Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future
As genealogists we dig deeply to better understand our ancestors’ lives in context of time and place. We seek for any little clue that will provide insight into the way they lived, what they did, and why they did it. We read multiple books and articles in a simple effort to understand their occupation, related hazards, and opportunities. We aren’t satisfied to know that they migrated from Delaware to Oregon with a brief stop in Kansas; we want to know why! And so we learn more about history, wars, bounty land, migration routes, and ethnic groups. We strive to understand those who moved for opportunity, and those who moved to seek refuge, and from what.
At some point in time, we realize that not only do we carry the DNA of our ancestors, but also that their past is part of what made us who we are today. On-site research becomes so much more than access to records not available elsewhere; it becomes a cultural and emotional connection with that part of us that feels our heritage deeply.
We also hope that it will help each of us embrace the future.
Sometimes the future can be scary – so many unknowns. New technologies, new challenges, new standards to meet when a previously-undeveloped resource like DNA hits the scene. But the excitement of a new find as the result of their application can rival hugging a new grandbaby when she arrives.
Embracing the future replaces fear with excitement, and hesitation with motivation and vision. Embracing the future of genealogy can also help us live more fully in the present, and better honor the past.
This year, as SLIG celebrates its 25th anniversary, we will take a look at things past, present, and future. We will provide opportunities to learn, network, share, honor the past, and grow toward the future. And hopefully, through this unique educational experience called an institute, we will each glean new information and skills that will help us to improve our own research future.
Thank you so much for joining us. We hope your time at SLIG and Academy inspires you to more fully honor the past and embrace the future!