Today is World Gratitude Day. The day for everyone to show gratitude for the little things in life.
If you are a genealogist working away on your family tree, you already know that there is much to be grateful for when it comes to your research.
There are the other genealogists who see you’ve got a break wall and take the time to run down to the local research facility to see if they can find an obituary for you.
There are the stranger/relatives who get your first letter, email, or phone call not knowing who you are. Then they give an hour of their time to tell you about events from 50 years ago.
There are the staff members at mortuaries, cemeteries, vital records offices, churches, and other organizations who receive your requests and take the time to research them and send you a thoughtful response.
There are the volunteers working online and offline who are transcribing records, photographing tombstones, indexing records, and helping to bring records to the the online genealogy world.
There are the volunteers who take their time to sit in chat rooms, monitor message boards and email groups, and who answer emails guiding you in the right direction.
There are the genealogist who teach classes and seminars so that you can research your tree yourself.
There are the paid researchers who for fee search out your ancestry and help you get back in touch with your roots.
There are the genealogy companies constantly improving on their software and websites making things easier for the researcher.
There is the blogger and website owners spending their own time and money so that they can bring you the little slice of the genealogy world that they specialize in.
I am sure that if I sat here longer I could think of many more things to list. Truth is genealogists are some of the most caring people there are. They are willing to go the extra mile working on a tree for a stranger who isn’t even sure if they have their grandparent’s names right. They will tramp through over grown vines near a fence at a cemetery to get that one photograph of a tombstone that may the only proof someone will have their their ancestor set foot in a certain town. They will put years of research up on the web in hopes of finding a cousin but also with hopes of furthering the knowledge of surname or a city. They give of themselves tirelessly and for those of us who benefit that is much to be grateful for!
So, on this World Gratitude day, take a moment to think about the things in your life that you are grateful for. And don’t forget all the people in the background who have made it possible for you to put together your pedigree.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com