Why do you do genealogy?

Often people ask: Why should someone research his ancestry? Why is it interesting for someone to know ancestors who lived 300 or 400 years ago? What are the motives for a genealogy? Today we want to tell you some basics about the genealogy in other terms the family research.

Identity, rooting and the sense for traditions

The most interesting thing about the question of one’s own origin is, that it bothers almost everyone. After eroticism, family history is the most popular keyword in the search engine. There is a primary need of people to experience where we are coming from. For some people this need is stronger for others less strongly. But the knowledge about the own family history builds identity, rooting and a sense for traditions. Especially our generation is living in a time where it is still possible to interview contemporary witnesses, who experienced the war or the post-war years.

Research at living relatives

As you can imagine, unfortunately, this biological window soon will be closed. In addition, there is also the problem that our parents and grandparents did not want to report about the times of the war, therefore most of them never talked about their past. This situation was the same for our director Harald Heimbach. In fact, exactly this thrilled him to start a family research. But how to start such a big project? Well, actually by asking around and interviewing the family. Is there an old aunt, or somebody from the generation of the parents/grandparents who can tell you interesting facts?

Making the family history alive and tangible

Pro Heraldica is able to research a lot. But we can only research information that has been written down someday and that is still available in any archive. Oral traditions and histories make family chronicles more interesting. This is why the first step of a family research always should be talking to (older) family members, reviewing photo albums and labeling all photos. Often clients submit great photos without knowing the persons on them. In such cases these photos are not usable anymore. Sure, they still have an emotional value, since you do not know the persons they also do not tell any story. Next you should check any kind of old document.

Search for family passports and family registers

Often, families still have family passports, family registers and other records. Most of the time you are not aware about it because they are not really present in the everyday life. Just ask for them, they are worth a mint. This way at least you will have information about your parents, grandparents and maybe great-grandparents and so you already made it to the 19th century in your family history on your own!

We start where your knowledge ends

Our research always starts where the knowledge of the respective family ends. If your information end around 1890, so we start around 1890. If it ends with your gradnparents, so we start there! So, what are the next steps? Now, we should clear your goal of the family research. What should be the output of the genealogy?

Pedigree Chart or Family Tree

In genealogy we distinguish between the pedigree chart and the family tree. Whereas the youngest generations build the treetop for the family tree they are found at the very bottom on a pedigree chart. On a family tree the progenitor and progenitrix are the family trunk, the direct ancestors. You can find the siblings for each on the left and right side. The older ones at the left side and the younger siblings of a progenitor on the right. This is also why there is no blank form for a family tree.

Family Tree structure

Scheme of a family tree

The family name as a thread

All persons on a family tree have one thing in common: The family name. Either they were born with the name or they married-in. For the most cases the family tree is the entry of a genealogy since people identify themselves with their family names and you possibly sign hundreds of documents with it a day. Of course, this is a really patriarchal way of contemplating your family history.

Pedigree Chart, the widest kind of family research

Since everyone has two biological producers the number of people per each generation is doubled on a pedigree chart. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, 16, 32, 64,128 and so on. Here the name line is just one small line, the other lines are the genetic ancestors. As you see the pedigree chart is the widest kind of a family research. It is also called the queen of genealogy.

Scheme of a pedigree chart

Widely dispersed family members

It is not uncommon, that a part of a family history takes place in a completely other region than other parts. In such cases we are researching parallel with 4, 5 or even 6 employees. So, it is very important to know your personal objective from the beginning.

Creating the family chronicle

After a family history is researched, it is also important and useful to shape the results. Therefore, after each family research we create a very individual family chronicle with two volumes. The first volume, the chronicle itself is about the family history in a chronological order as it took place in regional history. So, the family history gets perceptible, comprehensible and especially exciting. The second part, the documentation therefore, is a very important part. Every scientific work lives from the reproduction of its sources. We emphasize to make original documents accessible for you. So, we put copies and translations into the documentation for you to prove all our researched results. This way the chronicle makes sense and you can pass it to next generations and also update it. It is possible to book the chronicle in different and individual ways; we always accommodate the wishes of our customers.

Leather-bound Family Chronicle

Leather-bound family chronicle

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