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Family Heritage Month

Heritage familyThe month of August is known as ‘Family Heritage Month.’ So what is family heritage? By definition: Researching your family tree would help you gain a sense of your personal heritage. It is those cultural traits passed down through the generations from great grandparents to grandparents to parents. It can include personality and skill traits, such as those with talents and abilities similar to their ancestors. You might be musical inclined, just like your grandmother.

By gathering and knowing what makes up your own personal heritage, you in a sense know more about yourself and why you think, feel and function as you do.

A recent example of how your heritage shapes you centers around a young entertainer, Michael Harrison, born in 1966 in Canada, who at a very young age loved magic and puppets. He eventually made it his life’s work, especially performing as a ventriloquist. Still, he did not learn until nearly reaching his teens from his grandmother that his great grandfather, Heritage-merryfieldFrank Merryfield, a Canadian, had performed many ventriloquist acts in vaudeville and been considered a great showman. With that knowledge he learned as much as possible about his ancestor’s ventriloquism and how to be a talented performer. Michael never knew his great grandfather but once learning how much an analogous spirit they shared gave him the encouragement to continue as an entertainer.

During the month of August would be a great time to learn more about your living relatives first – an aunt, cousin, great uncle,etc. Sort out the branches of the family tree. You may have always referred to a certain relative as Aunt Betty — but she had to be the sister of a direct lineage relative of yours — the question is who?

heritage wordsSee if there is some similarities with you and a relative, specific talents, interests, skills or abilities you might share. If you locate a similar shared trait, see if there was an ancestor who also had that same attribute.

Learning about your overall heritage, what you have inherited — the one your share with all your family can include the love of travel, the appreciation of the arts, the love of history, the nurturing of children, etc. Discover your heritage during this month.

Related genealogical blogs:

Your Surname May Reveal Your Heritage

Being Genetically Similar to Your Father

Inherited Traits from a Neanderthal

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