It’s All Relative…

3 Oct

The other night, while searching for a recipe, I came across a letter tucked in an old cookbook, written by my great, great, great grandfather to one of his daughters describing his days during the Crimean War.  The date of the letter was July 10, 1854.  This was particularly fortuitous, considering it was discovered on Ancestor Appreciation Day – a day for learning about and honoring your family’s ancestors.  This was just the impetus, I needed to start a new hobby – researching my family tree.

For some, genealogy (the study of ancestry and family histories) is a pleasant pastime to satisfy a curious interest but there are also many benefits of tracing your roots.   Understanding your heritage can shed light on your family relationships, appearance, health, and the origins of your family’s surname.  Documenting your family’s history also provides a sense of continuity for the sake of posterity – a chance to connect to future generations and preserve cherished memories.

Growing up some distance from my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, I did not have the advantage to get to know them on a daily basis, but I do feel a deep connection and sense of identity acquired through letters, visits, pictures and stories passed down.  Personally, I hope this endeavor will help me connect the characteristics that I see in myself with my ancestors as I bring their stories to life.

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.
— Alex Haley

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2 Responses to “It’s All Relative…”

  1. Deborah October 4, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    My sister has done a lot of work on the family tree on my mother’s side. I keep “intending” to dig into my father’s side at some point but so far I’ve just been too busy. One interesting fact my sister found was that we are part Native American on my mother’s side. So far no horse thieves or bank robbers have shown up. 🙂

    • LadyDi October 4, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      At this point, I just have a curious interest, but it would be cool to see if we are related to anyone famous (or infamous)!

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