I have been using a website called Family Search. So far I haven't encountered any expenses. You can input your known relatives and begin searching for more. I find it addictive. It's like I crave a connection to the past, that these people are crying out from the dust and want to be remembered. I want to be remembered and matter, and that is why I think it is a big deal...Because, I bet these relatives wanted to be remembered and matter to someone, too.
A few years ago I was involved in the Nations largest service project...the indexing of the 1940's census. Indexing is transcribing old documents and digitizing them. Documents like birth and death certificates, marriage certificates and enlistment forms are made available right at the tips of your fingers. It's pretty cool, really. Yesterday I indexed a bunch of birth certificates from 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. My husband is from Chicago, and I thought it would be cool if I saw one of his family's birth certificate...but I didn't. My daughter is interested in this family history work, and has listened to me and dabbled in it herself. She even put in ten hours of indexing for a service project.
There are many different forms that family history takes:
blogging, scrapbooking, journaling, genealogy, indexing.
What do you do to connect to your past?