Many genealogists and family historians write why genealogy is important to them and the community. I decided to add into the mix and write my ideas of why it is important to know our family history.
Family history brings families together and at other times will break a family apart. Whoever holds the knowledge of the family holds a big responsibility. I am one of the members of my immediate and extended family that knows many secrets; good and bad, and I also realize many of my family members feel uncomfortable about this fact. I am not one to tell tales, and I am very serious about our family history . I will never divulge information on living people and I use common sense for the deceased members.
Researching my family has been therapeutic for me. Between the deaths and divorces in my family, I have always felt confusion or try to pretend family incidents never happened. I delve into researching the family through census, death certificates, newspaper articles, obituaries, military records, and other assorted records. I now understand why my family members acted the way they did when they were alive. I wish I knew what I know now while they were alive. Our relationships may have been different, but I believe we would have been even closer.
When bad times happen, I can look back at the ancestors who lived one hundred years ago, and read their letters or biographies of how they overcame or endured the hard times. When good times happens, I can look back and appreciate the joy and happiness in the letters, biographies and newspaper articles that chronicled my ancestors’ good times.
This is why genealogy is important to me. As the years pass and I grow older, I enjoy looking back at all the memories I have recreated by my researching. Nothing pleases me more when I share the memories and the family research with my family. The family history reminds us, despite our differences, how we need to reach out to each other and stay close, as our ancestors did years before our time.