What is your motivation for researching your ancestors? Were you or one of your parents adopted? Have you always heard that your family is related to an historical figure? Are you just curious?
My husband can’t recall any specific trigger for why he chose genealogy as a hobby. He simply wanted to know his family heritage, so in the mid 1990’s he began by using the search engine of the day (Google wasn’t available then!) to search for the genealogy message boards that existed. He looked for his surname within the boards and also searched where he thought his family originated. Family folklore said he was from Ireland on his father’s side; but he has since learned that his DNA shows a Norse heritage. He’s still researching how his ancestors migrated from the southern Scandanavian region to the Southeastern United States, and that mystery has become his motivation.
Another motivating factor for him today is accuracy. Along the way, he has come across family trees that listed a direct ancestor of his, only to find out this was not the case. (Side note: Be careful of family trees that you find online. Even if the author cites their source of information, confirm it for yourself.) To this day he meets people online who believe that they are related because they ‘adopted’ an erroneous tree as their own.
Despite the challenge of documenting his paternal lineage beyond the early 1700’s, he has been successful in populating his family tree to almost 8000 people and as far back as 900 A.D. with other branches. How far back can he go? Well, that’s just another mystery for him to unravel.Share