A Place for Mom

25 Reasons to Learn About Your Family History

Caitlin Burm
By Caitlin BurmMay 13, 2014
Reasons to Learn About Your Family History

In honor of Mother’s Day, we held a family history sweepstakes with Ancestry.com. A Place for Mom readers shared with us why it’s important to learn about family history, and we listened.

Now, we’re sharing their top 25 reasons to learn about ancestry with you.

Reasons to Learn More About Your Family History

Did you know that “28% of adults do not feel they know, or knew, their mother as well as they would like”? A survey conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by A Place for Mom revealed the following topics were what U.S. adults wanted to know about their moms:

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  • Career highlights (e.g., significant work achievements, favorite job)
  • Family history (e.g., genealogy, origins of the family)
  • Life advice (e.g., view on aging, words of wisdom to share with children and grandchildren)
  • Medical history (e.g. health issues common with family members, life-threatening disease diagnosis)
  • Personal history (e.g., childhood memories, dating history)

We received great tips from our readers through our Mother’s Day sweepstakes, about why it’s important to connect with your roots. For sharing tips about family history, we offered our readers the chance to win a 1-year membership ($300 value) to Ancestry.com. We further celebrated moms everywhere by asking our Facebook fans to describe their mothers in one word.

Congratulations to Stephanie S. who is the winner of our contest, and who has been learning about her family history since she was 12-years-old! She is now a keeper of her family’s genealogy, and she says knowing your ancestry is important, “as time passes by and family either passes away or moves out of the area.”

Although only one reader could win an Ancestry membership, we received many great responses, so we’re sharing the top 25 family history tips with you below.

25 Reasons to Make Your Family History an Intergenerational Activity

  1. “We are all an accumulation of not only our life experience, but those who were our ancestors.” – Connie H.
  2. “To preserve our family history.” – Shirley H.
  3. “I am the only child of a woman from Weisbaden, Germany. She always kept Germany a secret. Don’t know why, but it kept us from having a relationship, all my adult life. She never threw anything away. But all evidence of Germany and paperwork is gone. I’d love to know where I came from.” – Anna B.
  4. “It is fun to learn background on families.” – Paul W.
  5. “To know our heritage and where we came from. Where our past became our present.” – Kelly W.
  6. “My family is all gone, though I do remember a few members from when I was a child. I want to pass this information onto my grandchildren. Our world is changing so fast and our young people may never know the lengths our elder family went to.” – Carole H.
  7. “I am the only one in my family interested in leaving a family history and a legacy.” – Gloria N.
  8. “To know what has made our family so strong.” – Susan D.
  9. “To know about my family and the history of it all.” – Samantha W.
  10. “Learning about family history is important. It is essential to understanding ourselves and basic humanity and diversity. Family history also helps to keep memories alive and allow each generation to have an idea of who they are and where they come from.” – Taleta M.
  11. “To know who you really are.” – Janice B.
  12. “Because my grandparents passed away before I was born, I want to know more about my family.” – Bonnie P.
  13. “I would love to see if I can find pictures to tie into some stories.” – Cathy O.
  14. “Because I lost my father nearly 30 years ago, I am trying to do a family tree so I can leave it for my children to learn about the grandparents they never met.” – Lynne R.
  15. “Because I want my kids, grandkids and all generations to know where their family came from and to be proud of all of them!” – Judith I.
  16. “Something I will hand down to my kids.” – Gloria G.
  17. “I have 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren and would love to be able to pass down some family information to them.” -Katherine B.
  18. “To know and connect my family blood line, since no one in my family knows the my father’s side. It would be great to get in touch and meet all of them.” — Virginia W.
  19. “Get younger generations interested to continue on with findings.” – Rebecca E.
  20.  “So much history there. I would just love to know after 52 years of wondering.” – Anna B.
  21.  “We have at least one family meal at our house and the grandchildren come. We do ancestry together and they love doing the searching.” – Carole H.
  22.  “Establishing a family tree, having family gatherings and taking pictures to put in an album and on disc that will be used to add more over time and years.” – Taleta M.
  23.  “My family is already wanting to know more about the family. Especially my great, great, great and so on, ancestors. I would love to learn right along with them.” – Dottie W.
  24.  “I share everything I learn with my family and also put together binders of information for future family to enjoy.” – Ryan M.
  25.  “I plan to make a book with some stories and pictures for the family.” – Cathy O.

APFM also recommends conversation starters that can be found in the Harris Poll survey to guide you in asking the right questions to help preserve your family history.

Thank you for sharing your stories! We’d love to hear more about your family history in the comments below.

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Caitlin Burm
Caitlin Burm

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