What's new in family history

June 1, 2019
By Dale Kovar

When it comes to family history, I’ve been a passive participant.

I’ve never paid money to ancestry.com, spent hours poring over birth and death records, or traveled to remote places seeking clues about what once was. That’s not to say I’m not interested.

Every few years, a distant relative contacts me with some type of question. I gladly exchange information we each have, and add it to my collection.

Enough of my relatives have been active in genealogical research so I don’t think there’s much new I could discover.

Saved in my memory chest (my dad’s World War II trunk) are a number of items family historians compiled, including:

• A six-foot wide ancestry chart in type size smaller than what you’re reading now.

• A 337-page hardcover book, which has a complete index in the back with every name mentioned.

•A DVD of my cousins’ trip to Moravia, Czechoslovakia, searching out family roots.

Ultimately, we all go back to Adam and Eve, or more recently, Noah’s family on the ark. Since then, however, there hasn’t been the greatest record-keeping system.

Although family members have turned up some European references, it isn’t until the immigration to America in roughly the 1870-80s that we can start tracing back lineage with any detail.

I notice that in any genealogical record I’ve ever seen, there have never been any monkeys, or partial monkeys, accounted for. Sort of ruins the evolution theory, doesn’t it?

The latest family inquiry sparked a new project for me, though.

The next time we make a round of visits to the graves of loved ones, I plan to do my own documenting.

With a screen-shot of a satellite image of each cemetery, I can then on paper identify the grave location of each family member. Then next time someone asks, we’ll then have a map to go by. That will be my contribution to family history.

Otherwise, I’m content to wait until Resurrection Day and ask everyone directly.

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