Out on a Limb

By David A. Fryxell Premium

Family Tree treats genealogy as a process that anyone can do. Reading Family Tree isn’t like looking through yellowed and dusty records, though. History comes alive in Family Tree.

I got a letter the other day from a reader wondering if in any previous issues we’d covered tracing your Hungarian roots. Since the issue that prompted her to write was actually our first issue, I had to respond that no, sorry, we hadn’t covered Hungarian genealogy in any back issue.

But my hope is that in every issue of Family Tree Magazine you’ll find something that helps you connect with your past. Our article in that first issue on “How to Start Unpuzzling Your Past,” for example, offered a step-by-step approach to finding your family history that our Hungarian-heritage reader could follow. Last issue, we spotlighted the “101 Best Family History Web Sites,” including the WorldGenWeb Project site <>, where I went and immediately found some pages of interest on Hungarian genealogy. 

Or consider this issue. If you have English ancestors — the third most common US ethnic heritage — you’re really in luck: Experts Linda Jonas and Paul Milner reveal the secrets of “Seeking English” in an exclusive excerpt from their new book, A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors. Or, if you’re among the 32 million Americans whose families have been touched by adoption, “Hunting for Hidden Roots” can get you started solving the mysteries of your immediate past.

But what if you don’t have a drop of British blood and nobody involved in an adoption? Well, your ancestors certainly got married, so contributing editor Sharon Carmack’s feature on “Wedding Bell Clues” can help you find and make sense of their marriage records. And you’ll probably take a vacation this summer, and our cover story on “Time Travel” shows you how to integrate family history research with your trip. You’re probably also at least thinking about computerizing your family tree, which makes Rick Crume’s exhaustive roundup and testing of genealogy software programs a must-read.

This issue also brings tips and ideas on family reunion trips, deciphering diaries, scrapbooking and much more.

It’s that wide-ranging mix of “discovering, preserving and celebrating your family’s history” that helped earn Family Tree Magazine recognition as one of last year’s 30 most notable magazine launches. Samir Husni, a.k.a. “Mr. Magazine” and journalism professor at the University of Mississippi, picked Family Tree Magazine along with such other new titles as Talk, National Geographic Adventure and Starbucks’ Joe.

“With its comprehensive look at genealogical sources and origin-specific pieces,” Husni noted, “Family Tree treats genealogy as a process that anyone can do. Reading Family Tree isn’t like looking through yellowed and dusty records, though…. History comes alive in Family Tree.”

We hope you’ll agree, and that your family’s history comes alive in every issue. Even if you’re Hungarian — which we will cover in a future issue, I promise.

 From the June 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine