Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Genealogy as a hobby

Tracing one’s ancestors is one of the most likable, intuitive, interesting and digging hobby around the world. It is really exciting to find out one’s roots, who one’s ancestors were, from where did they come and how they shaped the character of the family. Tracing the family tree can be very interesting and has been a popular practice since ancient times. A family tree also helps in reunion of family members who get separated when they move out to other lands or countries seeking new avenues for life. The technological advancements have now tools and softwares that assist us in compiling our genealogical tree, most often called as the family tree, or Shajra-e-Nasb, as it is called in Urdu.

Like many others, I also take genealogy as a hobby and have been able to draw my family tree backwards for centuries. My late father assisted me in collecting data; rather he was the driving force behind an innocent request from me to help conserve our genealogy. He knew the right people in our family who had been keeping a track of our family tree from the very beginning. I will share my family tree in my next post.

Family tree can be traced both ways; the descendent chart method or the ascendant chart method. Both are almost similar but it is how one wants to connect the leads. Normally the ascendant chart method is easier and favourite as it allows readily available leads to start with, starting from the near and dear ones.

But usually the best method is to start from yourself – this is the easiest jump point where you know the complete data related to you and your parents. And from here one can start to build his own family first, brothers, sisters and brothers and sisters of father and mother. This provides the base and from here one can move in any direction, whether expanding the tree horizontally first or vertically shooting up in one’s father genealogical ancestral lineage. If one has time, horizontal working is easier as the data is almost readily available, rather than bogging down vertically up as soon the reservoir dries up and one has to spend endless hours in libraries and family history books linking torn links together and making a sense out of tons of photographs and family records.

Another useful aid is the digital cameras of today. These tiny and handy devices should be carried whenever visiting relatives and take photographs of everyone that matters. Even the video recording facility should be used to interview the old to create logical links.

All one needs to gather is enough determination to trace back one’s ancestors or link the broken links. I persisted in my efforts and with the help of my late father, I was just in time to complete the entire linkage before my dear father parted from us forever.  

I have already shared in skeleton form my genealogy in one my earlier posts “Generations” in my other blog JahoJalal. I am now in the process of writing the complete tree and would share it some day.


Post a Comment