The understanding and appreciation of family members in the historical context in which they lived their lives as a means of gaining a better understanding of who we are! To understand our family members, we need to know who they are, what they did during their lives, when the major events of their lives occurred, and where they lived throughout their lives. To appreciate our family members, we need to put ourselves in their place. Imagine what it must have been like for them in all they encountered and loved throughout their lives. It is also important to think about the historical context in which they lived their lives. Understanding major historical events that occured during the lives of our family members helps us understand and appreciate what they may have experienced. Finally, after understand and appreciating our family members in historical context, it is important to reflect upon how all of that has helped make you who you are. The more I learn about my family members, the more I learn about myself and it makes my research more rewarding. You know the old saying, "The fruit does not fall far from the tree."
Whatever your definition of family history is, have fun with it!