Posted by: jesshistory2 | September 30, 2009

Genealogy and History Thoughts – Column Four

“How did you get involved in genealogy?” I have been asked that question a couple of times. The short and simple answer would be that I had an interest in history and that led to wanting to find out the history of my family; however, over the past several days, I have reflected upon how I got into genealogy, and I realized that the full answer to that question was more much complex than the answer I usually give to other people.

Ever since I was a young child, I had an interest in history. At the age of five, I knew that I had grandfathers who were World War Two veterans. How did I know? My parents told me, even though I don’t remember now exactly when they told me so. In addition, my grandfather began to tell me stories about our family’s history around the time I was five. My grandparents also had a family tree that they showed to me as a young child. In addition I knew that my grandpa was a history buff. Of course I highly doubt that my grandparents knew that this exposure would have an impact on me, but either way, I believe that hearing stories about my family unconsciously influenced my interest in history.

I don’t remember now if the history lessons in elementary school also added to my interest in history because I only remember history lessons being taught in class from the fifth grade and up. Before the fifth grade, I think the lessons were more social studies than history. Either way, I think the elementary lessons only had a small influence over me because by the time I entered the fifth grade, I was already reading about history on my own, and I know that my own personal reading had more of an influence on whether I would find history interesting or not. One the first eras of history that I had an interest in as a child was in World War Two, and that was probably as a result of knowing that my grandfathers had served in that war. At the same time, though, this interest wasn’t consciously on my mind. What I mean is that, I wasn’t actively thinking about the stories I heard when I decided to open a textbook and read the few paragraphs or pages on a historical topic. It was much more subtle.

Well, that is probably the most in depth reason that I have ever given on how I became interested in history and genealogy. How about you? How did you get interested in genealogy? I would love to hear other people’s stories. Please feel free to either respond by a comment or a post on your blog. I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

Originally posted on October 11, 2007.


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