Interested in Family History but Don't Know Where to Start?

Mommy, where did our family come from?
I remember when I was in elementary school thinking everyone knew where their family came from but me.

I don't remember specific conversations of classmates or family friends, but I remember watching one of my regular T.V. shows and two sisters (elementary age, just like me) talking about their family history.

The older was saying how they were related to Russian royalty. The younger sister made some reply because she apparently hadn't picked up on this fact. On the show, this was supposed to be true., not some embellished story. Those elementary girls knew where their family came from. Why didn't I?

Do You Want to Know Where Your Family Came From?

I believe the entire episode was about family and family history in general. Most likely all the main characters but one had family stories and the point was how it didn't matter and they still loved their friend, etc., etc. I think on this show, the character without family stories was adopted but I'm not sure. That's not the point of MY story.

My point is, I remember that one specific T.V. conversation quite vividly. I felt like that was everyone around me and I was the one without stories. This was really a strange way for me to feel.

Family Doesn't Always Equal Family History 

I'm guessing (as in the possible reason I have forgotten) the episode was about including an adopted friend is because I'm not adopted. I know my parents, I had four grandparents when I was born (one died when I was too young to remember him).

I didn't have a lack of family.

I went to family reunions. I knew my first cousins.

But we didn't have stories about where we came from. It's a little hard to explain but it was like I belonged to a family but they only existed in the present.

There was no family feud that caused a riff or strange tension because we didn't talk to "those" relatives.

We seemed perfectly normal. Yet, there was nothing beyond the family I knew, not information but not a disconnect or void, either.

Where's this story going?

I've Been On My Family History Journey

Fast forward over 25 years and I'm a professional genealogist. I needed to know where we came from. No one could tell me so I set out to discover it for myself.

I was so enthralled with the journey, I just kept researching. I researched so much, but more importantly, I learned how to research so well, I turned it into a career.

There's been a little hiccup lately and that's where you come in.

It is really hard to be a professional genealogist with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers at home. My oldest just started kindergarten but she's still on a preschool schedule (home just after lunch).

To try and find another professional outlet, I started blogging. I created The Occasional Genealogist. I totally thought it would be for any Occasional Genealogist, including young moms (or dads).

However, it has really gained a following of avid genealogists who may or may not be "occasional."

Let Me Help You Start Your Journey

I've decided to start a series on this blog just for active moms (moms, or dads, who have kids at home as opposed to empty-nesters).

I was compelled to find out where we came from when I was still in elementary school (and never stopped researching). I have many colleagues who became interested when they had kids. I know others that started when they were younger but parenthood didn't leave them time for genealogy.

The Internet has made it possible for anyone, not just retirees with time, to start researching their family history. But genealogy is still extremely time-consuming!

You will not get on a website, enter a bit of information into a family tree and have all the answers returned to you (despite what television commercials may lead you to believe).

The desire to know where you come from, and pass that on to your children, can be extremely strong. If you want to know, you can make this work.

I want to help you start your family history journey even if you are busy changing diapers, teaching your children to walk, helping with homework before running to soccer practice, or any task of running a family.

Knowing Your Family History is Good for Kids, and for Mom

Because genealogy is a slow journey, start now. If you don't have family stories to share with your children, waiting until they are out of the house to find those stories won't benefit them.

The first two posts in the series will discuss the benefits of knowing family history (an additional "why you should do this," beyond your natural curiosity) and the first steps to get started.

So How Do You Get Started?

This series launches this month and no experience is needed. It is going to be a really slowly progressing series. Because really, that's all you have time for as an active parent.

If you're interested in starting to look into your family history and you've just been too busy, this series is for you (even if you aren't a parent, just know I'll be speaking to "moms").

Sign-up below to get on the list to get notified when new posts appear AND to get exclusive content just for list members.

This is a 100% free series to get you started.

This list won't overrun your mailbox. I know how busy moms are, whether they are an "at home" mom or a "work outside the home" mom. Moms are busy.

Signing up for the list will let you know when there's a new post so you can find a little time for family history (no challenges, no schedule, just a gentle prompt to do something you want to do anyway).

If "Getting Started" Isn't for You...

If you're already doing some family history research (which is the same as genealogy research, fyi), please check out The Occasional Genealogist. This post with genealogy tasks you can do in 15-minutes or less is a great place to start and offers an awesome mini e-book freebie, perfect for busy parents or any busy person.

If you've been wanting to learn about your family history, but have just been too busy to figure out how to start, I hope you'll join me for this new series, written especially for busy moms.

Sign-up for the subscriber list today and start your own family history journey.

This is a 100% free series to get you started.

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