Storytelling is a form of art deeply ingrained into our collective experience. While only some of us can capture the numerous techniques involved with keeping an audience rapt, the majority of people utterly surrender to the power of story. This is especially true regarding one’s own family history.
Origin stories are always so intriguing. Before paintings, tapestries, and documents depicted the fates of millions of families, family history was passed down strictly by word of mouth through the generations. Connecting with our ancestors was only possible through the stories we heard about them. Today, people remain attached to the idea of family history, and the more we can document, collect, and preserve, the better we can all celebrate life.
Survive the Ages
Sometimes, people feel compelled to do this for their children and grandchildren before they pass away. Others are called to this activity as a way to celebrate life after the death of a beloved family member. Whatever the case may be, pursuing genealogy or heritage is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Would it shock you to know that most people do not know their family’s history? In a world seemingly built on connections, there is a surprising lack of knowledge (and perhaps interest) in fully realizing the people that came before. Indeed, without them and all the choices they made to get where they were going, the world would be a different place.
Speaking of Tech
Preserving the past for future generations is a concept with a newly sparked interest amongst a growing number. Luckily, access to online records and archives aids in the somewhat arduous task of connecting all the branches in a family tree.
Searching for Family
Most people are prepared with the names and birthdates of their immediate family members, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. However, some people begin their genealogy quest with fewer pieces of key information. The following websites can help you celebrate life by testing DNA samples and connecting you to relatives:
All for around $100 (give or take), these sites can help you find names, birth/death locations, marriages, military service, jobs, and so forth.
Going a step further, sites like 23andMe can shed light on your own personal health and wellness by examining DNA traits. One can also learn if their genes are capable of carrying certain inherited conditions.
Another great way to preserve family history is to simply ask your aging relatives if they know the names of people in old photographs. Even if a picture predates an older family member, they may have been told who was who by their mother or father.
Digitizing and/or restoring old pictures can really help you celebrate life, and is a natural next step to the process of family tree mapping.
Involving younger generations is a truly wonderful way to celebrate life as a joined family. Enlist teenagers and even younger relatives to help you dig deep into the world of your bloodline. What they uncover may surprise you – and you may even be helping a budding genealogist!
Who We Came From
If we are who we came from then the role of family historian is ultimately critical to our current and future understanding. Not only a way to celebrate life as a family, but researching heritage can help you find your place in the world.