Categories: Family Life

Why You Should Study Your Family Tree

Your family tree is the tool that connects you to your heritage. Studying your family tree can reveal so many things about your ancestors! Here are 7 reasons why it is important to study your family tree. 

1. Connection

Your family tree connects you with the stories of your ancestors. By taking an online ancestry test, you can gain access to documents and memorabilia that you would have never discovered on your own. It is important to read the stories of your ancestors so that you can connect the dots of your heritage.

Stories are the links that connect generations. Before smartphones, computers, and television, people entertained themselves through stories. Taking the time to learn about your ancestors’ stories will make you feel connected to them on a personal level. By learning about your heritage, you can begin to understand the heartaches and triumphs that your relatives experienced. 

2. Health

Have you ever been asked by the doctor about your medical history, and your mind went blank? We’ve all been there. Although western medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds since your ancestors lived, doctors cannot solve every medical mystery. It is important to know your medical history so that doctors can properly treat you.

Whether you were adopted as a baby or grew up not knowing your grandparents, the reality is that most people have missing links in their medical history. You can fill in those gaps by studying your family tree. You may discover that your great-great-grandfather died from a rare heart disease, or that osteoporosis runs in your family. Researching your family tree will reveal your medical history and help to prevent future health problems.

3. Relationships

Family relationships are precious and important. If you have a strong relationship with your extended family, you are one blessed individual! Studying your family tree will increase your bonds with your family.

If your grandparents are still alive, consider interviewing them about their childhood. You must take advantage of the time you have with your grandparents because once they are gone, you will lose a tangible piece of your heritage. Asking them about their childhood may help you understand why they do certain things differently. If your grandma is constantly looking for ways to stretch her food supply, ask her about it. She may tell you that she lived through a war and established the habit of stretching rations. Your grandparents carry a wealth of knowledge and experience from their years on earth. Take advantage of it!

4. Family

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Blood is thicker than water”? Basically, it means that family bonds are one of the strongest forces on this planet. No matter your family situation, you will always carry a piece of the people who share your bloodline. With that in mind, try to restore family relationships if there is conflict. You will regret not trying for reconciliation. 

If you do an online ancestry test, you may meet distant family members you didn’t even know existed! If that happens, you have a great opportunity to create new relationships. Reach out to those family members and ask if they have any information on your shared heritage. They may be able to fill in the gaps that the online test left open!

5. Growth

Studying your family tree will grow your character. You will be inspired by your ancestors’ lives, and you will be encouraged to carry on their legacy. Whether your family history includes heartache and suffering, or triumph and victory, you have the chance to carry on that legacy in a positive way.

Learning about your family heritage inspires you to live with purpose. When you know the family you are representing, it changes how you live. If your family lived through immense suffering, you want to seek to redeem what was lost. If your family overcame impossible odds, you want to carry on their perseverant characteristics. Whatever your family history is, I can guarantee that studying your family tree will inspire you to grow and improve your character.

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6. Heritage

Communicating your family history to future generations is so important! Sharing your ancestry not only preserves your heritage but also gives the next generation an identity to lean into at a young age. If you have children, nieces, nephews, or young cousins, teach them about your family tree!

Instilling a sense of purpose and identity in your children at a young age is important. As your kids grow up, they need to know the family that they represent. Studying your family tree with your children will give them the confidence they need to make a name for themselves. This exercise will bring you together as a family and foster meaningful conversations. Your children will appreciate that you took the time to teach them about their heritage.

7. Identity

As you walk through life, the world will try to assign you many labels. You may be called a goody-two-shoes, arrogant, intelligent, lonely, or confident. It is important to give yourself a label before the world gets a chance to put a label on you. Studying your family tree will help you establish your identity so that you can reject the world’s labels.

As you study your family history, you will find many common links. You may find that all the women in your family were determined and stubborn, or that all the men in your family fought in wars. The most common link you will find is God’s hand at work in the lives of your ancestors. Without God’s perfect plan, you would never have been born. Each detail in your family history, both good and bad, shows His heart for you, your family members, and all people. Let your identity be rooted in Him so that you can walk confidently in the plans He has for you!

Have you ever studied your family tree? What unique facts did you learn? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share this article!

Featured Image Source: pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3768131.jpg
Olivia Poettgen

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