Learning Your Family History

I am sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s a small world” at some point in your life. About 3 years ago, I learned just how small the world really was and how important it is to know your family history.  My best friend’s mom passed away, and I attended the memorial service and met one of her co-workers, Mary. We had an instant connection and became fast friends. So, 3 months ago I received a text message from my Mary asking if my grandfather had a sister named Viola who had lived in Mississippi.  To my surprise, she was correct!

Mary and I had been friends and had no idea we were related. When I joined Facebook, I used my married name and recently decided to add my maiden name to my Facebook profile. After a short conversation, I learned that Mary was in fact the granddaughter of my paternal grandfather’s oldest sister. This year instead of one family reunion, I will be attending two, with plans to share all I know about my family’s history.  The friendship between Mary and I encouraged me to learn more about my father’s side of the family and my family tree.  Learning your family history can be a wonderful journey into history. There are many research websites to locate public records, like www.usa.gov and membership-based websites such as www.ancestry.com. These websites can help you build family trees and upload photos so that this information can be passed on to generation after generation for years to come.

I hope my story encourages you to share at family gatherings this summer all the knowledge you have about your family’s history.  Even if you feel the information you have to share could be redundant, share it anyway. Someone may learn something about you or members of your family that they never knew.  For more ideas to make learning and sharing family history fun, visit sites like www.Pinterest.com, or www.Ask.com.   Both sites offer a wide variety of ways to learn and share your memories.

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