For more than 15 years, I have had the amazing opportunity to discover the past from a genealogical and historical perspective. Throughout this journey, it has become clear that exploring connections between history and genealogy offers a unique and fulfilling experience, as we uncover the roles our ancestors played in the past. Our ancestors were not just farmers or merchants – they were fathers, sisters, associates, and friends. In these instances, the study of family history goes far beyond names and dates, and focuses on the desire to understand our own past within a larger context.
The field of genealogy and family history has seen rapid and drastic changes over the past few years, with the release of unparalleled digital resources, like those at findmypast.com and FamilySearch.org and the creation of “Primetime Genealogy,” through series like Faces of America (PBS) and Who Do You Think You Are?. Innovative events, including RootsTech and various online webinars have dramatically altered the way genealogists learn and interact with one another. Combined with social networking tools, crowd-sourcing, and cloud computing – we are certainly in the midst of a new generation of genealogy.
While new technologies are critical to the advancement of family history, at its core remains dedicated researchers, incredible record repositories, and a network of genealogical societies seeking to connect family historians from all walks of life. Whether our paths cross at an archive in Washington, D.C., a lecture in Minnesota, Twitter, or somewhere in-between, I look forward to sharing in your journey.