Family history. Ancestors. Genealogy.
I have been searching my family tree since I took a tenth grade class (please, don't make me go there) many eons ago . At that time, with the help of my parents and my mom's mom, I traced back to my paternal great grandparents (names only) and maternal great greats (names and some dates). I still have the report. After the class was ended, I didn't and neither did Grandma Pat. She did some more digging (not exactly sure where, since there was no internet way back then-please see first paren comment) and discovered that we had ancestors that came over on the Mayflower. WHEEE! I too still have that research as she sent it to me for my records.
Recently, I acquired a copy of a family history that was written in 1972 buy 'a cousin'. The two volume spiral bound volumes trace my history back to my 12th great grandfather's birth in 1510 Glamorgan, Wales (volume 2) and to (vol 1)Thomas ap Adam who was born in the late 1200's, I have decided to work on this line from him to me and have yet to connect the two branches. That has to be like the 24th great, don't you think?
Thomas ap Adam. Ap, in welsh, implies 'son of' Thomas' father's name was Adam. I kidded my family when I found this and told them we had our tree traced back to Adam....TeeHee. I am such a kidder. Just so you know the equal, if you were a daughter, you were referred as verch. So, if Thomas were my brother, I would have been known as Patricia verch Adam.
I flip through this book and consider the time and organization it took to compile and write it. Charles did this book before computers were mainstream. He had to go to places, talk to people and keep all the information he collected in notebooks and index cards. Mind-blowing.
Try going on the internet and typing in your name and the words genealogy or family tree, or family history. Maybe someone has already collected some information on your family. If you are lucky, there is something and there is something more than just Names, Places and Dates. For instance, an in-law of mine fell to his death from a crow's nest while his ship was at port in Norfolk, VA. One Welsh family branch built their home upon the sight of a Roman Villa. It is the little facts that turns your family history into an interesting read.
If you are interested in searching your family tree, there are tons of sites out there for you...just type in search family tree and you will wind up with more results than you know what to do with. I recommend starting for free at http://www.familysearch.org or http://www.usgenweb.org. If you would like more info, let me know. Or type Genealogy into your favorite search engine.
Have Fun Searching!
P.S. If your name is Chambers, Goode or McCullough, have I got a book for you....