Genealogists use oral interviews, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.
The pursuit of family history and origins tends to be shaped by several motives, including the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. Amateur genealogists typically pursue their own ancestry and that of their spouses. Professional genealogists may also conduct research for others, publish books on genealogical methods, teach, or produce their own databases.
They may work for companies that provide software or produce materials of use to other professionals to amateurs. Both try to understand not just where and when people lived, but also their lifestyles, biographies, "Country boy dating pictures genealogy search" motivations. This often requires—or leads to—knowledge of antiquated laws, old political boundaries, migration trends, and historical socioeconomic or religious conditions. Genealogists sometimes specialize in a particular group, e.
Bloodlines of Salem is an example of a specialized family-history group. It welcomes members who can prove descent from a participant of the Salem Witch Trials or who simply choose to support the group. Genealogists and family historians often join family history societieswhere novices can learn from more experienced researchers. Such societies generally serve a specific geographical area.
Their members may also index records to make them more accessible, and engage in advocacy and other efforts to preserve public records and cemeteries. Some schools engage students in such projects as a means to reinforce lessons regarding immigration and history.
The terms "genealogy" and "family history" are often used synonymously, but some offer a slight difference in definition. The Society of Genealogistswhile also using the terms interchangeably, describes genealogy as the "establishment of a Pedigree by extracting evidence, from valid sources, of how one generation is connected to the next" and family history as "a biographical study of a genealogically proven family and of the community and country in which they lived".
In communitarian societies, one's identity is defined as much by one's kin network as by individual achievement, and the question "Who are you?
Family history plays a part in the practice of some religious belief systems. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church has a doctrine of baptism for the deadwhich necessitates that members of that faith engage in family history research. In societies such as Australia or the United States, there was by the 20th-century growing pride in the pioneers and nation-builders.
Establishing descent from these was, and is, important such groups as the Daughters of the American Revolution. Modern family history explores new sources of status, such as celebrating the resilience of families that survived generations of poverty or slavery, or the success of families in integrating across racial or national boundaries. Some family histories even emphasize links to celebrity criminals, such as the bushranger Ned Kelly in Australia.
The growing interest in family history in the media coupled with easier access to online records has allowed those who are curious to do so to start investigating their ancestry.
This curiosity can be particularly strong among those whose family histories were lost or unknown due Country boy dating pictures genealogy search, for example, adoption or separation from family, perhaps as a result of bereavement. Historically, in Western societies the focus of genealogy was on the kinship and descent of rulers and nobles, often arguing or demonstrating the legitimacy of claims to wealth and power.
The term often overlapped with heraldryin which the ancestry of royalty was reflected in their coats of arms. Modern scholars consider many claimed noble ancestries to be fabrications, such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that traced the ancestry of several English kings to the god Woden. Some family trees have been maintained for considerable periods. The family tree of Confucius has been maintained for over 2, years and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest extant family tree.
In modern times, genealogy became more widespread, with commoners as well as nobility researching and maintaining their family trees.
With the advent of the Internetthe number of resources readily accessible to genealogists has vastly increased, resulting in an explosion of interest in the topic. In India, Charans are the Bards who traditionally keep the written genealogy records of various castes. Some notable places where traditional genealogy records are kept include: Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar ; Hindu genealogy registers at Kurukshetra, Haryana ; Hindu genealogy registers at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra; Hindu genealogy registers at Chintpurni, Himachal Pradesh and Hindu genealogy registers at Varanasi.
Genealogical research in the United States was first systematized in the early 19th century, especially by John Farmer — He corresponded with other antiquarians in New England, where antiquarianism and genealogy were well established, and became a coordinator, booster, and contributor to the growing movement.
the s, he and fellow antiquarians began to produce genealogical and antiquarian tracts in earnest, slowly gaining a devoted audience among the American people. The department's research facility, the Family History Librarywhich has developed the Country boy dating pictures genealogy search extensive genealogical record-gathering program in the world,  was established to assist in tracing family lineages for special religious ceremonies which LDS adherents believe will seal family units together for eternity.
LDS members believe that this fulfilled a biblical prophecy stating that the prophet Elijah would return to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.
The American Society of Genealogists is the scholarly honorary society of the U. ASG publishes The Genealogista scholarly journal of genealogical research semi-annually since Fellow of the American Society of Genealogistswho bear the post-nominal acronym FASG, have written some of the most notable genealogical materials of the last half-century. Genealogical research is a complex process that uses historical records and sometimes genetic analysis to demonstrate kinship.
Reliable conclusions are based on the quality of sources, ideally original records, the information within those sources, ideally primary or firsthand information, and the evidence that can be drawn, directly or indirectly, from that information. In many instances, genealogists must skillfully assemble indirect or circumstantial evidence to build case for identity and kinship. All evidence and conclusions, together with the documentation that supports them, is then assembled to create a cohesive genealogy or family history.
Genealogists begin their research by collecting family documents and stories. This creates a foundation for documentary researchwhich involves examining and evaluating historical records for evidence about ancestors and other relatives, their kinship ties, and the events that occurred in their lives. As a rule, genealogists begin with the present and work backward in time. Historical, social, and family context is essential to achieving correct identification of individuals and relationships.
Source citation is also important when conducting genealogical research. Formerly handwritten, these can now be generated by genealogical software. Because a person's DNA contains information that has been passed down relatively unchanged from early ancestors, analysis of DNA is sometimes used for genealogical research.
Three DNA types are of particular interest: A genealogical DNA test allows two individuals to find the probability that they are, or are not, related within an estimated number of generations. Individual genetic test results are collected in databases to match people descended from a relatively recent common ancestor.
See, for example, the Molecular Genealogy Research Project. These tests are limited to either the patrilineal or the matrilineal line.
Most genealogy software programs can export information about persons and their relationships in a standardized format called GEDCOM. In that format it can be shared with other genealogists, added to databases, or converted into family web sites.
Social networking service SNS websites allow genealogists to share data and build their family trees online. Members can upload their family trees and contact other family historians to fill in gaps in their research. In to the SNS websites, there are other resources that encourage genealogists to connect and share information such as http: Volunteer efforts figure prominently in genealogy.
On the informal side are the many popular and useful message boards such as Rootschat and mailing lists on particular surnames, regions, and other topics. These forums can be used to try to find relatives, request record lookups, obtain research advice, and much more. Many genealogists participate in loosely organized projects, both online and off. These collaborations take numerous forms. Some projects prepare name indexes for records, such as probate cases, and publish the indexes, either online or off.
These indexes can be Country boy dating pictures genealogy search as finding aids to locate original records. Other projects transcribe or abstract records.