Editorial

The Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society recently held a class on how to study family genealogy. 

Just who do you think you are?

The Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society can help you find out.

If you’re curious but don’t know where or how to start looking, the Society can help you out.

The group recently held a series of classes to teach the basics of looking for family information.

More classes are planned. If you’re interested, contact Tabitha Cheney at 662-786-1384, or send an email to chickasawhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

People have always been curious about their family heritage. It’s normal to want to know where, and who, we come from.

Exploring your genealogy has a lot of useful benefits beside tracing your past.

After all, it’s been said that nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to discover bad traits in our ancestors. It seems to absolve us.

In other words, if you can’t get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

Consider:

--Exploring genealogy makes an excellent hobby, especially for older adults. It’s available to anyone with an Internet connection, and it can be pursued from the comfort of home.

--For those recently retired, or otherwise wondering how to fill their days, researching family history can sop up time and ignite the imagination. Any family’s story is likely to be filled with many small mysteries and discoveries that can keep a person engaged for a long, long time.

--Tracing family roots back through generations can help a person connect more deeply with a sense of self by learning about their family’s past—where they came from, who they were, what they did, the trials they overcame, the accomplishments they achieved, the dreams they had.

--Researching genealogy encourages the development of new skills such as working with computers. Reminiscing and exploring the unknown past can let people reconnect with their memories and learn about family members they never knew.

--Exploring one’s own history can make a great family activity, involving siblings, children, and grandchildren. It can bring family members together around a shared interest, inspire intergenerational storytelling and sharing, and even connect long-lost relatives.

--Genealogical research can collect family medical information, either from living relatives or by uncovering health information from records about ancestors. This information can be helpful in identifying potential risk factors for surviving family members.

--Finally, because researching family history is such a popular hobby, it offers the chance to meet other people engaged in learning about their own families.

There are plenty of online groups and forums that can offer conversation and community. Some researchers wind up turning their family histories into other projects as well—a talk at the local library or senior center, a history lesson for local school children, or a memento book for family members.

As we age, we realize the importance of family, not just the people we grew up with or raised, but the broad extended family of great aunts, third cousins twice removed, and great-great-great-great grandparents.

Even though they are long gone, our forbears can still give us priceless information about our families, our history, and ourselves.

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