Researching, recording, and preserving your genealogy is
like giving your family tree stronger roots from which to grow. Generations to
come can draw from this strength and gain life-changing benefits. In fact, here
are a few specific gifts that can come from knowing your family's history.
It helps you make better health choices.
From a medical standpoint, knowing your family's health
history can help identify a chance of having certain diseases. Conditions such
as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers can be
influenced by genetic factors. By noticing the health patterns of relatives, doctors
can determine whether you or other family members have an increased risk of
developing a particular condition.
Knowing this information is powerful and positive because
it can help you make better choices regarding food, exercise, and other
activities that could impact your health. It also allows you to take
preventative steps, such as more frequent screenings and checkups, to reduce
It provides a clear sense of identity.
Learning about your ancestors, celebrating family
traditions, and understanding where you came from can open your eyes to how special
you are. This information enhances your sense of belonging, and it can be
especially helpful for younger generations.
children hear family stories, it creates a shared history and strengthens
emotional bonds. They realize the definition of who they are is not something
independent and spun from nowhere. It's embedded in a long, intergenerational
family story. A family they'll be connected to forever.
It can make you feel resilient.
More than likely, your ancestors faced historical events and
situations that seem impossible to overcome. Learning about their stories and
how they got through difficult times can provide the courage and strength you may
need to overcome your own challenges. In essence, knowing your family history
can build your resilience.
This idea has been reinforced by a study about the resilience of children. It was discovered that "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." Simply knowing their family history turned
out to be the best single predictor of children's emotional health and
happiness. What a priceless gift to pass along!
It can give you more compassion.
The stories of your ancestors can help shape you into a
more grateful and empathetic version of yourself. For example, as you learn
more about your grandfather, you may discover he fought in World War I, and
upon return, worked hard to provide for his family during the post-war
recession. You realize your ancestors' resourcefulness and ability to thrive
are an essential part of your own narrative. Whatever stories are in your past,
they could inspire a greater
sense of compassion and love for your family – and yourself.
Exploring Your Own Story
Whether you're just now learning about your ancestors or you
have an entire history book that details your family's cherished history and
traditions, it's important to dig in. Take the time to research further, write down your
thoughts, and retell the story of your family. Share the positive moments as
well as your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. This exercise
alone can be incredibly powerful and increase your family's ability to thrive
for generations to come.
To help you get started, here are a few story ideas to
share with your kids and grandchildren to be sure they know their connection to
you and your shared past:
your grandparents grew up and what life was like during that time
best memory from childhood
important you learned as an adult
their mom and dad went to high school
and how their parents met
common health condition in the family and ways they can prevent itThe
story of their birth and any special details you remember about their childhood
Need a resource to help fill in missing pieces of your
family puzzle? Ancestry.com is a great place to start. It's the world's most
extensive collection of online family history records, making it possible
to find generations of your family and their stories. It's also an easy spot to
collect photos, records, and more. Enjoy discovering your roots, passing along
cherished stories, and ultimately feeling empowered by knowing who you truly
If you enjoyed this
article, you might also like these posts about
family. At Resort Lifestyle Communities, we cherish family connections and
often write about this topic on our blog, so be sure to check back often.