Genealogy is defined as 'that branch of history which involves the determination of family relationships' or alternatively as an account of the descent of a person or family through an ancestral line'. For many of us, it is more commonly known as 'tracing your family tree'.
Today people are eager to trace their Irish ancestors via the internet or by conducting research visits to the relevant archives in Ireland. Some utilise the services of professional genealogists to help them on their search. Researching through primary sources such as church parish registers, civil records of births, marriages and deaths, census returns, occupational and professional directories, and land records, help us piece together the evidence of the lives of those before us.
One can pursue genealogy as a a one off project or as a life-time hobby. Some research efforts can produce rewarding results and other times may yield nothing.
Perhaps though one of the best things about researching your family tree is the wonderful way it can bring the past to life as you not only discover who your ancestors were, but see the exact same things they saw in the course of their lives, churches they attended, street or country scenes and activities they may have participated in, shops with staff posing outside, invaluable insights into yesterday's working environment, and much, much more.