How much do you know about your family tree? October is Family History Month, so it’s the perfect time to learn more about the people who came before you.
Tracing your family’s history can be a rewarding experience that includes unexpected turns, surprising twists, frustrating dead-ends, and amazing discoveries. Genealogy enthusiasts spend years searching for old documents, tombstones and photos that will give them a glimpse into the past.
Find People Who Remember
One of the best resources for unearthing your family roots is also among the most neglected; people who already have a wealth of knowledge. You may have a relative who has worked hard to become the family historian. People who spend time researching their family tree are excited about the things they have learned, and eager to share their knowledge.
Genealogists love to build extensive profiles of their ancestors. The stories they tell could hold the key to a mystery that has baffled you for years. Their anecdotes won’t be found inside any government database or within any website. They exist only in the minds of people who lived them; or people who heard first-hand accounts from someone who was there.
A Storytelling Saga
People have always used stories to communicate and share knowledge. Wonderful tales were once passed from generation to generation, but sadly that tradition seems to be slipping away. It’s time for a resurgence of the family legend. We can learn a lot about our ancestors, and ourselves, from everyone who shares a branch of our own family tree.
You might be surprised to learn who has a compelling family story to tell. Perhaps a cousin who could never forget the heart-wrenching tale told to them by a relative who passed on many years ago. Or a grandparent who still has memories of their own great-grandparents. Finding people who love to share these stories and learning what they already know is a rewarding way to fill in the gaps of your own lineage.
Be The Next Family Historian
If you’re like most people, you may have family members you haven’t seen in decades. It’s likely that you also have relatives you’ve never even met. Some of these people may just hold the knowledge that you’ve been seeking for so long.
So what are you waiting for? The first step is to find these people and reach out. You can look for them on social networking sites like Facebook, public records websites like PeopleFinders.com or talk to other relatives who may know where they live today. Connect with them and share the stories, photos and heirlooms that will help you complete the picture of your family history.
Learning about your past can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. There are many things you can do to get started, but one of the best is simply talking to others who already have a wealth of knowledge. Chances are they will be more than happy to talk to you and help you learn about your ancestry in the most exciting way possible: from the people who still remember.