Making a Family Tree

Benefits of Making a Family Tree

Researching your family tree has become a popular past time for many people. The thought of getting to know your ancestors and finding out how they lived, and what their life was like has enthralled many; and the internet has made it much easier to find vital information. It is akin to assembling a jigsaw puzzle about ancestors, one generation at a time. Most people have dreams of tracing their family tree back to royalty, knights, or founding fathers.

There are other, important benefits to researching your family tree, however.

• New Friendships – there are countless others online and off researching their own family histories. What better way to make a new friend than find something in common? You can share tips, ideas, and strategies to help each other and build lifelong friendships along the way.

• Personal Growth – researching and assembling information about your ancestors can be a wonderful project on your own personal growth and education. You will discover skills you never even knew you had. You will have a sense of accomplishment that is unmatched with anything you have ever known.

• A treasured heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation – this will be a work in progress, as each new generation will add their information and share their stories and memories, along with photos, journals and other heirlooms.

• Getting closer to your living relatives – interviewing your oldest living relatives can bring you closer together, especially if you haven’t gotten to know them well in the past. Most likely, they will be happy to share their stories and memories with you. It will make them feel less lonely, and more like a useful part of the family. Visit them as often as you can; if they live too far away, call or write often.

• Medical history – as you conduct your research, you will most likely come across medical information, such as heart conditions, cancer, or other hereditary diseases that your ancestors suffered from. This will give you much needed information that you can pass on to your own family doctor.

• Geographical history – not only will you learn about people, you will learn about places and interesting times in history. What city was your great-grandmother born in? What was it like? What was the population? Where did she go to school? Has the city changed its name since then? There is an abundance of information to be found, not only on whom, but where.

Researching your family tree takes time, patience, and effort; but the payoff is tremendous. The benefits far outweigh any challenges. It is something that should be considered a life-long process that is constantly in need of updating as family members get married, have children, grandchildren, etc. It is something to be treasured from generation to generation. Keep a journal of your progress, as well as various notes and things you have learned along the way. Someday, you may be the one being researched, and the more that you can aid in the process, the better.
Finding Your Family History
Recently and aunt of mine expressed her interest to me in finding out the families’ heritage, and who we all started with. She was having issues trying to trace back to the 1800s when documentation wasn’t always kept, and our family members shortened their names for ease of convenience or whatever other reason. Unbeknown to me my long lost ancestors cannot be traced for some reason or another.
It was discovered that perhaps these ancestors were not found due to them being named something else in historical data somewhere, or perhaps they simply didn’t keep their records properly.
I wasn’t sure exactly how to assist my aunt so started to read quite a lot of ancestry books on the subject. I found this book helpful in understanding what clues may be present in old pictures that my aunt has collected over the years.
After more hunting around I can across this great software package that would assist me in creating a family tree book, chart, reports, maps and other resources for tracking our families’ heritage. The problem with this one was I didn’t have all that original material my aunt did, so perhaps I would think about giving this to her at Christmas time.
Personally though, to track my own life journey and archive all the data that my kids and their kids might need down the track I purchased this helpful little book which helped me scrapbook if you like the history we have had during this lifetime. I would recommend this for any family wishes to document their own life journey.
Recently I found out the I was carrying the BRAC2 gene, there’s a very long story that goes with this, but I needed to make sure that my kids were aware of the repercussions of this gene when they are of an adult age and need to make some choices about prevention. I found that not many people really understood what genes’ do in their system and why we’d want to know what these genes mean. Reading this booking about genetic genealogy was helpful to me, but didn’t give me any real answers as to how I need to protect my body from the inevitable drawbacks associated with having the BRAC2 gene. Others might find this book also interesting to read.
Whatever your reasons are for finding your ancestors, I wish you the very best of luck. My aunt is consistently working on this with the new software I’ve purchased her and she will let us all know when she discovers more about our family heritage. I hope you find yours!


Author: Ammie Harm c/Judi Jaques

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