To learn, research, and maintain your ancestry will influence you, your parents, and even future generations. Find more about the importance of ancestral roots in this insightful guide below.
“Without knowing their past history, origin, and culture, a people is like a tree without roots.”
As we discover, document, and share our household history it will bring innumerable benefits to not only people, but also communities, and societies as a whole.
Family records are greater than pedigree maps, censuses, and birthdates.
They can be an effective antidote to the negative encounters that we face today. They can present us with a better feeling of who we are. And they can motivate us to deepen our heritage for future generations.
Why do you research your family history?
You may have a photo album full of old pictures. Maybe you are unsure as to who is in the photos.
Anyway, attached to the photos there may be stories connecting to an ancestor of yours.
For instance, there may be rumors that a member of the family played a major role in World War I. Or maybe that your ancestor was an early actor in Hollywood.
The inspiration to research your family history for you may be purely personal or not. But there are many good reasons to learn more about the families that existed before you.
Please check out the Just Who Is In This Photo? post to get help identifying your ancestors in your old photographs.
Finding Family History – Why It’s Important
Finding the history of your family can turn into an eye-opening experience. It can make a lot of changes in your life.
Find out about the personal history
Your parents’ personal history can be fascinating. Just where did they grow up, what did they do for a living, and how did they meet.
These are just some of the questions that you can ask them as you piece together your ancestry.
And what about your grandparents? You might find out that your grandmother was trained as a pharmacist. Or that there were a variety of patented inventions in your grandfather.
Genealogy research will allow you to discover where your ancestors came from, their native language, and the faith they practiced. Research will also expose the non-public stories such as how they met and fell in love.
Community involvement with the family
You will learn new things about your home town by researching your parents’ history.
Your ancestors may have first settled into the town or city that you now call home. And as such it still has a large part of your family.
Sharing life advice
We all know that we should learn from the mistakes that others have made before us. Many of our older relatives can offer wise words on a variety of topics that we can share with future generations.
Knowing any health issues of our elders and ancestors will enable you to be aware of the risks of developing the same problems. Because of this, you can prepare yourself to talk to your doctor about better prevention.
This is one of the single most important reasons to do family history research.
Preserve family traditions or cultures
Your family traditions and culture represent a lot about you. Only you can keep alive the cultures of your family’s country of origin and recite them to future generations.
It is important to maintain the traditions that your family cherishes.
You might get to know how your ancestors would dress, and what customs they followed.
Please check out this interesting Family traditions guide found on Wikipedia.
Reconnect with other family members
As you dive into your family history you might be able to reconnect with those that you have lost touch with over the years.
You might even discover you have nearby relatives you may not even know about. And by doing so you may even discover more about your ancestry.
Learning our ancestors’ history can help us gain a greater understanding of the challenges that they once faced. And it can also often inspire greater love and compassion for their flaws and their mistakes.
This compassion can easily translate to our current relationships with family and friends.
We all face hard things.
Remembering that fact in the context of others’ shortcomings allows us to be better employees, managers, spouses, parents, children, siblings, and above all else human beings.
Knowing our family history builds resilience. In learning about our ancestors’ lives we can see patterns of overcoming failures and surviving hard times.
Their stories remind us that surely not everything in life will work easily. There will be disappointments and inequalities do exist. But with this understanding, we can recover, triumph, and find happiness despite hardships.
Bruce Feiler, in an article for the New York Times, summarizes a study about the resilience of children:
The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. [It] turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.
The act of being aware of and having a sense of responsibility to our ancestors, progenitors, and all of the future humankind is an act of altruistic selflessness.
The ability to cooperate and act selflessly is unique to humanity.
My Final Thoughts
Our family history goes beyond the names and dates in our tree. That makes us who we are.
- People we can communicate with profoundly.
- People who have been living and breathing, suffering and triumphing.
- Roots, branches, leaves, and whole forests.
It’s all about us!
Please check out Owain’s 20 Reasons Why Is Genealogy Important?. post. It’s a great read.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the importance of ancestral roots. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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