The older you get the more you may wonder about your family history. About the stories, the secrets, and the seemingly ordinary—yet extraordinary lives of the generations past. This goes beyond creating a family tree but compiling the photos, letters, and oral history of your predecessors.
It’s Getting Easier
If you have ever watched shows like Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots, then you have seen the amazing advances in ancestral DNA, but also how technology empowers us to access detailed data—like census information and old newspaper archives. You can even type your family name into places like Ancestry.com and potentially be connected with family members near and far. Even your DNA results can alert you to a long list of cousins and family members.
Make It A Family Affair
It is important to take the time to sit down with your grandparents and 60+ loved ones to learn about their stories—but you must also learn more about your parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. The goal is not to pry, but to leave an oral history behind for the generations to come.
Not everyone will be open to sharing private information or painful memories so be respectful of their boundaries—and stick to the happy memories.