The recorded past is available for us to dicover. We can define our personal heritage at almost any time it is convenient for us to do so. The recent past and the present are not easy to discover.
Unless we have been especially wise and especially fortunate, many of our older relitives will have left us before we have gleaned their knowledge of our familys past. And worse, they may have left us with few clues as to their origins.
Who were those people who gave you your family name? Where did names come from? In what parts of the world did your namesakes settle? How long did they stay? Where did they go, those who left for other lands? What were they like when they were here? Why did they leave there home land?
Because few of us have the time or the money or the special skills we believe are needed to follow through with tracing our family trees, we put it off "until later." And so, our good intentions fail to bear fruit- fruit in this case, which would be of interest not only to us but to our own descendants. Information collected might also be of interest to many others of the same or related surname elsewhere in the world. Our effort might be the inspiration of their searches. But the longer we put it off, the more difficult the tracing becomes. This why, when the opportunity comes along to have experts do some of the tracing for us ,and do it at a truly modest cost,we are usually glad to take advantage of the offer.
In order to understand both origins of and any changes which may have occured in our family name, we must remember an individual family is always part of a larger group-tribe, a clan,a people. For most individuals, the most likely place to begin our understanding is in the histories of tribes and the people who proceed us.