History of Genealogy
In this great article, first published in the July/ August 1999 edition of Family Chronicle Magazine, Donna Porter-Phillips looks at the initial stages and development of genealogy as a hobby and professional practice. Ms. Porter-Phillips states that from the beginning, people have felt the need to leave a record of themselves. “Cave paintings in France, tombstone art all over the world, and even the petroglyphs and pictographs of Native Americans, all point to the fact that early man wanted to be remembered by those who would come after.
She goes on to write:
“‘How far back does genealogy go?’ a beginner might ask. And at first thought, Biblical references might come to mind as evidenced by all the chapters of begats. Family descent was important to the ancient Hebrews, in part because Hebrew males had to prove descent from Aaron, the brother of Moses, in order to hold the Levitical priesthood. The first eight chapters of the book of I Chronicles give genealogies from Adam down through Abraham and other Old Testament patriarchs. I Chronicles 9:1 reads, “so all Israel were reckoned by genealogies…”
You can read the rest of the article by clicking here (and then clicking “How To Archives” > “History” > “History of Genealogy”). I suggest you take a close look at the magazine itself. You can pick up a free trial subscription if you’d like.