Why is family history so important? It’s because family is important for individuals and society. And if family is that important, then learning your history should be a priority.
Whether we realize it or not, we’re all, each and every single one of us, a product of history.
If it wasn’t for all of the infinitesimal moments of the past, the chances encounters and events that brought our forebears together, none of us would be here.
We’ve all been forged in the fires of history, and no aspect of that history is more important to any of us than that of our family.
But why is our family history important? Why should it be of any concern or matter to any of us?
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Everything Is Connected
Knowing your family history or ancenstry helps you to put the connections of your past together and make sense of your own life.
Listening to the stories that your family tell about the challenges and adversity that your ancestors faced gives you a deeper insight into your own beliefs and personality.
And in an age where we are all encouraged to try to figure out who we are, knowing who our forebears were provides us with a stepping stone to begin our search.
Names are important, and all of our surnames have a meaning. By delving into your family’s past and discovering who your family was, it’ll provide an insight into how and where your surname came into being, and why it became your family’s name.
If you really want to find out who you are, find out what your name means, and if it has any relevance to your life, you need to take a deep dive into your family history. The answer might surprise you.
When trying to find the answer for ‘why is family history so important?’, don’t be shocked if you find something disturbing in your family’s past. We’ve all got at least one skeleton in our family closet. Learning and sharing the burden of those secrets also helps to provide greater insight into who you are because whether we like it or not, nature is just as important as nurture as far as individual and personal development are covered.
And besides,, who doesn’t like to laugh at the stories of kooky ancestors and find out that they might be related to royalty?
Discovering Where You Came From
Life, as Ferris Bueller once famously said moves pretty fast, and in a time when it just seems to get faster and faster, it isn’t unusual to experience a sense of disconnect with the world around you and to feel like you don’t belong anywhere or don’t fit in.
Knowing where your family originally came, and where your roots lie can help you to understand more about who you are and where you belong.
Also, knowing where in the world your family line began and established itself can also help to explain family traditions and how they became a part of your life.
It can also explain why you feel more connected to some places than others and why you long to see places that you’ve never been to.
The world can be a tough place and knowing your place in it can help to armor you against it and provide the sort of footing that we all need to anchor ourselves in place in order to give us a platform that we can use to make our dreams come true.
Helping Your Children To Make Sense Of The World
The world is a confusing and, at times can be a frightening place for all of us, so as scary as we often find it, imagine how it can, and does make your children feel.
Telling your family stories, the funny tales that littered family vacations, anecdotes about family members who have passed away, and the exciting adventures and fast times that were part and parcel of your youth can help your children, to feel more grounded in the world.
Despite all of the incredibly rapid technological advances, things have always been the same. The more things change, the more they tend to stay the same. King Solomon famously wrote:
“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
This truth can help your children understand that the world isn’t quite as terrifying as they think it is.
Power Tip: Do a creative family tree project with your children to help them learn about their ancestry.
By talking about our family histories with others, it helps us to form bonds and make deep and lasting personal connections.
Whether those bonds are formed because of shared experiences or a common interest in the lives of others, those stories and our individual histories allow us to reach out and make friendships and form relationships that we never dared to dream that we could.
Health and Life Choices
Whether we like it or not, some health conditions are inherited, and some families are more predisposed to developing certain diseases than others are.
Knowing your familial history, and finding out about any illnesses that your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents suffered from can make you more aware of your own health and what the future may hold in store for you.
Listening to the stories that your family tell you about close relatives and the physical ailments and conditions that they may have been plagued by and suffered from, can make you more acutely aware of your own health and the tests that you might need to have in order to help you head any possible impact that they could have on your life off at the pass.
A simple DNA test can alert you to the likelihood that you might develop any of the inherited conditions that your family is susceptible to. From there, you can speak to your physician about possible treatments if any of the said conditions that your family has a history of developing are highlighted, or flagged by the DNA test.
As well as your physical health, it’s also important to discuss and understand any mental health issues that members of your family might have suffered from and struggled with.
Recent medical and psychiatric studies have revealed that mental health is inextricably linked to genetics and a family history of mental health issues could mean that there’s a possibility that you could face the same battles at some point in your life.
Again, a simple DNA test can highlight the chances of you developing the same problems, which in turn can help you to work out a possible treatment program that works for you.
It’s always better to be prepared and know about the difficulties that you might have to face rather than ignoring them in the hope that they might skip a generation.
The Real Benefit of Knowing Your Family History
It might sound selfish, but the best way to really know yourself and the only way to really understand who you are is by knowing where your family came from, who they were, and how they lived.
Family history is important, and the only way to truly know who we are, on a deeply personal level is by demonstrating a desire and willingness to fully embrace and understand family.