I’ve long enjoyed stories of my family’s past. I have extremely fond memories of sitting around the kitchen table of my maternal grandparents’ Arizona home, and listening to my grandfather tell stories of the war, of his business attempts, of his and my grandmother’s travels. Ah, the lessons of ancestry.
My grandfather’s stories and his eclectic nature had a big impact on my life. It’s where I get my goofiness from. It’s where I learned not to be afraid to explore the things that interest you, to create something new from thin air, and most certainly, to learn as much as you can.
In 2010, I started researching my family history on Ancestry.com. I have made some incredible discoveries, due to the work of 3rd cousins twice removed, and other distant relatives. A fun example of an amazing discovery is a picture of my great, great, great-grandmother in 1885 that looks like a spitting image of my own mother. Another example is connecting to the family tree of my 5th cousin once removed, which took my known maternal family history from 2 generations back (ca. 1893) to around 1540, where the surname had powerful familial influence, and even a coat of arms!
There is tragedy to be found as well. I’m seeking it all.
I’m in a period of thinking about the foundations of my life (who I am, my purpose for my life, how I want to be in the world, and so on), and I wonder what intentions my ancestors had for their own lives.
Maybe the research into my family’s history will bring out some clues. The search continues.
I will say this: the more connected I feel to the history of my own lineage, the more I ground myself, in the pursuit of a life well-lived.
I highly recommend discovering your own past, and going back as far in time as you can, to learn the lessons of ancestry.