Learning about family history often starts with genealogy -- figuring out who is related to whom in the family tree. The Internet is an important tool for this type of research as it provides access to numerous historical records.
Genealogy is a study about individuals and families as they relate to each other in a historical context. It often comes down to tracing each person's life to separate him from others with the same name.
Genealogy is closely connected with economics, law, religion, geography, sociology and history. Researching a person's life inevitably leads to finding facts about the geographical, economical and historical settings of his life. Many professional genealogists specialize in one area, such as ethnic groups, medical or legal aspects.
About 35 million Americans are related to one or more of the 102 pilgrims who sailed to America on the Mayflower in 1620. Anthropologists claim that everyone is a 40th cousin. Any two people can find at least one common ancestor who has lived since 800 A.D.