Sunday, August 31, 2014

In the Beginning...Why Genealogy?

There are probably as many reasons why people get into Genealogy, as there are people into it - each with their own individual reason.  But, we can make some generalizations.  People want to know where they came from.  Most everyone has some idea...something their family has told them.  But, much fewer really know.  For many of us, "really knowing" is what takes us into a more directed inquiry.   Others don't have that generalized idea...or they been told conflicting information, so they check it out for themselves.  Still others see a television show, or an Ancestry dot com advertisement, and this gets their interests fired up.  For good, or bad, I don't fit into any of these categories.  For me, it started as a challenge.  A challenge to myself, to take the simplistic (and frankly unsupported) work that our "family historian" was employing and do a better - much better job.  I'm a 'processes' guy.  One step leads to the next, a framework is constructed over time, on a firm foundation.  Things get done the right way, no matter what the cost in time and resources.  My work would involve the application of processes I was using to conduct complex criminal investigations to family history.  When asked how I knew something, I'd be able to present an iron clad case - proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  My investigative mind would shift from 'bad guys' to 'dead guys', with nothing else changing in the transition.  Moreover, my analytical approach to most everything would be the engine running my new found passion.  Mine, would be a work of perfection.  So I collected what were purported to be 'facts', and said "I can do way better than this!"  And I have.  That was then...1993.  Today, I have succeeded in accomplishing my self directed challenge to a very high level.  But, now some 20 plus years later, it's no longer just a challenge.  Somehow, somewhere, it changed for me.  Slowly, and without fanfare.  Today, Genealogy is a Calling.  What I was suppose to be doing.  A Calling, to represent the subjects of my focused research.  To speak for them.  To tell their stories.      

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