5 Reasons Why You Should Build a Family Tree

Guest post by Sarah Brooks.

Genealogy research is rewarding in and of itself, but the information yielded by a comprehensive family search has value beyond the fun of uncovering details about your lineage. Until they are elbow-deep in historical facts and references, most family investigators don’t understand the power of the experience. And the pursuit unfolds in many different ways for genealogy researchers, who each come to the pastime with their own unique goals and expectations.

Wherever your particular family interests lie, building a family tree is a rewarding personal achievement which may take a lifetime to complete. Your masterpiece awaits its first entry, which can be as simple as sketching out a tree of your living relatives. And regardless of your motivation, you’ll quickly see and feel the benefits of building a family tree.

Personalize History – We’ve all studied United States and world history in school, so a vague sense of what was happening when starts to sink in at an early age. Genealogy research takes your history lessons one step further, by adding a more personal nature to historical events and eras. As you assemble details about your relatives’ lives, it becomes possible to superimpose their existence over the timeline of known history, illuminating precisely what the lives of your cherished ancestors were like.

In many cases, links to noted events and personalities emerge on the family trees of researchers, who find politicians, innovators, and stand-out professionals in their lineage. Adding names and faces to bygone days is a way of identifying with the trials and tribulations your ancestors faced, and to better understand how you benefit from their efforts today.

Reconnect with Family Members – Even close families grow apart over time, as entire generations of family members lose the connections held by their parents. Crafting a family tree helps some families get back in touch, by reinforcing family links. In many cases, contact established through genealogy research brings family members together who would otherwise never meet one another.

Family reunions born of genealogy research furnish life-changing opportunities to link the past with the future, establishing ongoing relationships between family members brought together by someone’s desire to build a family tree. And uncovering family details can also be an experience shared by family members who engage in the pastime together.

Medical History Sheds Light – So many illnesses and diseases have hereditary roots that building a family tree carries practical benefits for living family members’ health care. While the details you uncover may not go back centuries, tracing a few generations of known health complications within your family furnishes a relevant snapshot of disease trends within your family. For researchers just getting started, including family health history among the other points of data gathered about each family member is highly recommended.

Preserve Family History – Family researchers find a mixed bag of references as they begin crafting individual family trees. In some cases, family lore is well-documented due to the efforts of prior generations’ notations and efforts to preserve information. In other instances, however, a blank slate of family history and traditions leaves amateur genealogists with many blanks to fill. Taking the time where others haven’t leaves a historical account of your ancestry, which future generations can turn to without engaging in deep research. Genealogy breathes life into the past, but it also keeps family history close to the surface for the future.

Genealogy Links Generations – Family trees illustrate, more than any single resource, precisely where we have come from and the path we took to get where we are. In addition to learning about ourselves as we look into historic family accounts, we break down generational barriers between family members, both living and deceased. Personal struggles and hardships faced by our ancestors fade away, as family trees show that we are all in it together, sharing fleeting biological connections, which leave impressive footprints, over time.

In addition to practical benefits like documenting health histories and preserving family data, building a family tree provides personal rewards for those who undertake the task. Living connections, family traditions, and historical significance of individuals and events take on new meaning when tied to the bigger picture your family tree provides.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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