Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cub Scouts and Genealogy

Image is Copyright, 2003, VCLH. Used With Permission
My time as a Wolf den leader in Cub Scouts ended on Tuesday. My youngest son graduated from the Wolf den and we are switching Cub Scout Packs because of our move. As he was thanking the den leaders for their volunteer service, the Cubmaster pointed out that being a den leader is about having to learn and teach many different topics. Cub Scouting calls upon the leader to lead activities of all kinds including those that feature geology, maps and compass, recycling, cooking, pet care, forestry, patriotism, entertainment, sports, music, camping and much much more.

His remarks reminded me of what a genealogist is expected to know. Yes, we need to be good at researching-finding facts and determining their usefulness. But sometimes our ancestor’s life experiences require us to know so much more. Some of the topics that might help your understanding of your ancestor’s life include real estate, law, religion, and history. While it is impossible to know everything-it is a good idea to read up on those subjects that might shed light on your ancestor’s life.

We are so lucky to live in this time where so much education is available to us for free 24 hours a day. Google Books is a great place to find digitized books on all types of subjects. CalCat,, the catalog of the California libraries and World Cat,, are both great places to find books that you can check out at your local library or interlibrary loan.

On a daily basis, well almost daily, I have been posting social history websites to my Twitter page (my Twitter name is genaortega). These websites are meant to give you ideas about what your ancestor’s life was like. I also periodically post these websites to my Facebook page and right here on my blog.

So why not take a few hours and read up on a topic that will help your genealogy but isn’t necessarily genealogy. It will not only help you with your research but help you better understand your ancestor’s lives.

No comments: