Why do Genealogy?



*eyond the obvious reasons of discovering who your ancestors were, there are other, more subtle but powerful reasons for conducting genealogical research. Anyone who has delved into the history of their family knows that , the more information they uncover about their ancestors, the more real these people become, and the more fascinating. The researcher begins to learn more about the times these people lived in: the social, religious, and political situations. The expression "Those who are unfamiliar with history are doomed to repeat it" demonstrates itself in every generation and therefore can be applied by the researcher to their benefit. But history is not the only faucet of knowledge gained by genealogy.

As one researches their ancestors, now passed away, they learn about the strengths as well as the idiosyncrasies of these relations, their likes and dislikes, their friends and their enemies. Though the spirits of these people have moved on, their personalities remain...in their descendants. By researching ones ancestors, one may come closer to understanding oneself, 'the noblest undertaking of Man', according to Socrates.

The following quote describes the Celts, the race from which the Irish developed:

The whole race, which is now called Gallic or Galactic, is madly fond of war, high-spirited and quick to battle, but otherwise straightforward and not of evil character. And so when they are stirred up they assemble in their bands for battle, quite openly and without forethought, so that they are easily handled by those who desire to outwit them; for at any time or place and on whatever pretext you stir them up, you will have them ready to face danger, even if they have nothing on their side but their own strength and courage.

Written by Strabo, a Greek geographer living around 0 B.C.


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