What Got You Started?

What got you started? This is a question I have heard a lot, and it’s also one that I have asked many people. And I still find it interesting to hear the varying answers.

It is also one that Amy Johnson Crow recently asked. [By the way, if you don’t follow her blog yet, take a few minutes to at least check it out … it’s really is one you should be reading!!]

Anyway back to the question … for some it is to help out their parents or grandparents. For others their interest was sparked with the discovery of an old document, photos or letters. Other love the hunt – piecing the family jigsaw together. Or it might be simply proving (or disproving) a family story, while for some the interest in history has always there.

For me … I would have to say while the hunt is a factor, I would also say that I’m in that latter category in that the ‘interest’ was there, but having grown up in the family history scene I knew how addictive this hobby disease could be – I’d seen it with my own eyes from a very young age, so I was forewarned. And because of that I procrastinated.

Then one day I woke up and decided that enough was enough … what was I waiting for? Ok, in reality I was waiting for more time (aren’t we all) … but I still have family living, so I NEEDED to start. NOW! And so I did.

Going back to when I was about 10 or so, I do have a very vivid recollection of my dad telling me that we were related to the Kelly’s  … which of course to any Australian, automatically means the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly. Alas, no, not those Kelly’s. But I bet if I was, I would have started sooner.

Having started when I did, while not all of my grandparents were still around when I then, some were, and I was able to ask them (and other family members) questions that I never would have know the answers to. So if you have even a vague interest in genealogy, don’t put it off. I’ve heard too many stories of “I should have started sooner”. Trust me, you will regret it later if you don’t.

Anyway Amy’s summation of what got her started is “Connection — that’s the importance of genealogy”, and she’s right. Finding those you’re related to, together with details of their lives really does create a connection. More than one that simply links you on paper.

Family history is a long journey, one that never really ends. But every piece of information you collect and write down, is something that would otherwise be lost to history.

For those that have been researching a while, you don’t need me to tell you that you will come across some speed bumps and roadblocks – that’s a given. But persevere you cracks will form, and you will make your way through them, and make so many discoveries along the way … it is an incredible journey.

So tell me, what got you started? And hooked?