Genealogy, the study of your family’s ancestors, plays an important role in how we view ourselves, our customs, our history, and the connections we have around the world. Both children and adults can benefit from knowing where they come from… and from studying their genealogy.
Why Genealogy is Important for Children?
Forging Connections: As a child, there’s something amazing about learning where you come from. As children uncover their family tree, they forge connections to people they didn’t know existed. And every single one of us has a family member or two who have accomplished something notable.
Children are able to learn about and connect with personalities and characteristics they see in their ancestors, which are also reflected in themselves.
When children discover who and where they come from, it helps them forge a connection not only with their family but also with the world in general. They’re better able to see their place in the world.
Relating to History: In school, we learn about the history of our country. The events and people we learn about seem abstract, as if we’re reading fiction.
When children learn about their ancestors, they’re able to make connections to history. If their great grandma helped on the Underground Railroad, all of a sudden history becomes more than fiction. If great great grandpa fought in World War I, then another connection is made. Genealogy makes history come alive!
Family bonding: When children start digging into their family tree it’s an interactive task. They’ll need to speak with parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to begin putting a family tree together. It’s a task learning experience that brings families closer together.
Genealogy provides children with an activity to bond over, and children may grow closer and gain a new understanding or appreciation for family members.
Why Genealogy is Important for Adults?
In addition to all of the above benefits, because adults too benefit from connecting with their family, bonding, and gaining a sense of history; genealogy offers a number of additional benefits for adults.
Genealogy also provides insight and information about genetics. Digging deep into your family history can provide valuable information about inherited illnesses. A history of cancer, immune diseases, mental health, birth defects, and sickle-cell anemia can be immensely helpful when you’re considering starting a family or simply want to know if you’re at risk.
Genealogy can also help you find long lost family members who are still around. If, for example, your Uncle had a child out of wedlock forty years ago, you have a cousin and a potentially large family out there, which you’ve yet to meet. You’ve probably read those stories where long lost brothers and sisters find out they’re related and living close to one another, all because someone started researching the family tree.
Genealogy is a powerful way to connect to your family and the world around you. It can provide insight to yourself and others… and present us with valuable information; sometimes life altering information. If you’ve yet to begin uncovering your family tree, why not start now? You’ll be glad you did.
What Is Genealogy?
Next article: What to do When You Have a Common Surname
Internet Specialist by trade and passionate about my family's history, I set out to try and reconnect the many lost connections with my paternal family.
Your tombstone stands among the rest
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