BY: RACHEL WUMKES
It's a complex question, often answered simply: with the name of the town in which you live. But have you actually pondered the depth of its meaning? Thought about your family tree and how the branches have grown? Twisting through the sands of time, etching the story of your lineage.
Tracing the branches of a family tree used to take years of painstaking research. The original records were often of the church. Keeping track of births, baptism, confirmation, marriage and deaths. As time moved on and our World evolved into the technological hub of knowledge it is today, so did the record-keeping and options for research. But also - the availability of travel!
Hundreds of years ago, it was common for families to remain close. Physically, that is. The option to move across the state, or the country, wasn't feasible. There was no need to unearth where one came from, as their history was centralized in one location. But soon, people became able to move away. Technology gave us options, becoming move mobile with easy access to other parts of the World. Thus, the dissolution of many family trees. Cousins, aunts, uncles... spread across the land far and wide.
The desire to find and connect with our roots is not a new concept; however, thanks to the availability of DNA testing, it's easier than ever before to find long lost relatives and the deep history of our families. With he addition of resources like Ancestry.com and 23andMe, the answers are at your fingertips. A coliseum of knowledge to assist your in your quest to find your family history.
But it doesn't stop there. Simply identifying the branches on your family tree is no longer sufficient. People don't just want to know where they came from... they want to see it. They want to stand at the grave of their ancestors. See where their family lived and worked.
And so, armed with information, they flock to their family's homeland. To learn their history. To uncover their pasts. To see which way the branches of their family tree have grown. This wildly popular trend of DNA Tourism, which became a 'Top Travel Trend' in 2019, is only expected to gain more traction and grow in the years to come.
We are lucky, in Clear Lake, to have a slew of helpful resources right in our backyard. The Clear Lake Historical Society was founded in 1985 and serves as the primary private repository of historical documents, photographs, and artifacts related to Clear Lake's rich history. Information is at their fingertips as they've garnered a plethora of history books, year books, and plat books over the years.
The Historical Society is currently awaiting the restoration and construction of their new building (located on the corner of 8th St & 1st Ave S), which will include a Research Room for hands on help finding ancestor information. With the heightened popularity of this travel trend, it will be an asset to those who have traveled to Clear Lake, searching for answers. Hungry to find a deeper meaning of who they are and where they're from.
To connect with the Historical Society, go to their website: www.clearlakehistoricalsociety.com or find them on Facebook.
To read more interesting articles about Clear Lake, order your copy of the 2020 Visitor Guide here: http://members.clearlakeiowa.com/info