That is OK; I don't really mind but it is frustrating when I hear politicians and pundits using American's lack of historic knowledge about the world and their own country to create a false history, instill fear and generally mislead the public. I suppose that is really the fault of the public for not knowing more about themselves or their past. Someone is always going to "take back or restore" something (such as the country) or interpret the constitution in some way or another. The so-called "Tea-Party" movement is a good example of a some-what misguided group. Frankly, most of these folks don't have a clue. Why, because the don't understand their own history.
So for me, knowing history helps me understand what goes on in the world today. It informs me as to why things are the way they are but I also enjoy the subject itself. In other words I like history for histories sake. If you are a history buff then naturally, you will want to know about your own family history. To place your ancestors in historical context is about a close as you will ever get to being in their shoes. Initially, my knowledge about my own family history only extended back a few generations. These were the German, Swiss and Norwegian ancestors that settled in southern Wisconsin in the second half of the 19th Century. What I knew about them was what was handed down from my parents or other relatives. Yet, I really wanted more.
The Internet was my salvation. Finally, a readily accessible central clearing house of information. There may be no substitution for old-fashioned genealogy research . . spending time at county courthouses and libraries . . . but the Internet is coming close and soon will eclipse those old forms of research (perhaps it has already). For me, the Internet unlocked the door and I stepped into a whole new world, one the stretched all the way back to Colonial American.
|Was Thomas Holcombe on the Ship Mary and John|
that arrived in the New World in 1630? Maybe.
I encourage everyone to try and find out about their family history, it will help them understand a little more about their own existence but also a great deal more. Perhaps genealogy can lead us to a better understanding of not only our family history but history in general.