Family history research interests :: Introduction

Family history research interests represented by a collage of photographs of our ancestors.
Collage of photographs of our ancestors. Alison Kilpatrick ©2020. All rights reserved.

The following is a list of family history research interests sorted by the countries of origin of our direct ancestors, and of several of our collateral ancestors. Each country page serves as an index to individual surname pages for further information.

Surnames out of:

Biographical sketches, family tree snippets, genealogical puzzles, military service records, stories of emigration, and other items of genealogical interest are sorted by surname.

Family history research vs. Geneaology:

Are these two terms the same? If not, how do they differ? The short answer is, it depends whom you ask.

Many people say that they mean the same thing and are interchangeable. The Oxford Reference defines genealogy as, “a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor.” This definition suggests that tracing one’s lineal descent constitutes genealogical research. However, some definitions add relationship and history to the meaning, for example the Cambridge Dictionary, viz.—”(the study of) the history of the past and present members of a family or families.” Now we have descent + family + history making up the study and practice of genealogy.

Though some would argue otherwise, we opine that the phrase, family history, runs closer to the Cambridge definition. This study goes beyond the accumulation of names, dates, and places by examining sociological facets such as socio-economic conditions, cultural identity, career and vocation, and community connection, to name a few. Sometimes it is difficult to parse these sociological bits and pieces, as they interrelate and often, correlate. The latter word is the stuff of social change. While social change is a line of research beyond the scope of this website, the editor will exercise her prerogative by pointing out historical social inequities or the mechanisms which led to same, e.g., colonialism. This is our shared human history, and we endeavour to present it honestly and unvarnished. For example, occasionally you will see a note appended to such extracts or transcripts containing language which is no longer acceptable. Similarly, where our ancestors enslaved people or compelled labour by force or by duress, these facts will be reported frankly. Again, such actions and entanglements form part of our collective social history:—for better or for worse, flawed or noteworthy.

Source citation for this page: — Kilpatrick, Alison. “Family history research interests: Introduction.” Home page for family history studies by Alison Kilpatrick, featuring a collage of old family photographs by Alison Kilpatrick ©2020; online at Arborealis,, accessed [insert date of access].