You received genetic material from a father and a mother, who received genetic material from their parents. This line continues backward until the earth began. Whether you acknowledge that relationship this connection still exists. Tracing the connection is called genealogy or family history.
Ignoring the connection is possible, but not advisable. Knowing your family history can help physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. While we want to sometimes forget the past or our families, they do not go away. We can’t erase the connection. It is better to understand the connection and be prepared.
We receive genetic material from our parents, who in turn received it from their parents, and so on. This genetic material contains the coding for our physical bodies. Some genetics may lean towards certain illnesses or mental problems. Just as some genetics lean towards certain looks and intelligence. All that data comes from genetics passed down through the generations.
At the doctor’s office, we frequently get asked about physical problems running in the family, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or mental problems. By knowing about these physical problems in the family a doctor can better help diagnose issues you may have. They may also have a better idea of what to test for to get quicker results. We can’t know these issues unless we know our family history.
It seems unlikely that family history could help mentally, but it does. Family history can help stimulate the mind. You can learn stories and accomplishments of family members you never knew. These events may help and inspire you.
On a more immediate note, working on family history is like becoming a cold case detective. You have to search through records, reports, journals, and more to find your family members. This stimulates the mind and keeps it sharp.
Emotionally and Spiritually
Much like mental, the emotional help from family history is not easy to see. This comes through the emotional connection you start to feel for your ancestors. Though sometimes people indicate otherwise, most desire some sort of connection with others. Learning about family members can give that connection. You start to feel grounded as you learn all about these people that came before. You connect with your ancestors.
Start Family History
Now that you know why to start a family history, you need the know-how. First, I recommend writing down your name with your parents, grandparents, and any other immediate family you know. Next, find out if anyone in your family has started doing the research and contact them. They can help let you know if and where they keep their research information.
Also, you can join FamilySearch or Ancestry. FamilySearch is a free family history site run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, known for their dedication to doing family history. Ancestry costs money but has many things to use to further research. These are the two main sites. Through these two sites, you can keep track of research and look up information.
After you have set up a way to keep track of information, you can begin looking up names. Luckily we live in a time where many older documents have been put online. Some of the best ways to get information are through newspaper obituaries, graves, birth certificates, death certificates, censuses, and church records. It may be a little difficult but you can do it.
Family History will greatly help you in all ways of life. It helps physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Even if you belong to a family history buff family, you can still help and receive the benefits. I challenge you to go back to your great-great-grandparents in your family history and learn a little of who you are through who they were.