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Why Bother Finding Your Ancestors?

Pile of photosBoy, that question may have been asked of you more than once. You may have even now questioned yourself why you are putting in the time and effort to research about your ancestors.

You should re-examine your motives from time to time, especially during those times when you hit nothing but road blocks in your research.  Well, hopefully the following will offer some answers as to why pursue family genealogy.

One major reason that is very important is to know your own family medical history.  So much is now identified in medicine about illnesses and its links to our genes, it is essential to discover as much as possible about the health and cause of death of our blood relatives.  Learning of any hereditary diseases could give your doctor the very insight for prevention for you. Not only the physical ailments, but any conditions such as depression could help in treatments you may need in the future. It can be a bit scary to learn some of the health conditions of our ancestors; however, knowledge is power and can only be advantageous.  True, finding our ancestor’s health conditions can be extreme difficult, but you will be surprised what can be located.

Another reason for delving into the history of a relative is to learn of their obstacles, heartbreaks and disappointments and how they overcame any bad times. Knowing you are a product of the same ‘fabric’ just might provide the motivation you need to overcome your own problems.
Over the last hundred years with so many families moving out of the old hometowns and resettling in numerous other locations, many family histories have been ‘lost’.  Branches of families have lost track of other branches and in turn have misplaced the information about their ancestors.  By someone taking the initiative to gather the vital records, compile the names and locations and even better record family stories, it can all be preserved.

Besides sharing with relatives the new family information gathered, it can also be reciprocated with distance cousins you may have never known of.  Go back just 3 generations, to your great grandparents and there will be second and third cousins who do share a common heritage with you. After all, your great grandparents are their great grandparents also.  This continues back each generation.  By making contact and sharing with those other family branches you just might received additional information you did not know and even break through a couple ‘brick walls’.

As a hobby researching your family roots can provide great satisfaction.  There is not only the thrill of the hunt, investigating each person and learning as much about them as possible, but also the sense of accomplishment.  You gain a connection with the past, those historical events that influenced your family to make the decisions they did over the years.  In the end, by learning of where you came from better explains who you are now.

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