Some circles of the interwebs believe that the distinction between using genealogy vs. family history is merely a choice of terminology or semantics. For example, as defined by Merriam - Webster, you might be hard-pressed to eek meaning out of the distinction between genealogy, defined as:
But other circles of the interwebs, myself among them, believe that our word choice is important and telling. I, and many others, think of genealogy as the finding of names and ancestral lines and family history as the stories and heritage that surround those names. One analog I've heard several people use in explaining the difference is comparing genealogy to bones and family history as everything else built upon the bones that makes a body.
Genealogy is essential in creating a family tree. But just like genealogy itself, a family tree gains more meaning as you actively engage in family history. The more I've learned about the distinction, the more I realize that I'm intimidated by genealogy... the searching and fear of not finding... but only excited by family history. I'm a story girl who can't wait to learn "what happens next," and that's what family history is all about. That being said, without understanding where these ancestors you learn about fit in the framework of your genealogy, it's not as meaningful, and that's where having a family tree chart hanging on your wall comes in incredibly handy. Ready to get started on that genealogy wall chart? Choose a starting template and let's get cracking!Continue reading