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History Corner By Pat Ross & Fran Snead


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October 04, 2006
October is Family History Month! If you have not already begun your family research, we invite you to celebrate this month by doing so. If you are already researching your family, come join us and continue your "look into the past" for more information. Here are some basic terms one should be familiar with before beginning genealogical research:

PATERNAL - Your father's family line; your paternalgrandfather is your father's father.

MATERNAL - Your mother's family line; your maternal grandfather is your mother's father.

SPOUSE - Husband or wife.

PEDIGREE CHART - A chart showing all of your direct ancestors without their siblings and other members of the families. We use a five-generation chart at the Center.

FAMILY GROUP SHEET - A record listing all the information about a single family - a husband, wife, and their children.

GENERATION - Each full family group is one generation. You can count as the first generation, so a five generation chart has you as the first generation, your parents as the second generation, your grandparents as the third generation, your great-grandparents as the fourth generation, and your great-great-grandparents as the fifth generation.

VITAL RECORD - A record of birth, marriage or death.

DOCUMENT - An official certificate or other written information stating something is true under law. A birth, marriage or death certificate is a document.

WILL OR PROBATE RECORDS - Records which identify everything a person owned at his death and how it was distributed.

WITNESSES - People who sign a document stating that a certain action was taken or has taken place, as a marriage, a birth, a death, the signing of a will or deed.

ABSTRACT - A short form of a deed or will that shows only the important genealogical information.

I have been asked many times why I do what I do, why I enjoy searching for ancestors even though they are not my own, and why there are so many people who come to the Historical Center searching for their roots.

The reasons why each patron does research vary greatly. Some people research in order to join an organization like the SAR, DAR or UDC. Research is sometimes done when the person is applying for a minority scholarship. Curiosity is a big motivation for genealogical research. Some persons research to simply find out who their ancestors were and where they lived. Other persons like to find out who they resemble, if someone in their line may have served in military service, or to find their family's medical history.

Many times people regret not listening to what Grandpa had to say about his life and they want to salvage what they can of their memories of him. Take the time to gather as much information as you can from your family, put these memories together with research done on the family, and piece it together like a quilt (from the previous blog). This way you can save something very precious for your children and grandchildren.

Don't forget about our Historical Center's expansion project. If you should have questions, please give us a call. Happy Family History Month!

Pat Ross
Branch Manager, Bassett Historical Center

"The Roots that make Us One are Stronger than the Branches that Divide Us." Author Unknown








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