Why search for your roots? Alex Haley’s famous quote explains why this popular hobby of GENEALOGY or FAMILY HISTORY is pursued so passionately by many individuals throughout the world: In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage-to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.
Could this quote explain the reasons that many individuals seem lost in today’s world, wandering through life without purpose or roots, not knowing who they are or where they came from? Find out more about your ancestry than just facts: what they did for a living, what was important to them, what trials and struggles they overcame, what they were like as individuals, how you are different or similar to them, what skills, attitudes and values they have passed on perhaps unknowingly to you. Share what you learn about your ancestors with your descendants.
Begin by contacting members of your family who may have genealogical information: old photos, letters, clippings, certificates or memorabilia that can give you clues about your parents or grandparents’ names, dates and places. A trip to our local Family History Center at 162 North 400 East in St. George can help you in the search for your roots. Don’t feel you have to be an expert at genealogy to begin. There are also marvelous resources and volunteers available for discovering and sharing your family roots online at www.familysearch.org. Their new FAMILY TREE program is available free to the public to share family history complete with photos and stories on the Internet.
You could meet some new extended family cousins out there with information to share on a common ancestor. Try doing a google search for your ancestor you want to know more about by typing in their name, birthplace and date: “John Lemmon” North Carolina 1780. Click on any links that look promising after your search. You’ll be amazed at what you will find from Internet cousins who are sharing photos and histories of an ancestor they have in common with you. Look at my webpage www.famhistory1867.com/ with my family histories and photos of my ancestors that I have collected for over 50 years. Others are doing the same perhaps for your very ancestors.
NEXT TIME: Discover Your Past. Send me stories about your parents. How did they contribute to your life? What qualities of theirs do you admire?