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What is the importance of ancestry?

What is the importance of ancestry?

Posted: 1161211253000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1286980208000
I have been working on my FT now for some 3, almost 4 years, and thru this site and lots of other help have been quite successful. I enjoy it. It's a mission to see how far back I can get. A challange. A puzzle. An intrigue.

But why? What for? Tonight, out of the blue, and i admit, after hitting yet another brick wall, and plunging into a deep dark depression, I ask my self what exactly is the importance of finding out about my ancestry? No one else in the family seems to be driven to distraction by it, or even particularly care. So why am I so bent on "digging up the dead?", as one relation called it. Let bygones be bygones?

Has anyone else out there suddenly had doubts about the immense amount of time, effort and money we all pour into our projects?

What are all you guys "doing it" for? Does anyone actually believe in being able to "find out more about oneself" if one suddenly unearths where their G.G.G.G. Grandfather comes from? It's almost ridiculous.

I'd love to hear some views on this.

Regards, Unsettled and in need of a G.T.!

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1161222975000
Classification: Query
I don't know, Charlotte. I've been doing it for two years, and I've asked myself the very same question for 1.75 of those. What is the point?

Well, I do it because of the challenge, but also because I find the stories of people's lives fascinating. Then when it's my family's lives we're talking about, it really makes things lively! I know that I can't go back to my grandparents and find out "just why did you move from Manchester to California?" And I can't ask their parents "what was it like in 1900's Manchester? How did you meet your wife/husband?"

But through the census, and all the different localities, I can get a sense of my family's place in history. No, they weren't famous, or heroic, or even rich. They were just a bunch of folks barely scraping by (like I am), trying to find ways to keep their children fed and making it in this big world. Without them I wouldn't be here. I at least want to know their names, if I can.

For me, it's about the connection. Through my research I've found LOADS of cousins I never new existed. These people have part of my blood running through their veins, and the farther up the tree I go, the more cousins I find. It's overwhelming in it's scope when you stop to think about it.

Yes, the blocks are frustrating. Yes, it's timeconsuming (I've stayed up til 3 am some nights following a hot lead). Yes, it's expensive (especially ordering British birth and marriage certificates from America!), and even linguistically challenging (my mum's side is Czech).

But in the end, when I've gone as far as I can in both directions, I have a legacy for my children, and hopefully I've somehow pleased my ancestors up in heaven by remembering them, even if I didn't know them.

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Pam (View posts)
Posted: 1161249590000
Classification: Query
What's the importance of Ancestry? Well each has their own reason I guess........I love the history, I love, like Charlotte to pass something on to my child. I am putting some of it in my sons 21st Album this year.

I too have a family that rolls it's eyes, and with tongue firmly in cheek (such humour my family) they say "why would you want to find all these genie cousins - when I don't like some of the ones I already have??? " My reply, well sweetie if it;s any consolation, most of them are deceased.

Look I started family trees before the internet. I am a young 50. I gave up for a while with partying, horses followed by children and work and mortgages, which I still have. BUT
Since the internet, I have 4 trees back to the 1500's.
Fully researched too !!!!! Proven......
I volunteer on my day off and research the original Parish registers on microfilm. I have even learn't latin. Yes reading the older PR's and is a lot of latin.
I have found, genealogists, are cut from the same sort of cloth. They are thinkers, they usually love history, they want to pass things to their children and leave their own small mark in the world. A lot write, be it family stories, poetry, anything. Most Genealogists will go out of their way to help another, I know I do and it comes back tenfold. They are nice people.

Be proud. AND don't let a brickwall get you down......I still have a few myself, trust me.
Whatever your reason, don't let anyone sway you. People parachute.ME I would never leave a perfectly good aeroplane, Each to their own. Enjoy.
Pam from Adelaide, Australia

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

J K (View posts)
Posted: 1161260159000
Classification: Query
I do it for all the info that I can find about the past. I, too have run into brick walls. You just go around those walls and look in a new direction. Ask questions online all the time and people will freely give you info that they have found. I found a dear "cousin" within 30 miles of my home and we work together on this project now. I never knew him before. His grandfather and my grandmother were sister/brothere.
Put your work away for a whle and one day it will jump out at you and say "lets try again."

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1281324266000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1281366261000
I just jumped on this ancestral trail like so many others. I also decided to write about my life so that any descendants in future that may wander, ( like I have been wandering about my ancestors) what was their life like, will be able to get some understanding of what life was like for me. As part of that I did write a small bit that addressed why i was doing it. There are lots of valid reasons but I think it fundamentally comes down to this. It it usually becomes more important as you get older. You realize your time is nearly up and its difficult for us to envisage or anticipate the future after death and so we tend to mull over our past and that by somehow passing on the family ancestry we are in away immortalizing our own existence, in the hope that we will be remembered and that our part in the family will be passed on to successive generations.

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1281359421000
Classification: Query
I started genealogy @30 years ago,when I was a kid and even
then I felt I was recording the family history for my kids(who weren't born yet),I always had a strong sence of family,who we are and where we belong in this world.
I also feel that if I didn't research everything it would be lost forever,ya,my kids can visit libraries but the older generations all died out and took the info with them,if I didn't talk to and record their memories,my tree wouldn't have come together.
We accumulate houses,cars,jewelry etc to leave to our children,but all that can be lost in the next financial crises,a persons sense of self and the history of their ancestors can never be taken away.
Genealogy is my life's work and my legacy to the future.

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1282587108000
Classification: Query
This is a very interesting thread.
I have to admit that I was never interested in our family history, going to reunions or even associating with distant cousins, until about 15 years ago when my 96 year old grandmother handed me 4 sheets of paper that culminated her 'lifetime of research', she said. I was so touched first of all, because she wanted ME to have it and secondly I was moved that all she had was 4 sheets of paper to show for it.
These four sheets of paper only had names of the parents, their children's names and where they all were currently living. I did't know a thing about genealogy at the time but even I could see it was sorely lacking. I stuck these 4 sheets of paper in a filing cabinet and unfortunately forgot about them until after she died. I came across them again a month or so later and wished that I had bothered to start researching while she was living.

Since then, I have traced our family back at least 8 generations along with many connecting family lines. It IS hard when so few, if any, other family members are interested or even understand your interest. If you're the kind of researcher that needs a supporter, cheerleader or just an attentive ear, join a local genealogy society and get your fix. There are many in the same boat. But don't set yourself up by letting the opinions or lack of interest from other family members affect you in a negative way. Of course they don't understand. Dedicated Family Historians do not come along but an average of once every one hundred years! You are unique and what you are leaving behind may be treasured for centuries from now.


Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1284324073000
Classification: Query
Hello,Do not feel alone.I two have wondered the same things.I have only just begun to research my FT.My father just turned 99 in Aug,2010 and the few facts and people that he knows about in our family have proven to be very difficult to verify through records.The most important thing that drives me to continue my reseach is the hope that from now,the future generations of my family will have me to thank for the ease with which they will be able to access the life stories of their ancestors.Besides that you can only watch so many reruns on the TV!Good Luck

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1286661748000
Classification: Query
This is a HUGE problem for me!!! Unlike most people on Ancestry, I never married, and have no children to pass my tree on to. I am age 67, and haven't been in great health, - and who is caring about ANYTHING on my tree? The answer is : NOBODY!

I have two sisters: one has no children; the other has two children, but they aren't the least bit interested, and I am not close to the two children.

I recently asked Ancestry if there was any way my tree would survive, so that any DISTANT relatives could see into my tree for useful information...I am proud of the work I have done on it, and do feel a need that it shouldn't vanish without trace.

Ancestry say they don't like to destroy trees. If I gave it up, for instance, it would still be there, invisible to others but waiting for me to enter my username and password.

In other words, no-one will have access to it when I go!


P.S. But this isn't a sob story by any means ... I've enjoyed every minute of it!!!!!

Re: What is the importance of Ancestry?

Posted: 1286662333000
Classification: Query

1) Create a GEDCOM of your tree and place it on Rootsweb. Those trees stay there forever- or at least as Rootsweb lasts.

2) Make your tree on Ancestry Public. That way any paid subscriber to see them in the future.

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