Are you into family history for the fun of it? Okay, I agree, we need a stronger word than fun. May I try that again?
Are you into family history for the joy of it?
That’s reason enough, but there are other possibilities. You may feel a duty to your ancestors, to help them live on in their descendants’ memories. You may feel a sense of obligation to your posterity, to help them understand who they are and whence they came. For some, it’s a religious duty. Or perhaps you’re driven by a more personal desire, to figure out who you are and whence you came. All of these are perfectly good motives.
I don’t claim that you even need a motive, or that you should report it to me or anyone else. But, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume that you have some discernible reason for engaging in family history.
Let’s also assume that your own involvement is important to you, not just your work product. If only the result matters — if family history to you is like cleaning the oven, replacing the broken sewer line, or having your gall bladder removed — you might hire a professional genealogist and let him or her worry about it. That’s fine; professional genealogists have to eat, too. But this post is for people who want to be involved, not just have the work done. (more…)