What is Genealogy
Tid Bits
Tips and Gotcha's
Top ten myths
Top ten reasons to do it
Just for Fun
Getting Started
An exercise using a pedigree
Paperwork organization
Preserving your records
Labeling your records
Maps and geography
Old style dates
Old style handwriting
Tombstone reading
Calculating relationships"
Family reunions
PC Software
Genealogical Programs
Genealogical Numbering Systems
Family Group Sheet form
GEDCOM format
Descendancy report
Ahnentafel report
Recap and Statistics
The data pyramid
Source Documents
Record types
Vital and primary records
Manuscript archives
Censuses and the soundex
Actual examples
Where to Look
Where to do your research
Kansas City area research
U.S. GenWeb
Recent immigrants
Ellis Island
African American
Native American
Hispanic American
Recommended web sites
Certified professionals
Genealogical publishers/sellers
Recommended books
Publishing your family history
Forms to use
Dewey Decimal system
Homework assignment

What is Genealogy, What is Family History?

Consider your own record or paper trail. Records probably exist somewhere for your birth, school attendance and grades, school year books, photographs, a mention in newspaper articles for various reasons, social security information, marriage, divorce, children, jobs, church, medical/hospital, drivers license, taxes paid to various government entities, rent a house or apartment, purchase a house or land, credit history, military service, a will, a living will, etc. These records, if still existing, are in places scattered all over the U.S. Put all of the available information together for an individual and you get quite a portfolio of "a person" and "a life".

Basically, it all boils down to this:

Genealogy is proving that a given person is the biological child of another person. Genealogy is like "a tree in winter" or "a skeleton". It is a pedigree showing how people are related.

If genealogy were a college degree, it would be a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Family History is adding all of the other details about a person. Family History is like "the tree leaves" or "the muscle and flesh on the skeleton". It is a collection of the stories of all the persons in the same family.

If family history were a college degree, it would be a Bachelor of Art (B.A.)

NOTE: Throughout the rest of this document, when the word “genealogy” is used it can also refer to “family history”

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Copyright © 2004- by Larry Wilson, all rights reserved