i dont get why americans are so obsessed with genealogy, ancestry and so on. maybe it is because it is a country of immigrants, and everyone is trying to have an identity extending to their past ?
For me it's mostly just a hobby. I love history to begin with, and my family history is specifically interesting to me personally. Finding out where my ancestors lived, what their lives would have been like, and why they immigrated to America is fascinating to me.
I've read that genealogy is the second most common hobby in America, after gardening. Of course, that depends on how a hobby is defined. I consider reading my favorite hobby. However, for some people, i.e. Mormons, genealogy has religious significance. That's why Salt Lake City, Utah is the biggest destination for many people doing genealogical research.
where i live, in anatolia (turkey), history goes thousands of years past into 8-9000 BC. actually, it was discovered that, the villagers living near the site of a recently discovered mummy that is dated 6500 BC or so (8500 years ago) had 100% exact dna with the mummy. (western anatolia) basically, those people lived there since that time, seasoning all that has happened around those parts.
I've also read that, which really interests me. Don't you find it fascinating that your (or at least some modern Turks) ancestors possibly spoke Hittite or another Indo-European or even Semitic language? I recently paid for a genealogical DNA test, which will tell me more specifically where my ancestors came from. My paternal ancestors immigrated to America from Germany in the 1880s (then Prussia), but there are several clues which point to them actually being ethnically Lithuanian. The area where they lived has been part of Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Germany in just the last few hundred years.