In The Loop

4 Reasons To Learn More About Your Ancestors

By Kirk Schuchardt

“Why should I learn more about my family history? Isn’t it enough for me to imagine that my German ancestors worked in a steel mill in Bavaria and did the polka?”

I hear you. Your ancestors lived a long time ago. It may be hard to see why learning more about them should matter now. But the bits of info (names, dates, places they’ve lived, and relationships) that FOREVER Family Research can dig up is more than just random data. They’re the essential elements of stories that can inspire you, strengthen you, and give you a sense of identity. Let me explain.

It can make your identity more intergenerational.

We all want to know where we came from. Why did our lives begin now rather than any other time? If you feel a little bit like you’re floating around in time and space, learning more about your ancestors is a great way to become grounded and see your life in a more meaningful way through a vast scale of time.

Take pride in your ancestors’ roots! You may discover that some of their traditions (or recipes) have been passed down from generation to generation to you. Take, for example, my late Grandma Rose. She liked to make a sweet bread called potica (po-TEAT-za) that my mom makes and now I make. This recipe comes from eastern Europe where my Serbian and Croatian ancestors passed this recipe down to younger generations.

It can make you more resilient.

As you know, not everything in life is hunky dory – it never has been! Your ancestors no doubt have faced plenty of hardships. Learning more about their lives & stories can help you see how they’ve responded to those hardships with grace and courage. Not only can their stories inspire you – they can make you more resilient to hard times after you see those hard times didn’t last forever.

It can make you more compassionate.

Experiencing a narrative of an ancestor’s life helps you see how complex their personalities and lives were. Maybe your great-great grandfather dropped out of law school but then became a top-notch barge captain on the Mississippi river. The point is, becoming familiar with the ups and downs your ancestors faced can help normalize failure. This familiarity with failure can make it easier to relate to other people. It can become easier to bravely suffer with others and tell them they aren’t alone. This is a huge gift to give!

It’s a gift for future generations

FOREVER Family Research isn’t just for you; it’s also a gift for future generations. The FOREVER Family Tree we create for you can be shared, of course, with your children and your children’s children. This in turn can give even your great-great-great-great grandkids a greater sense of identity and place in history.

Resilience, compassion, a humbling sense of your place in history–these are all the gifts a family story can give you.

If you’re wondering what to expect from FOREVER Family Research, check out our FAQ page. There we talk about FOREVER Family Trees, how much time we dedicate toward researching your family history, and more.

Or, if you’re interested in us finding that mysterious ancestor, view our project plans and book a one-time consultation here.

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