Thanks to Upfront With NGS, a publication by the National Genealogical Society, and its Diane Richard, for the reminder that Fold3.com is making all its Confederate military records free to access during the month of April.
What is it that stokes our interest in our ancestors, that compels some of us to so eagerly pursue knowledge of our parental heritage?
Diane L. Richard of the UpFront With NGS blog brought this to our attention from a LiveScience article by Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer.
The conclusion is, simply put, connections.
Think about it. As we gather data about our parents, grandparents, etc. we strengthen the sense of being related. As we build our family trees, we not only extend generations into the past, we find (and seek) connections laterally of aunts and uncles and cousins. Indeed, we even find non-blood family connections with our in-law families.
The practice of genealogy is not done in isolation, either. we have connections with places our ancestors lived, with fellow family researchers within societies local and long distance, with researchers long since gone through their research documents and books.
Genealogists depended earlier on travel connections to ancestral lands, on letters of query and response, on electronic devices such as telephones, and now the electronic devices including the computer, tablets, and smart phones.
As earliest mankind began to build families and then communities of connections, we began to build the levels of society in which we live today. It has always been about connection.
That is the nature and strength of genealogy societies and our local, national, and international genealogy interest groups. When we seek to build more connections to our pasts and to those around us at present and to the future, we are true to our calling.
We are today in a period of transition in our genealogy networks, but we will endure. It’s likely we cannot yet envision what we will look like locally or electronically, but family history searching and sharing will emerge stronger and more effective than ever before.