From immigration records to marriage records, historical documents offer a view into the past. With more and more databases becoming publicly available, the search into your family’s history can be as comprehensive as never before. The reasons to explore your family’s past are endless, but here are a few.
Explain Quirky Family Traditions
Does your family serve Kolaches at Thanksgiving or miso soup at New Year’s Eve? A complete family tree could give insights into family traditions that are unique to your family. A Japanese relative a couple of generations back might have introduced miso soup at New Year’s Eve. Perhaps your grandparents lived in a part of town that was predominately Polish, and that explains why Kolaches are the favorite dessert at your Thanksgiving.
Birth records, death records and land records hold the keys that put this information together. Request a search on immigration or land grant databases, and make family time a celebration of your heritage.
Learn About Genetics
There are genetic diseases and afflictions endemic to certain geographical areas of the world. Knowing your ancestors’ immigration history offers pertinent medical information. Such research can provide a level of medical foresight and freedom that only good information allows. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, offer resources for genetic disorders. Knowing if you might develop thalassemia or cardiovascular disease is crucial to monitoring your health.
There are two sources of information for illness and death records. The first is simply to ask your relatives about the diseases that run in your family. The second source is a complete Internet search through death certificates and state records.
Feel Closer to Your Family: Is There a Better Reason?
Did you have a great-uncle everyone talks about, but you never met? So many of the World War II generation gave their lives on foreign soil, and their memory lingers on in our hearts and minds. After finding a grave at the American Battle Monuments Commission, your family could take a trip to Belgium or celebrate his sacrifice with some family time.
Perhaps your daughter loves math and science. Her great-aunt might have been the first woman in the state to major in mathematics. Knowing your family’s history illuminates the lives of each family member, both past and present.
Genealogy research helps us feel closer to the past and acknowledge modern legacies. The reasons to search your ancestry are endless.
Will Moneymaker founded Ancestral Findings back in 1995. He has been involved in genealogy research for over 20 years. The thrill of the hunt, the adventure, and the excitement begin when he started investigating the meaning of his surname. Why I Love Genealogy (And You Should, Too!)