Happy Birthday United States of America!
Today we celebrate the 4th of July and remember the birth and early history of the United States of America. Have you ever wondered how genealogy became a wide-spread avocation in the United States?
Here are some interesting historical tidbits from Wikipedia:
“Genealogical research in the United States was first systematized in the early 19th century, especially by John Farmer (1789–1838).
“As Fourth of July celebrations commemorating the Founding Fathers and the heroes of the Revolutionary War became increasingly popular, however, the pursuit of ‘antiquarianism,’ which focused on local history, became acceptable as a way to honor the achievements of early Americans.
“Though Farmer died in 1839, his efforts led to the creation of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), one of New England’s oldest and most prominent organizations dedicated to the preservation of public records.
“The Genealogical Society of Utah, founded in 1894, later became the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The department’s research facility, the Family History Library, which has developed the most extensive genealogical record-gathering program in the world, was established to assist in tracing family lineages.”