First, it helps you to realize where you came from and learn about the fascinating experiences that brought you to where you are now. You are a product of those who came before you. The decisions they made a hundred years ago, have determined where you lived and your life in many cases.
Second, it can give you an opportunity to learn about traditions and histories that you would never have known about without doing some research. These traditions can then be passed onto the younger generation.
Third, learning details about individual family members / ancestors, especially their health or what they died from can be a important in knowing about your own and your children’s health. With many illnesses that can be inherited, your doctor will want to know your family health history. A good example is the eye disease of glaucoma which can be primarily inherited.
Fourth, finding out about the lives your ancestors lived and how they were possibility involved in various historical events. Were they present during the American Civil War conflict of the 1860s? Were they part of the western movement to homestead land? Why and when did they leave the family ancestral homeland to across the ocean and begin a new life in a new land? This portion of your research can prove to be most fascinating. I learned through my research that my distant cousin had actually been on the speaking platform with President Abraham Lincoln when the Gettysburg Address was given in 1863.
Fifth, correct some of the family legends and tales. Everyone has family tales that have been handed down and everyone accepts them as the truth. In reality, those truths have gotten twisted over the decades. There may have been a small portion that actually happened but until you really research the entire event, you won’t know the actual truth.
Sixth, to share with others. By sharing what vital records you have located, photos or information, you are helping preserving it before it might be lost forever. With things made digital it can be shared and saved by numerous people, your direct relatives to your distant relatives.
Your ancestors are waiting for you !
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