Outside the box

Genealogy is where you find it.

Most often those looking for their relatives follow the tried and true paths of searching the Internet as well as searching the ‘traditional’ genealogy venues such as town halls, LDS Family History Centers, etc. Many people even go so far as to restrict their searches to the Internet only, typically relying on the ever popular:Genealogy-Ideas

Truth be known, these are all very good and useful search locales. However, there are at least two items worth noting:

  • one, not everything ‘you need’ can be found on these venues and
  • two, not everything labeled as genealogical represents the totality of genealogical information available.

You do yourself and your family a disservice if you restrict or limit your searches to the traditional and/or Internet sources.

You really need to look outside the box. There are few reasons why this is helpful and reasonable. Firstly, all genealogy and family history occurs with the context of time and place; and secondly, most genealogy sites do little to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of either historical context or external events. Having said that, there is a lot of information available ‘out there’ that is freely provided to those who will simply bend over and pick it up.

So, where is the outside of the box? Where do I recommend you look? Well here’s a brief set of pointers to other information and enlightenment:

  • Stores. I recommend you visit businesses and people specializing in old things. Better yet visit those that/who specialize in old things like those your ancestors may have used, owned, or even enjoyed. Why? Well, every one of them may help you understand life as it was lived by those who preceded you.
  • Book places. Read books! Yes, I know history was boring in school. But perhaps if you read about the wars, politics, migrations, etc. that your ‘folks’ lived through, you might understand them and their choices a bit better.
  • Museums. Go look at old things and images of old places. Every look might help you understand a little more about where you came from, what was going on, how people lived.

Simply stated look around. Information and ideas are everywhere. Besides you might just discover that this expanded searching adds pleasure, adventure, and ‘stuff’ to your life as well.

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This post is also published on Geneabloggers