Almost 7 billion people live on this planet and the population is growing at a pace that no-one held for possible a hundred years ago. But no matter what century or where, human society is still based on families. So your family history makes you who you are right now. If history is destiny then family history is personal destiny.
In primitive societies people stayed together in families to survive and get offspring. These families are the cradle of civilization. According to certain scientists it is possible to track us all back to one mother. That makes us all family, in the real sense of the word.
Compared to that past our modern society is as impersonal as it can be. No more big families to live in and feel safe in, but ‘nuclear’ ones – mom, dad plus the kids. That goes for the old European and Asian countries as well for immigration countries like Canada, the United States and Australia.
If you want to connect with that old big family of yours – if any at all of course – you will want to dig in your family’s history. The most basic point to start is research of vital records. Lots of European countries have saved their records for centuries: on birth, death, marriage, purchases of land, cemeteries, and disasters. All those records are a wonderful source of information.
On the internet you can find all the help you need, even as a total rookie. Many websites have tips, services and data to assist you in researching your family’s history. Reference sources and guides can help you as well in your trip to the past. Not everyone has famous or infamous ancestors, but who says you don’t? Imagine being a distant family member of Oliver Cromwell, Rasputin, Catherine the Great or Jesse James…
So set out to discover some new facts about your family. Leaf through old papers and documents, go to the public library. You will run into dead ends, make mistakes and get impatient. But that is all part of the genealogical game. Be an Indiana Jones discovering precious jewels of your own family’s history, of people that made and shaped your life today.