You may be wondering why people research their family’s history. Well, here are 5 excellent reasons:
1. Get Rich Quick
Ignorance is cheap and is not bliss when it comes to ancestors. Sure, you probably know something about your parents and grandparents but it’s a stretch beyond that unless you’ve made it a priority to educate yourself. There is a certain richness that you can obtain by knowing your ancestors and nowadays, you can have it quicker than ever with resources available online.
2. It Helps Keep Families United.
Strong families have strong stories or narratives which requires research, dates, writing, recording and sharing. Start by writing down stories and experiences you’ve had with relatives. Ask relatives about stories. Research data (census, city records, etc), and personal writings such as journals if they exist. Carefully create narratives that can be shared to help unify your family. People remember compelling stories, not data. Record your own life story for the future.
3. Children Have Higher Self Esteem, Emotional Health, and Happiness.
Recently, reseachers gave a psychological test to children called the “Do You Know Survey’ asking what they knew about their family history with questions like “Do you know where your grandparents met?”. The more the children knew, the more control they felt they had in their life. The survey scale turned out to be the single best predictor of children’s emotional well being! Watch David Adelman’s speech (click here) to learn more about this. AMAZING!
4. Knowing You Are Not Alone
Often we find ourselves in difficult circumstances and it can be pretty lonely. Knowing your family history and the hard times your ancestors passed through can serve as a buoy in your own rough waters, giving hope and guidance to avoid the rocky shoals.
5. Ahhhhhh – Satisfaction
Even if you think all the family history work has been uncovered by one of your relatives and there is nothing else to do, think again. One person cannot tell a complete story, research all the data and find all the pieces, much less put them in a sensical order for each descendant. Start inputting what you know either on paper, or a computer to discover your ancestors and find the ‘holes’ or missing persons in your family. You’ll be so amazed and satisfied when you can fill in the blanks. The hunt for hidden treasure is compelling.