Many of you may already have interests and hobbies that you do regularly or follow. As you may have picked up from my blogs, one of mine is genealogy.
It is a great interest to have. Overall it is very inexpensive and meaningful, as well as, reaps many benefits.
Inexpensive and Meaningful
I have and had many hobbies over my four decades of life. Starting with rock collecting and stamp collecting in youth and moving into crocheting, cross-stitching and scrapbooking in my 20s and 30s. All of these interests were great in keeping me busy, teaching me something and providing a collection or finished product I could share or keep. However, after so long, I am not too sure anyone wants another cross-stitch picture, crocheted scarf or pet rock. Let alone, storing all those stamps and scrapbook materials do take up room and get in the way. And many had material costs involved that can add up.
When doing genealogy my costs have been minimal. The only real costs have been:
- on-line software (which I only purchase for 3 months at a time when I know I am going to focus on family history searching),
- purchasing of a few books,
- printing paper
- and ink.
Everything else I have done has been with existing computer connections, existing library cards and existing prime amazon links for free e-books.
And the product from the family history work is priceless and very meaningful. It is something I can pass on to future generations.
Reaps Many Benefits
But probably the most important aspect of family history as a hobby has been the many benefits I have realized. These benefits have enhanced my life in the many ways. Here are a few:
- Great conversation topics with family members – they are always interested in the latest info you have found out. And during those conversations, I almost always find out something new as well about my family.
- Great conversation topics with friends and those you are getting to know – people overall seem to be interested in the topic and want to know more, especially of how to get started
- Brings with it a sense of self-worth through knowing more about your family background: where they came from, what they went through to get where they are now, how they lived their lives, how all the things they all did in the past led to you being born…what are the odds? It makes you want to ensure your life is worth all they did in the past and shines on for others in the future.
- Promotes expanded learning – through genealogy I have learned more about:
- american history,
- european history,
- internet searches,
- document requests,
- researching on-line and via books for a focus topic,
- importance of accuracy,
- attention to details
- communicating a clear story / message
- organizing notes for clarity
- saving information in useable and understandable format,
- finding distant relatives
- and overall having a more interesting and rounded life.
So, if you have been thinking about starting some family history work and picking up a new interest. I highly recommended genealogy it is one of the best hobbies I have ever tried. I have stuck with it now for about 20 years and it has been very rewarding.