Family history is more than just dates and names; but it is also about the lives and stories of your ancestors who have gone before you.
Family history is important because it can help us connect to our family, both living and dead. It gives us a core identity of who we are. Family histories can teach us about perseverance, forgiveness, love, heartache, compassion, and sacrifice. Our family histories also teach us about humanity and help us discover faith and God.
Here are the top 11 reasons why discovering and learning about your family history is important.
1 – Family History Gives You A Connection
In a world where we are becoming less connected to each other, our family histories help us feel more connected. Human beings desire attachment, belong and being connected to a group; family histories help us connect to our families.
Relationships formed with other people are important, and there is no other relationship that is as important as our family. Connection to our living family and those who have passed on is a basic human desire.
The more we discover our ancestors and our past, the greater our connection to them and their lives. We begin to learn about them and appreciate them; we also understand more about our own families.
2 – Family History Gives You A Core Identity
Knowing your family history helps to give you a core identity. When you know where you came from, it helps you develop a strong sense of who you are.
It has been shown that children who know about their family stories and family histories develop a better core au identity than those who do not. This is because knowing where we are from helps to give us a core identity.
3 – Family History Teach Perseverance
As we learn about the stories and lives of our ancestors, we learn about perseverance. Stories of the 4th great-grandfather who was killed due to a rival clan in Scotland and this grandfather lived to tell the story; he not only survived but continued to build a very successful life as a jeweler in London.
We learn from our ancestors that when trials come in life, that we persevere in life; we can do difficult and hard things and survive through them.
4- Family History Teaches Forgiveness
As we study our family history, we also learn about forgiveness. We learn of our ancestors who may be had an injustice brought upon them, yet they forgave that person who had intentionally hurt them.
We learned that we could also forgive others; many of our ancestors teach us the importance of forgiveness towards those who have hurt us.
5 – Family History Teaches About Love
Our family history teaches us about love; through the lives of our ancestors, we can discover what it really means to love and care for someone else. R
Recently I was looking through some family papers, and one of my father’s cousins had written to his wife when he was traveling Europe for his work. As he was writing “my darling Kitty,” you could feel how much he loved and missed his wife. In the pages of our Family history and stores, we can learn what it means to really love
6 – Family History Teaches Heartache and Pain
Our family history teaches us about heartache and pain. We cry together when we hear about a painful or sad event. We stand in awe of a mother who lost most of her children before they were 1 year old. We learn what heartache and pain mean, and yet our ancestors live to survive through it all.
7 – Family History Teaches We Are All Human
I recently discovered that I had some great-great-grandparents who had children out of wedlock; this surprised me as they were deeply religious. Every family has secrets that are buried. As we discover these secrets, we also learn that we are all imperfect human beings.
8 – Family History Teaches Compassion
Our family history teaches us a lot about compassion. As we discover the stories of our ancestors, we feel compassion for the challenges they faced. The great grandmother, whose husband died before her twin sons were born, not only bury her husband, but she also had to find a way to support her newborn babies.
Our ancestors help teach us about compassion for others and their sorrows; this compassion can translate to those who are still living – especially members of our own family.
9 – We Learn About HIstory
One of the things that I have enjoyed about learning my family history is I am also learning a lot about the history of the areas where they lived. For example, my father’s family is from Germany, but I really had no idea about German history until I started researching my family history.
10 – Family History Teaches About Selflessness and Sacrifice
As we begin to learn the history of our families, we also learn what selflessness and sacrifice really mean. In our family history, we discover those who selflessly sacrifice for others – sometimes they even gave the ultimate sacrifice of their own life.
11 – Family History Teaches About Faith and God
Our family history teaches us about faith and God. I have a great-great-grandmother who wrote about the Indians coming to her cabin when her husband, a Reverend, was away.
One morning they woke up and discovered Indian footprints all around their cabin; they went to their neighbors and discovered they had all been murdered, but their entire family was for some reason spared.
This grandmother gathered all of her children and told them always remember this day because God had an important work for them to do. All of her children did some religious work either as Christian missionaries or as ministers.
Family history and our family stories can help us increase our faith and know a God that will hear and answer our prayers.
We can learn so many things when we start on the journey of discovery o our family history. We learned so much about ourselves, our families, and just life in general. Discovering your family history is a journey that is worth taking.
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You can discover more by reading Are Your Uncles and Cousins Ancestors? Who Are Our Ancestors? by clicking here.
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