During this Thanksgiving holiday season, I have made it a point to slow down a bit and take some time to reflect on some of the things I’m thankful for regarding family history and genealogical research. My original list is quite long, but I have taken the top 5 blessings that I am especially grateful for and have listed them below.
- First and foremost, I’m grateful that I get to work in a profession that is continually striving to provide top notch tools, educational materials, and databases for millions of folks who love to do family history research. It makes coming to work fun. Not many people can say that they look forward to Mondays so you can go to work. I do, and I’m grateful for that.
- I am grateful for the remarkable technology that makes it possible to do research 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the comfort of my own home. The stuff we get to work with on a daily basis was only a dream just a few decades ago. When I was in college and it was a rare thing for someone to actually own their own computer, I remember one of my professors telling me how lucky I was because I would live to see the time when computer technology would make it possible to search through hundreds of millions of records in a matter of minutes. He was a visionary man and we are all proof that he was right on the mark.
- I am grateful for the spirit of cooperation that exists between so many diverse companies and groups of people who are working together to acquire and preserve billions of the world’s historical records. They work tirelessly to make these records easily accessible to you and me. Behold the power of synergy!
- I am grateful for the millions of people who volunteer their time to index records so that others can find their ancestors quickly and easily. I can hardly imagine what the world of genealogy would be like today without the help of these wonderful volunteers. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT TO ALL OF US!
- I am grateful for the vision of great thinkers who dare to look outside the box and envision what could one day be. We owe so much to these men and women. These are the visionaries who see a future world for genealogists and family historians that would make our ancestors turn over in their graves with excitement.
We are indeed so greatly blessed. I was talking with my wife about how much easier and enjoyable it is doing family history research than it used to be. The thought came to me that I can do in one day what, 30 years ago, would have taken many months—even years to do. I give a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have helped in some way to make genealogy and family history research such an exciting and fruitful endeavor.