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Why is understanding your family tree important?

Ahead of the free online course Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree, Tahitia McCabe, lead educator, explores some of the reasons why researching your family tree can be so rewarding.

Ahead of the free online course Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree, Tahitia McCabe, lead educator, explores some of the reasons why researching your family tree can be so rewarding.

FutureLearn genealogy
Who might you find researching your family?

There are a variety of benefits that come from understanding their family tree and from doing genealogical research.

Some enjoy the pleasure of the hunt for ancestors.

Family history research can be like working on a giant puzzle for which you may never find a final solution…there are always more details to be added or people to be found. A eureka moment of discovering an elusive third cousin twice removed or even details on a secretive grandfather is sweet indeed! Many an archive’s search room has witnessed the ‘I finally found it!’ wiggle dance and for many, this sense of satisfaction and discovery is of great importance.

Other enjoy connecting to future generations through passing on traditions and stories.

Knowing that your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and so on will understand who their ancestors were, where they came from, what they did and how they lived is a great comfort. It’s possible to include all sorts of information in one’s family history including recipes, songs and personal anecdotes. This detail brings people to life and conveys personality.

Bringing history to life through discovering direct links to historical events and places can be thrilling.

Many of us enjoy the sense of connection we get to places and peoples through an ancestral tie. Exploring these links helps us understand to a small degree what our ancestors’ lives were like and how differently we live now. It can also help promote a deeper connection to people across the globe as so many of our family stories are based on immigration. Some people take these links further by joining surname, lineage or heritage societies such as the Sons of Norway or the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Plus a few other benefits…

There are other benefits as well which include discovering your family’ medical history, having the chance to put the record straight over misunderstood family stories or possibly connecting with long lost or unknown family members. Perhaps one of the best benefits though is the opportunity to join a worldwide community of genealogy enthusiasts who are keen to share their expertise.

Discover your family tree, join the free online course Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree now.

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