.  The LDS trace their roots for religious reasons while others do this for proving status within a society as in royalty, for example.  Other motivations are not so innocent.  The Nazi's compiled family histories to prove the "master race".  That rather turns my stomach.   At its best though, modern families trace their history out of pride.  Curiosity to answer the question that comes up in almost everything we do in life is "Why?".   Answering "the why" is what life is about in many cases.  That's where the storytelling comes in.   

Human beings love stories.  It is our nature.  We learn from those who lived before us.  Lessons of life, including past mistakes, are how we learn.  I seek the stories of my family.  We can learn so much from those who came before us.

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