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The Eco Trek

How Genealogy Works

Have you ever wanted to find out more about where you come from? Ever wondered why you look the way you do? Perhaps you have pondered why your great-grandparents came to the United States or how your family ended up in Australia. Or perhaps you just like solving puzzles or mysteries!

Researching your family history might be the biggest mystery of all. You may encounter great twists and turns as you begin to put together the pieces that make up your family tree. Each new find brings you to another generation, and with them come new things to search for and explain.

And that is what genealogy is: the researching of your family tree; learning about who came before you, and adding those names to a pedigree chart (also called a family tree). Today this is more often referred to as family history, as you will quickly find that you want to learn more than just the names, dates, and places. Instead you will want to learn about the lives your ancestors lived. You’ll find yourself on a quest for more than just the nuts and bolts; chances are you’ll yearn for information on what made them tick, what made them happy, and the trials they had to endure. The more you find out, the more you’ll want to know — it’s a never-ending puzzle. Family history is the hobby that continues to expand, because with each generation, the number of people you are tracing doubles.

Researching family history is an extremely popular hobby, now more than ever. There are many reasons for its increased popularity, but perhaps the biggest is the ever-growing use of the Internet. The Internet has changed the ways in which a family tree is researched, making it easier than ever. Records are now infinitely more accessible, research can be done at any time of day or night, and results are available at a much quicker pace.

When use of the Internet is combined with a more traditional search through records and repositories, researchers can discover loads of information about their families. The soulful images staring back at you from family pictures taken long ago will become true family members rather than just names on a sheet of paper.

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