Why hesitate to research your family tree?

30 October 2019

I participated in a focus group a couple of months ago, and arrived half an hour before the group was scheduled to begin. I sat chatting to the researchers, who (as you do) asked what I did for a living. “I’m a digital marketer for a genealogy company called Family Wise. Family history, ancestry, probate research – finding missing people is what they specialise in.” As you can imagine, the replies are a mixture of surprise and intrigue. When meeting people for the first time I’m often asked this and the question that follows is somewhere along the lines of, ‘Have you researched your own family tree?’. Well, not yet! Like most people for many different reasons, ‘life always seems to get in the way’ or it’s something that you haven’t gotten ’round to’ yet. But, why?

The whys and the wherefores

family history photographs

I’ve always enjoyed stories, especially ones that are based on real-life events. I can’t remember the number of times I’ve made family members repeat funny stories for my own amusement.

"Reliving past memories can help them stay in our minds for longer."

As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, I’ve always been curious to research my family tree. My grandparents have tried and failed. They continue to make attempts when the fancy strikes them, other than that, there is no burning desire.

I’ve asked a few friends of mine their opinion on the matter and if they’ve ever wondered about researching their ancestry. The answers were amusing!

Excuses and alibis

No excuses sign

One friend shrugged her shoulders and said she wasn’t fussed.

Another exclaimed that she wouldn’t know where to start.

Two others said that members of their family have been delving into their family tree. There were some interesting discoveries, but they didn’t feel the need to get involved.

It was thought-provoking, hearing the reasons why they hadn’t begun researching their roots. I had the same reasoning! We are all family-orientated, but do we prefer to live in the moment rather than engage with the past?

"Are we too focused on the now and not the then? Building successful lives for ourselves rather than for our families first."

Would you argue that that is a bad thing?

The benefits of learning about your family history

family history sign

Why should you research your family history? Why should it be of interest to anyone?

Well let’s take a look at some of the benefits, shall we?

There could be some interesting stories

family tree stories coming out of a book

Whether it’s heartbreaking or heartwarming, you could have some actual real-life stories to tell the grandchildren. However, if it is really tragic, at least you can adapt the truth rather than fabricating a story on a whim! You never know…

Awareness of medical history

medical swab and vile

On a more serious note, it is very helpful for you and for any health concerns you may have. For example, you could discover an ancestor who had a serious heart condition, which you were unaware of until now. On the other hand, with modern medicine and healthcare, it’s possible you already know about any existing life-threatening conditions. However, there is a chance they could be missed. No one likes surprises (the bad kind, of course) and you may also be interested in seeing how far back any health conditions can be traced.

Why not?!

Fitting together your family histories together, piece by piece - Family Wise Limited

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn about your family? To know where you got your quirkiness from or other characteristics – maybe even your first names or why you’re so adept at baking? You will most likely learn a whole lot about yourself all whilst coming across some possible juicy home truths. The best benefit of all is, it’s so much fun!

If you’re interested and have no idea where to start, why not contact us at Family Wise?!!!

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