People often use the two terms Genealogy and family history interchangeably. But these two terms are different from each other. Even the top researchers make this mistake.
You might be thinking that what is the difference when both of the terms focus on the study of ancestors. But trust me, there is. Today we will talk about the major difference between both of them.
Focus Of Genealogy
The main aim of genealogy is to establish a relationship between generations. It mainly focuses on moving from generation to generation in the past.
Nowadays, people are more involved in genealogy than ever. In the Older Times, only the rich individuals were involved and considered it a hobby. It was basically done for the purpose of inheritance.
When it comes down to genetic genealogy your DNA is used to identify the relationship with your ancestors. There are various different DNA tests including autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and Y chromosome DNA.
Moreover, there are various different companies that offer these different tests. One of the most popular genealogical companies is ancestry. It is considered as the toughest competition in the market by other genealogical companies including MyHeritage, 23andme, a family tree now, etc.
Family History- A Wider Concept
On the other hand, family history is a wider concept as compared to genealogy. It is considered as the next level of genealogy. The main focus of genealogy is on names, dates, and places. Family history mainly focuses on the stories of our ancestors, their way of living, culture, tradition, myths, etc.
The main focus of family history is to obtain in-depth information about the family. It places a huge emphasis on the study of each and every generation. You are more likely to study where they used to live, their stories of survival, migration, struggle, and many more.
There is no comparison from the present to the past because it focuses on studying more about how they actually lived in the past. Moreover, it also includes those members of the family which are adopted whether formally or informally.
How Should I Start?
Firstly, you need to start with yourself and your own family. It totally depends upon you whether you go for a DNA testing method or traditional method. Then, you start moving backwards and study one generation at a time.
Try to obtain as much information as you possibly can. Either you can work all by yourself or in collaboration with a genealogist. If you are a total beginner and you have no idea about anything you can work with a professional genealogist.
If you decide to work all by yourself then there are so many resources available online. The best way to start is to refer to all the documents available at your home. Try your best to find the link to your ancestors.
The Bottom Line (Family History)
These were some of the major points of difference between genealogy and family history. If you are working all by yourself then be ready to travel to different places. Moreover, it is more interesting than you think. Get ready to reveal various different facts about your ancestors.