Learning About the Past While Looking Towards the Future

We often have lots of questions about who we are. Where are my ancestors from? Where did we study, work, and worship? Where did I get this red hair? (Actually, that answer is probably simple–Ireland.)
For many of us, the prospect of tracing our family trees is invigorating. We’d love to learn the answers to these questions, and maybe pick up a link to royalty or wealth. Of course, on the more pragmatic side, recent ancestors can also provide us with valuable health information that could have a bearing on our children.
The first step is to start with the here and now, and go back as far as you can with your family’s own records. Be careful to check for credibility. Legacy Tree genealogists note that information drawn from memory is often incorrect. Once you start on the right path, your understanding of your story will manifest itself in exciting ways for your family.
Travel Ideas
Ever been stumped about where to go for a trip? It could be just a weekend getaway or a long jaunt out of the country, but whatever your availability, sometimes the old idea well just dries up and you need something to get your creativity going.
Getting some detailed genealogy information can get things flowing again. And the great thing about it is that it can create an itinerary for any length of trip.
If the research has traced your family’s path through several nearby cities, rent an RV and follow their path. Find the places where they have been. Visit the cemeteries where they have been laid to rest. Track down their schools and their churches. You’ll find an amazing energy and connection from just being in places where you know they have been.
If your budget permits it, get on a plane and return to your ancestral home in Scotland, France, Spain, or wherever your lineage takes you. You may even find distant cousins or communities that bear your family name.
Excuses To Celebrate
One of the great things about raising kids is the opportunity to share celebrations with them. Sometimes, though, you can just feel like part of the crowd of millions when you observe the same things that all your fellow citizens are celebrating.
For example, if you trace your family back to France, you can start doing something in observance of Bastille Day. Mexican lineage means Cinco de Mayo should be circled on your calendar. Turkish roots call for recognition of Republic Day on October 29th.
And your ancestry can modify how you celebrate the holidays you already recognize. If it turns out you have German lineage, you can follow their traditions by having your kids leave letters on the windowsill for Christkind, or by making traditional German sweets.
By adding new traditions or modifying your observance of old ones, you can breathe new life into your calendar.

Great Ideas For The Home
If you’ve ever felt you’re out of ideas for home décor, a trip through your ancestry can spark some new ideas. Sometimes all you need is a single focal point in a room to get it started with a whole new theme.
Imagine an international (or even interprovincial) photograph in the center of a barren wall maybe a shot of the fjords of Norway or a beautiful sunset over Beirut. From there you can draw colors and textures that you will utilize elsewhere in the room. A sandy carpet below a shot of the Australian outback can tie the whole room together beautifully.
Or you could pick up an authentic coffee table from your native land and develop the theme from there. Your imagination–and your lineage–are the only limitations. And best of all, the new decor can be a wonderful kick-start for conversations with visitors about your heritage.
As nations made up mostly of immigrants, Canada, Australia, and the United States are all home to millions of people with little or no knowledge of where they are actually from. With genealogical research, you’ll take yourself out of that number and join a crowd that knows who they are and where they’re from. You and your kids will have a stronger identity, a sense of pride, and a great way to build learning and adventure together.


  1. Susan T. says

    My family is tracing our ancestry right now and it has been pretty interesting. We are definitely embracing our Viking heritage! I would love to travel to Norway to see where my family lived.

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says

    My twin sister was the one looking into our family history, she had fun doing it too. Now that she’s passed away the daughter of one of our cousins has taken over the task.

  3. Darlene Demell says

    I have been working on my grandmothers family histoy and its so interesting. I am at a place now where I am kind of stuck but will keep working at it.

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