Placing the Pieces of Your Family Tree
Everyone has a family history, but some present more difficulties in tracing than others. Regardless of your own family's circumstances, genealogy and family trees comprise part of an exhaustive yet rewarding hobby for those in search of their family's roots. Genealogy has helped many people discover long lost relatives and ancestors, and it has even reunited family members of the same generation. Many organizations use genealogy and family trees to determine eligibility for membership, such as Daughters of the American Revolution and Bloodlines of Salem. Additionally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints keeps an extensive microfilm archive of genealogical documents.
Depending on your racial or ethnic background, many challenges present themselves in genealogical searches. The history of the world plays a part in the difficulty of tracking family trees. Some African Americans have found it difficult to trace their family history back prior to the slave trade, or even before the end of slavery, while Jews have had trouble obtaining records of European relatives due to the Nazi Holocaust.
Computers and the Internet have reduced some of the time required to construct a family tree, and genealogy software is readily available for aid in recording data. Also, the internet may also prove useful as a time saving research tool, but is still just a springboard to doing the more exhausting leg work necessary to find documents relating to family history.