Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Genealogists and family historians do a lot of looking back.  We start from today (with ourselves) and delve into the past as far as we can go.  We look at the people and we look at the history.

The people we research all lived at some point in time.  Like us, they went through good times and bad times.  There was happiness, there was sadness, they said goodbye to old friends and they made new ones.  Times have changed but most emotions haven’t.  This is what got me thinking.  Did my ancestors ever think about their past when they were alive?  Did they even imagine that their lives would provide such a focal point for their future descendants?  I am assuming that seeing as though I don’t really think about it, then they probably didn’t either.  It is this question which inadvertently led me to think about the future and how one day, hundreds of years from now, I would be considered an ancestor.  It was this thought process which then made me wonder what it would be like for family historians of the future.

Our world is technologically based.  At the centre is the internet and the internet is like a giant global archive.  Family historians need only search the net to find results, stories and photos.  With everything being available at the click of a button, you no longer need to make regular visits to a library to find information.  A lot of it is right in front of you.  So what will it be like in the future?  Will nearly everything be available on the internet in some form or another?  And then there are social networking sites such as Facebook.  Who knows what hundreds of years may bring but provided these sites (or something like them) are still available, family historians may be able to view a deceased ancestor’s profile.  It could provide them with a resource which gives them access to their ancestor’s thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes and many, many photos.  With an electronic trail left behind us, I imagine that perhaps in the future the puzzle of the person would not be as hard to put together as it can be now.

Of course these thoughts (as they have been categorised) are mere musings.  Without a crystal ball, I can only use my imagination.  Who knows what the world and what the technology will be like in ten years time, let alone a hundred years.

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