Finding Your Roots. Finding Your Story.

The Importance of Genealogy

September 26th, 2011 No Comments

The Importance of Genealogy:

The reasons for tracing one’s family history likely varies from one person to the next.
The things that inspire one person to take an interest in genealogy is likely different
from what intrigues you. But regardless of who you are and where you are in life,
below are some of the reasons why you should become passionate about genealogy…
that is, if you aren’t already a complete genealogy addict:



Sheer Curiosity: Maybe you’ve never heard very much about your family’s
past? Maybe you really want to know if Uncle Abraham was arrested for
bootlegging (as family lore would have it) or if Aunt Mabel’s family really did
come from Ireland? Maybe you’d like to know if a celebrity or other famous
ancestor lurks in your family tree? Whatever spurs on your curiosity, you’ll
never find an answer to that nagging question if you don’t start looking into genealogy.


To Preserve the Memory a Relative: Perhaps you recently lost a parent
or grandparent? One way to honor that person’s memory would be to research
their family history (which is your family history, too!) If family was important
to that individual (and even if it wasn’t), learning more about their past is a way
to further connect with them. As an example, my grandmother (who passed away
15 years ago) was very dedicated to her family and preserving family’s heirlooms.
Unfortunately, I was too young and too disinterested when she was alive to ask
her about her family history. By researching my grandmother’s lineage, not only
have I been able to learn about her heritage, but I feel more connected to her
than ever before because I knew that honoring family was so important to her.


To Teach Your Children or Grandchildren: It doesn’t matter how old
your children are — Whether they have left the nest or are still in diapers, tracing
your family history is an important way to educate them about where they come
from. Becoming interested in genealogy and teaching your children about your
roots can strengthen family ties and encourage family bonding. Create a compiled
family history. It can be a priceless heirloom for your children that can later be
passed on to their children. Teaching your children about their roots can also help
them easily relate to history by making it personal. Learning about World War I might
seem a tad boring to a kid in school, but by teaching that child how Great-Grandpa Joe
got drafted in 1918, and was sent to France to fight might just make that child become
a little more interested in history.


For Health Reasons: It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but one
reason that some people choose to get involved in genealogy is to trace their medical
history. Death certificates, obituaries and funeral home records can hold key pieces
of information. By tracing your family history, you might discover a pattern in the
cause of death for some of your relatives. For example, learning that several of your
ancestors died from a specific form of cancer or a rare disease might make you more
inclined to stay on top of those physicals or seek out a specific screening test that you
otherwise wouldn’t.


To Connect with Living Relatives: Tracing your family history can open you up
to a whole other family you didn’t even know existed. The father back your research
takes you, the more descendants (and living cousins) you will discover. Not only can
you connect with new relatives and form new relationships, but you might even
discover that someone you’ve known your whole life is – in fact – related to you.


To Join a Lineage Society: Have you ever wanted to join a lineage society, like the
Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Confederacy, or the Colonial
Dames? Well, in order to become a member in any hereditary society, you much first
trace your lineage to find a qualifying ancestor. For the Daughters of the American
Revolution, you much prove that you are of direct descent from a soldier in the
Revolutionary War. For the Sons of the Confederacy, you must find an ancestor who
rendered service to the Confederacy during the Civil War. There are numerous lineage
societies in existence that span many topics, besides military history. These topics range
from Presidential Families and Early Settlers to Scottish Clans and Royal Descent. These
groups not only work to preserve history but are also heavily involved in community
service, from sponsoring scholarships to shipping items overseas to those on active
military duty. Membership in any lineage or hereditary society starts with genealogy


Whatever your reasons for being interested in genealogy, one thing is certain: knowing
about your family history is empowering. Finding your roots and discovering your own
story can be a real adventure. So, don’t procrastinate any further. Get started today.


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