The history books relate events that were recorded about the lives of statesmen and through them we discover some interesting details of past cultures and events. However, our ancestors were right there along beside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and so on, churning out their own problems, building homes, communities and towns while protecting their freedoms and the future freedoms of those who would live after them. Every enthusiastic family historian knows that quizzing relatives and searching census records is but a simple beginning of a life time of intensive, tedious work to acquire scraps of information and then weave together a story of someone's life. The task is one which includes rationalization and assimulation of the facts. It is one which gathers a knowledge of local histories generally unknown to professing educated historians. Inspection is one of visualization, of old life styles and habits and includes a variety of knowledge such as the way people named their children, where they worshipped, how they buried one another. We can see their handwriting in old bibles where maticulous recordings were made of the significant events of their lives ... the births, marriages and deaths of their children. And if we can find a diary or hear a family story along the way, it adds to the rooted knowledge of our own background. How precious then is the preservation of our good works!
Jeannette Holland Austin, author of over 100 genealogy books
North Carolina Pioneers