I came across a young blog that has a great graphic comparing ancestral research with descendancy research (going up with going down). The concept of descendancy is new to me and I like it. I like the idea of taking a first in the family and working down from origins into the family story (though I doubt I would have the patience to tease out more than three generations at a time.) Descendancy offers a fascinating opportunity to look into what opportunities were taken and what kind of lives were made and what kind of luck was had. It connects our family stories into the web of historical possibilities.
I also like this concept of descendancy because it is another form of glue between me and the people I meet through genealogy with whom I share an ancestor. I am fascinated to learn how far flung we are and the similarities and variations of our lives. When you only look up — never out or down — you miss a lot of magic.