Family history is related to, but distinct from, genealogy. Where genealogy is the tracing of who your relatives are (and were), family history is the collecting of their stories.

In genealogy, for example, I might document the fact that my mother has a brother named David Peter F-----, born on such-and-such a date, and is still living, and that he has three children.

In family history, I would note that his name was chosen by the family in an interesting way: All of the brothers and sisters submitted names on slips of paper. These slips were put into his father's pocket, and his then-pregnant mother drew two names at random. She drew Peter, then David, and so he was to be called Peter David F-----. The family decided that they liked "David Peter F-----" better, however, so they swapped the two names.

I would also note that he has the nickname "Pilot" because, as a teenaged geek, he amassed a collection of hardware and would pile it on the workbench in the basement (and everwhere else).

All of this might come in handy in genealogy, but in truth it isn't meant to be. Family history stands on its own merits as a rewarding hobby.

There are numerous potential sources for genealogy research within the family. Even old envelopes and receipts may provide addresses or useful information about lifestyle. Old passports, diaries, postcards, and letters. church records, photographs, newspaper cuttings give more help. It is amazing what people keep. poems, short pieces of prose or travel memoirs would be great finds. You might find sketch books, drawings or paintings. You first need factual information to complete your family tree. This means birth marriage & death certificates, divorce settlements. Later look for other materials that will help you place your ancestors within a context. Other relatives at the same address, professions and age can be given by census returns. Other source materials include medical certificates and medical records, baptism or christening records, wills, property deeds, account books, notebooks, family portraits, identity cards, exam certificates, medals & trophies, invitations, greeting cards, journals. Other family members can help and there are many online resources using the internet. Some the most useful resources are provided by the mormons who believe in baptism after the age of 8 years, either in life or in death so that even previous generations can be given the retrospective opportunity to choose their faith. You will need to find out where county archives & parish registers are kept. Hopefully you will find out something about your heritage, your ancestors & have an interesting hobby.
Eventually, you will find yourself in old Graveyards & Churchyards looking at Gravestones because they are the oldest records.

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