Most people think genealogy and family history are the same thing and they are, except there not!
Ok let me explain. Basically they are the same. Both are involved in the researching of our ancestors. Genealogy focuses solely on this and the aim is to trace as many of our ancestors as far back as we can and the production of a family tree. Family history takes your research one step further. Family history involves looking at the world around and what was happening in the period your ancestors lived. So if your ancestors were involved in cotton production you may be interested in learning more about what this job involved and perhaps visiting an old cotton mill.
What most people research is probably a good mixture of the two. We all want to trace back our family as far as we can and put our findings into a family tree so we can see what we’ve found out. From here though we usually get side tracked by what we have found. For example I discovered my 3 times great grandfather was sent to prison for contempt of court. I spent a happy couple of days trying to find out what he had done to be sent to Knutsford jail for 9 months. I found out via a newspaper article that he had failed to produce documents relevant to a case so he was sent to court. How you can produce the documents if you’re in prison is beyond me but apparently he did, or someone did, and he was released with only TB as a reminder! He was dead 9 months later.
This shows that most genealogists use family history as well as they go hand in hand. I suppose they are symbiotic in their relationship as one feeds into the other even though they can stand alone. To get a full picture of your ancestors you need to research both as just carrying out genealogy research will potentially mean that you miss important information. Information that could lead to finding more ancestors.
Whichever one you want to research the results will be fairly similar in that you will find your ancestors and find out who and where your family came from.