This piece comes with a semi-humorous bent, so be forewarned. 🙂
I read an article a while ago about Icelandic dating. While that article had a different idea in mind, it sparked some interesting questions for me. Where does interest in genealogy come from? What does romance have to do with genealogy in the first place?
Well, thinking about genealogy in terms of ancestry, family history, and genealogy research, I’d rank genealogy as the romance level, ancestry research at the puppy love level, and family history research at the infatuation level.
I looked at some statistics from Google, and of the three terms, family history had the highest-ranking spot, ancestry was in second place, and genealogy third place. If family history research is the most common, it must be socializing, ancestry casual dating, and genealogy serious romance. Ancestry research is the information gathering necessary to get a good start on genealogy. Genealogy research is heavy-duty work compared to the simple practice of name collecting.
Name collectors are just name dropping their ancestry, like some folks who claim they are descended from Jesus. People engaged in family history research are building relationships where they have more than just names, and are getting to know the stories behind their ancestors. Ancestry researchers have a stronger interest and decide whether they have the stamina to build strong relationships. Genealogists, on the other hand, become wed to the subject and explore everything they can get their hands on.
Admission: I’m sort of in the middle group at the moment, making a stronger commitment to better genealogy.