By Eric J. Duran
Researching your genealogy is highly personal. Learning about your family can give you insight into your own tastes and habits. It can alter your very identity in exciting ways through knowing and identifying with your roots. Sometimes through genealogy you can be surprised as you uncover family secrets that completely change what you previously thought about your ancestors, your family, and yourself.
The study of genealogy is very personal, partially owing to the general lack of interest that many people have for learning about the relatives who came before, and about their walk through history. For these individuals, history is viewed as irrelevant; it is seen as simply a list of inconsequential facts to be memorized with no personal context. For this reason, many of us who seek our genealogies do so in isolation, under the impression that nobody else is interested to see our findings.
But genealogy is really about connectedness. It’s about bonding with our family. Through studying prior generations, we can become intimately acquainted with relatives that we otherwise would have never had the chance to know. By searching about them, we can live the events of history through them. We can learn through them, we can rejoice and grieve with them. Genealogy is highly personal, but it’s also innately social in nature.
My goal through this blog will be to highlight the benefits of genealogy to the individual, to the family unit, and to society. I want to make a case for genealogy to those who are either indifferent to, or utterly opposed to the study of family history, and in so doing, I want to raise more awareness for the usefulness of genealogy, and why it’s a study that we should undertake together, not on our own. I want to show you why genealogy matters to you, and to your community. I want to bring your (and my) genealogy into the public eye, inviting discussion, collaboration, community, and engendering mutual interest in the past.
Eric is owner of Eric J. Duran Genealogy Services. He spent a year interning with Kane Detective Agency, a private investigations firm, where he learned investigative techniques including research strategies, database searches, and public record research. Eric has completed Boston University’s Certificate Program in Genealogical Research, and serves clients using stringent methodologies borrowed from both fields.