Class of 1963 member Jerry Casey

Genealogy is the study of families and their histories and the tracing of their lineages. There are endless ways to learn about your family’s past and available technology is making it easier for folks to trace their heritage back centuries. Old fashioned research, however, is how one Bull Dog traced his family’s roots to 1100!

Jerry Casey, a 1963 graduate of Columbus High School, used family Bibles and spent countless days in libraries to create his family tree.

He relied on interviews, historical records, the family Bible, and contributions from family and friends to put together his family tree.  “Accuracy is one of the most important aspects of genealogy,” said Jerry. “If you start out with incorrect information, your family tree will be a small shrub.”

Humor aside, Jerry completed most of his work by spending entire days in the library. The more he learned about his family, the more he wanted to know. He began his quest as a young man in high school. He said while other boys were getting into trouble, he was getting valuable information about his ancestors. Though he has spent years on this project, It will always be a work in progress – as his eight inch thick binder of research continues to grow.

“If you know about your family history and where it began, it can help you to decide where you’re going in life,” Jerry explained. “Family trees keep family traditions alive and tell the stories of past generations. For example, a direct descendant of mine was actually on the Mayflower when it sailed to the new world. I would never have known this had I not researched my ancestors.”

His suggestion for others interested in tracing their family history: “Start simple with your parents and use the sources readily available to you. Once you start to delve deeper, you’ll need lots of time, patience and a desire to leave your family with an important gift someday…its history.”

Do you know anyone famous in your family tree? Have you ever created a family tree? If you have questions or just want to know where to begin, Jerry is always happy to help a fellow Bull Dog.