Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Long History of Tracing My Family History

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 8/13/2008
This October I'll officially mark 10 years since I began researching my family history.  That's right, as a pre-teen at age 12, I began tracing my family's past.  It began as a school project.  We were asked to gather the names of our parents and grandparents to construct a family tree.  When I saw the finished diagram, I was intrigued by the name changes and the fact one person could go back to two, and that person could go back to two more.  Simple concepts, maybe, but I was amazed.  I thought to myself, I wonder how many twos I can go back?

Well, some 9 years and 10 months later, I've now compiled some 650+ direct ancestors.  From village/town mayors to shepherds, bricklayers to innkeepers, and of course an abundance of farmers, I've found my ancestors to be quite an interesting bunch.  Learning about their lives, where they came from, and how they fit into history have all been the most interesting parts of genealogy for me.  I also like the fact that I'm keeping them "remembered," some of which who lived 100s of years ago.  And the hundreds of people I've met through the hobby, both in person and online, have certainly made it worthwhile.

So what will be the purpose of this blog?  I want to take my (soon-to-be) 10 years of experience in genealogy and share my knowledge with others.  I'll offer tips for conducting your own research, post commentary on the state of genealogy and the latest and greatest in genealogy online (which continues to evolve all the time), and I'll share some of my actual research now and then and interesting tidbits that other genealogists may be interested in.

I hope you'll find it interesting.  I encourage you to leave comments while you're here and share your own suggestions as to what you'd like to see in this blog.  I'll do my best to keep the content fresh (as often as I can at least) and to avoid producing a blog that is 100% text.  Variety is key, I think, for a good blog.

5 comments on "A Long History of Tracing My Family History"

KBF on August 14, 2008 at 7:36 AM said...

I'm going to love this blog! You and I have collaborated on our Killeen research for many years now and have had some 'heated' email discussions. This blog may become another medium for such discussions.

I, too, have my 10th year anniversary of genealogy in October.

Killeen [aka KBF]

Craig Kanalley on August 14, 2008 at 9:22 AM said...

I forgot that you started at the same time as me, that's really interesting.

You're right that this blog could prove to be a great place for such discussions! Definitely keep checking back and I'll do my best to keep it updated.

Are you Homeward Bound? on August 21, 2008 at 1:05 AM said...

Nice blog, well written, and along the way we are related. Nice work. We share a number of lines going back into the Moselle and Alsace region. I began tracing our family's history as part of a home scholl math project for my daughter. We looked at the multiplication of how many "twos" it took to go back generation by generation to get to her and then she asked the question . . . just who all those people were! Well, that launched us on a quest almost ten years ago that has put almost 37,000 individuals in our database and connected us with hundreds of living cousins around the world. Quite exciting! Keep up the good work.

John Payne
Milford, Connecticut

Craig Kanalley on August 21, 2008 at 10:23 AM said...

Thanks for the comment John. That's a great story and very similar to mine. What a great way to start and I'm glad your daughter could be involved too. I agree that it's very exciting and can really be a remarkable experience. I most enjoy the many people it has allowed me to meet, such as yourself.

Brian Easterday said...

I was doing a search on the meaning of the German surname Vogelgesang and your blog came up in the search. How are you related to the Vogelgesang family?? My paternal grandmother's maiden name was Vogelgesang.

 

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