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4 Benefits of Knowing your Family History.

Family history is one of those things that most people don't think to learn about until their grandparents are gone. However, there are all sorts of benefits to tracing your roots. You can build better relationships with your grandparents, gain a sense of understanding and meaning for your life, prepare for future health issues, and have fun discovering things about your family. Take a closer look at the benefits of knowing your family's history.
Image via Flickr by Tim Pierce.
Family History Bridges the Gap between Generations.
It's sometimes difficult for people to connect with their grandparents because their life experiences are so different. For instance, if you grew up surrounded by technology, the thought of using an outhouse or traveling by horse is foreign. Through family history work, generations can learn to understand each other and connect in more meaningful ways.

Sharing stories is a great way for people to connect with their grandparents. Take the time to sit down and listen to what they have to say. Simply ask about your grandparents' childhood. Did they grow up on a farm? Where did they go to school? What was their house like? Do they have a favorite memory of growing up? You might be surprised to learn that more of their circumstances are similar to yours than you had originally thought. 

Family History Brings a Sense of Inner Peace.
Instead of just talking to relatives that are still alive, you can go online and find information about relatives that have died. You can find out a lot about your family even if you just know a couple of names to start your search. Knowing where your ancestors came from helps bring meaning to your life. You get a sense of inner peace knowing that you belong somewhere.

People have been keeping histories of their lives for as long as people have been around. Even in the absence of journals, there are census records. You can learn about your family and yourself by doing the research to figure out where your family is from and what they have contributed throughout history.

Most religions support the need for family history work. The Jewish faith is rooted in traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, and you can read the records. The same is true of Muslims. Christians are also taught the importance of family ties. The book of Malachi in the Bible specific states, "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:6)."

Photo credit: Family Holiday.
Family History Helps You Prepare for Possible Genetic Diseases.
Everyone knows that cancer and other diseases tend to run in families. So another benefit of family history work is that you can learn what diseases you are more likely to encounter. For instance, you may learn that your grandfather has a heart condition and the exact same problem was responsible for the passing of your great grandfather. This information is often included in obituaries. Knowing this information can help you adjust your life to keep your heart as healthy as possible, so you can live a longer life. Some diseases that run in families include specific cancers, heart conditions, diabetes, and even mental conditions. This is valuable information for your future well-being.

Family History Is Fun.
It's easy to find out about your roots through the Internet. Several websites have compiled census records and created family trees to help you out. There's no telling what you're going to discover as you trace your roots. You might find out that you are related to someone famous or your roots even tie back to royalty. Maybe your ancestors are among those that migrated to the U.S. or were involved in historic battles. It's lots of fun to find out where your family is from, and it's addictive, too.

Of course, family history is about more than learning about your past. It's also about writing down your stories and memories for future generations. If you're ready to start family history work, turn to Crestleaf. It is a place where families can share stories and photos with each other that will be preserved forever. 

10 replies:

Liz Mays said...

I have a pretty decent pocket of knowledge about my mom's side of the family, but my dad's is more of a mystery. I need to delve into that further.

Holly Ord said...

Knowing your family history is so important, you're right! While knowing where you came from and the struggles of your ancestors is one thing, I have received a lot of insight about medical issues I have experienced in my life from what my grandmother has had to deal with throughout her life. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no medical history of my mother's side of the family since I wasn't raised by her. That is always a very fun time at the doctor's office when half of my family medical history is missing!

Christy G said...

I am thankful that both of my aunts on both sides of the family have tracked the family history. However, I need to obtain a copy so that I can add my own family.

Life by Cynthia said...

I think it is great to learn about your family history. Sadly, my grandparents have all passed away. I only met one of them.

debdenny said...

I started ours years ago. So many stories.

Gellie Abogado said...

I have asked my parents and grandparents before regarding our family history. And through their stories, parang lumiliit na lang yung mundo ko. Haha! May kamag-anak pala ako na ganito, ganyan, taga-ganito, taga-ganyan... And then I found out that an officemate of mine is a possible relative because of his middle name and my mom's middle name which is originally talaga from our place. Galing! :D


Esther said...

I used to love to just sit and listen to my grandma talk about her younger life. She also wrote journals almost every year of her life so I love reading those too. So has my mom. She said it gave her a different viewpoint of her mom that she never knew. My husband has never met his dad and knows nothing about that part of his life. I wish I could find more information about him for my kids too but I only know his first name. I agree I think it brings a sense of peace knowing where you came from. This is a great article!

mail4rosey said...

I think it's interesting to learn the family history. You're right though, I wasn't curious until my grandparents had passed. Pity that too, my grandma on my mom's side would have been a wealth of knowledge, and she'd have loved to talk about it too.

Stefani @ said...

I have always been interested in my heritage and my family history. I have spent months building my family tree on

Rebecca Swenor said...

I always loved listening to my grandparents talk about our family history. I found out through word of mouth I am related to Lewis and Clark along with my great great great grandfather was the Duke of England. I have always love history. Thanks for sharing.