Have you been curious about your own family tree? Understanding our ancestors may be useful for us to know more about ourselves.
Most people thought of researching their family tree out of curiosity. It’s interesting to know about all the family members and catching specific characteristics that are found in the family members. Sometimes these characteristics skip generations, and you may found children having characteristics that are shared in uncles and aunts. Although we may not be descended from well-known families, understanding more of their past stories can be inspirational to us.
Family ancestry research can be done in a systematic way. When we can trace through the family, with newspaper reports, wills, letters, diaries and other documents, we can identify who are our ancestors, and can get a better picture of our family. These tracings give us an idea of when they lived and how did they managed during their time. Letters and diaries can provide us more insight about how do they think of things. Did they believe what we believe or where they on a different path? Would we have liked them? Could we be proud of them?
A sense of time would be developed as we went back through generations and tried to relate what was happening in the global world at the time these progenitors once lived. We can then understand why some of the family members migrated, why a family member left the country of their birth. Political unrest, lack of jobs, the hope of something better are powerful triggers still happening today. After a few generations, most family would have family members immigrated to other countries for various reasons. Other families stayed in one place for dozens of generations and can be traced back. That says something about them too.
Many older family members tell stories about their youth. Grandchildren can be fascinated by the exploits of their parents and aunts and uncles. Following these tales can be a stimulus to finding out more about their adult life and how they earned their living and sometimes even what they looked like. Sometimes family myths are just that but are fun to follow through.
As genetic details are handed down automatically, knowing something of the medical background of the ancestors can be useful. Where did the asthma come from, who had hay fever, who was a martyr to upset digestion? These are the irritating inheritances but knowing they are a family tendency allows some acceptance.
Knowing we come from a turbulent family can help us to understand rebelliousness in the younger members. Other families do nothing outstanding but work steadily and are pillars of society. Knowing something of our forebears gives us some knowledge of ourselves. This could be a trigger to breaking a family pattern or it could be a basis for continuing in the current life style.
If we know that we come from a troubled family, this can perhaps help us to understand why the young members are very rebellious. Other families are fairly ordinary but with stable jobs, are likely the ones building the pillars of society. Knowing more about our ancestors can be a valuable lesson for us.