Why Genealogy?

A message from Helene Kenvin to JewishGen Email Exchange Forum , 24 Apr 1998

Here are some of the reasons (not necessarily in order of importance) to be a genealogist even if you have no immediate descendants:

  The thrill of "the treasure hunt and the putting together of pieces of the puzzle;"

 your deepening knowledge and understanding of history as you learn about your family's socialists, Zionists, Holocaust martyrs, emigrees, etc.

 The extraordinary joy of relatives in Israel when they learn that they are not the only family members who survived the Holocaust and that they have a big family in America;

 The satisfaction of discovering names and lost photographs of relatives who died in the Holocaust, thereby rescuing them from oblivion and restoring them to their family;

 The realization that some young cousins (who may not be your direct descendants, but share some of your DNA) are fascinated by your work, especially as your immediate family wonders why "you are bothering with all of these dead people;"

 Expanding your small family by finding new relatives, some of whom become close and valued friends;

 Your contribution to the preservation of Jewish history and sociology when you donate copies of your family books and photographs to archives;

 The pleasure of communicating on jewishgen, at meetings and conferences with others who share your interest in genealogy;

 the just plain FUN of it all!

Helene Kenvin

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