Week 4- Free Offline Genealogy Tools - Which free offline genealogy tools are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience? How did you find this tool and how has it benefited your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.
Challenge from Sunday 22nd January 2012 - Saturday 29th January 2012
The simple answer to this is I don't know.
I started researching my family before the power of the Internet. In the days when joining a family history society was the norm and you submitted your research interests into the quarterly journal and hoped someone wrote you a letter. That is right, a letter, involving paper, ink and stamps. 20 odd years later and I still have every single letter written to me about a family history line.
Sometimes we hit the jackpot and a connection was made, other times there was no connection made and on some occasions there was no genealogical connection, but a friendship formed. Some of those early friendships I still have and treasure.
So I am thankful for two things here - the friendships that formed, in some cases across many miles. I am also thankfully that I learnt to research the old fashioned way by heading to archives and looking at original documents. There is something truly wonderful about seeing the name of a relative in print, on a old piece of parchment or alike and knowing that this was written when probably my ancestor was standing as close to the paper as I am now
I can reminisce of going to St Catherine's House in London and pulling the huge indexes containing the birth, marriage and death books from the shelves. Fighting for space as you searched for the reference you were looking for. Hearing the odd should of "I've got him!" They were different research times to now. In comparison the internet has reduced the size of the world to a matchbox and letters which plopped through the letterbox having travelled many miles over days can be in an inbox in seconds.
I am thankful to my family, many since deceased who shared their knowledge with me as I explored their past and probed away asking question after question. I loved to visit my Great Aunts. I had grown up doing it, so as an adult I continued. They shared so much with me quite without question. Leaving me to explore our family. A life long obsession.