For us folks who are family-oriented, learning details about one’s parents, grandparents, and beyond can provide life with lots of entertainment and richness.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I, like most everybody else, was stuck at home. A hobby I took up was genealogy. I had always dabbled in my family history, but now I have taken it on as a full-blown hobby.
Genealogy is the study of our ancestors — our parents, their parents, and so on. I found this great beginner’s guide and it has lots of tips and info for those who are just starting out.
I have been using a free resource called “FamilySearch.org” and it has helped me find information on my family. “FindaGrave.com” has also been a good resource. On top of the DNA tests I have done (with 23 and Me and Ancestry) I have discovered many new lines of family members I didn’t even know I had. So far I have traced back some of my roots by eight generations!
If you are interested in exploring more about your roots, your heritage, or your family —just jump in. Start with your parents and their parents, and see how far you can go. Make sure you document the stories you hear. There are lots of genealogy groups on Facebook that can also help answer questions. One of the groups I find very helpful is “Canadian Genealogy.”
I recently found the burial sites of my maternal grandmother’s parents and both sets of grandparents (Phillips and Mowat). They are all buried in the Prospect Cemetery in Toronto. I had been mistakenly led to believe most of them were from Ireland and it would be difficult to find any records. It’s amazing when you find proof of your great-grand and great-great grandparents! It helps fill in some missing information on the family tree. I feel more whole when I get the details.
They say a person dies twice. Once when they stop breathing, and again when their name is said for the last time. My ancestors are being remembered and they live on in my heart. I honour their memories and look forward to learning more about them.
Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW