Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Family history

I certainly didn't grow up with any particular interest in family history. In my childhood context in Grafton, genealogy was not an everyday topic of discussion. Retrospectively, I greatly regret the fact that I never got around to asking my elders for stories about their past. Worse still, I remember times when such stories were forthcoming, but it was I who wasn't interested in listening. For example, my paternal grandmother once started to tell me about her ancestors in Northern Ireland referred to as Orange Men, and this subject bored me to such an extent that I didn't take notice of anything she said... and today I'm totally incapable of following up this link, about which I possess no data whatsoever.

I've nevertheless made progress in this domain. The time has come to start thinking about sharing the results of my research with others, including descendants. People who are no more than vaguely aware of my existence have a good chance of discovering my genealogical websites through Google. A broader challenge consists of making data available to people who have no idea whatsoever of my existence.

A good approach consists, I think, of publishing my global family tree with the time-honored RootsWeb organization, which administers an easy-to-use project named WorldConnect.

An interesting aspect this system is that people are free to download my family tree in the form of a so-called gedcom file, which they can then examine and use on their own computers.

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