Each person that is born is granted the gift of life by their parents. This gift of life is a link to their ancestors who lived before them. From the beginning of time people have sensed a need to belong. It is noteworthy that even the Bible contains lists of genealogy. People felt it was significant to be able to trace their lineage to Adam, Noah, Abraham, David and so on.
Genealogy is a unique and personalized form of history. It is passed from one generation to the next via written and oral history. Without this connection to our ancestors we would have little knowledge of our culture or how we fit in. It is exceptionally rewarding to be able to trace your ancestral roots. Through discovering your roots you become aware of who you are as a person. You will also come to understand more about your purpose in life.
Information concerning your family history is useful to medical professionals. It helps them determine whether you or other family members have increased risk for various hereditary diseases or genetic illnesses. Doctors monitor medical issues such as heart problems, diabetes, strokes and cancer with this data.
You will discover that family history is not dull or boring. Through conversing with the older generation you will find a lot of interesting stories from yesteryear. Granted they faced many hard times as they moved into the sparsely settled areas of our country. Be sensitive when you ask them questions. You may stir up some long buried memories that they want to forget. Life is never easy -- no matter when you are born.
Valuable lessons can be acquired by learning about the ethics of our ancestors. The way an individual behaves and their ideals are often passed from generation to generation. People are referred to as being a descendant of so and so. In reality, it does not matter if our ancestors were heroes or scoundrels. We cannot take credit for their achievements nor should we be blamed for their faults. It is important to realize that as individuals we are accountable for our own actions.
As you research your ancestral roots you will increase your skills in a number of areas. Your organizational skills will be sharpened as you take notes in a loose leaf binder and categorize information. You learn (or improve) your computer skills when you use email, spreadsheets, word processor programs and genealogy software. You will gain some detective skills as you research old family Bibles, family papers and journals, cemeteries, libraries or records at the court house. Through interviews with relatives and other researchers you will increase your speaking abilities. Depending on where your research leads you -- you will learn interesting information about other countries, too. Compiling your family history is a priceless legacy for future generations.