Many people are inherently interested in where they come from and their family history; others might be intrigued but not as enthusiastic about the past and their distant relatives. There are actually several benefits of understanding your family history that can impact your day-to-day life. In this article, we take a look at these benefits and why you should consider learning more about your family history.
Sense of identity
Understanding your past and family history can help with your sense of identity and how you define yourself as an individual. Having a sense of identity and knowing who you are is very important; you may feel lost and out of place without knowing who you are, your values and your beliefs. It's also easier to go along with others' views which may make you vulnerable to being led down the wrong path. Knowing your family history and understanding where you came from culturally can help you define your sense of identity and who you are as a person.
It opens up new connections
Understanding your family history can open up new information that can help you form connections with others. This could be in the form of actual connections with long-lost family members or biological parents if you were adopted. It can also change how you connect with friends and people not part of your family history. Learning about what your family went through may open your eyes to the struggles of other people around you, helping you to empathise with a broader spectrum of society.
Learning about your family history often comes hand in hand with learning about how your predecessors passed away and their health problems. This information can be very valuable in understanding your own personal health and anything that could impact your future health. GPs and other health professionals may encourage additional tests and scans with new knowledge of the health of those in your family history. On the other hand, it may help to put your mind at rest knowing that your family history is clear of any hereditary illnesses and that your ancestors lived a long and healthy life.
Recreate old traditions
Traditions are great for bringing family members together and creating memories. If you don’t have any traditions as a family currently, a family tree check could change things. By discovering your family history, you can find out about past traditions in your culture and reinvent them for your living relatives. This can bring everyone together and is a great way to make memories as a family and pay homage to your ancestors.
Teach your children
Once you learn about your ancestors, you can pass this information down to your children and other family members. They will be able to add to the family history and keep the memory of previous generations alive. When younger generations become curious about where they came from and who they are, they can use your research to learn more about their ancestors. This can help them during challenging times in their youth when they’re trying to find themselves and create a strong sense of identity.
It brings you closer to your family
Perhaps you have estranged family members that you would like to reconnect with, but you can’t find a good reason or don’t know much about them. Researching your ancestors can give you a good reason to speak to family members and rekindle your relationship. They may also help you on your journey to discovering your ancestry. In addition, learning about their past might help you to understand their upbringing and behaviours. This new information might change your views and help you understand your family members on a deeper level.
These are just a few of the benefits of learning about your family history; many people find it an enjoyable way to learn about themselves. There are many experts you can speak to and resources online that can help you to trace your family tree. Once you’ve found out the information, you can share it with your whole family, and many of them will be grateful that you've made all the effort to discover the history of your family.