The word genealogy is derived from the Greek word genea meaning generation and logos meaning study. Therefore, genealogy is essentially the study of generations. It involves the study of families in order to trace back lineage. There are various tools that genealogists use in order to arrive at an understanding of the previous generation. These include oral traditions, genetic analysis, historical records and various other means o getting information too.
Many people save this information about their generations and ancestors in order to place themselves and their family into the larger historical perspective of things. Those who pursue genealogy as a hobby are said to pursue their own ancestor back to many ages. At the same time there are professional genealogists that conduct extensive research for others to prove their genealogy. These professionals also write extensive books on how various kinds of research can be used to arrive at the next generation.
In many cases the study of genealogy does not involve simply writing the names of the people who are the ancestors. It also always involves understanding where and when the specific people lived, their lifestyles, biographies and motivations. Since all this is information that the genealogist is seeking, it is also important to understand aspects of antiquated law, old political boundaries, migration trends and socio economic cultures. Some genealogists specialize in a particular group since they have a higher understanding of the area. The Scottish group is one such group that has been studied by many. There is also the Bloodlines of Salem, a family group that has been studied in great detail since it is a family group of great historical significance and includes members that can prove a descent from the participants of the Salem Witch Trials.
The focus on genealogy in the western world has always been kings and rulers and their dependents. And most of this is in connection with the legitimacy of claims to power and wealth. Research on genealogy was systematized in the 19th century. The Genealogy Society of Utah was created in 1894 and this became the Family History Department of the LDS Church. The software that the institution uses can trace families on the basis of religious ceremonies that seal families together. The whole topic of genealogy received a boost when Alex Haley's 'Roots: A Saga of an American Family' was broadcasted on television in 1970. While research on such a topic seems tough, the Internet has made it far easier to find out links between people and their kinship. It seems to be one of the most popular topics on the Internet too.
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