Devon Noel Lee
The Gift of Writing a Family History
In a season of giving or a world that craves personal benefits, the gift of writing a family history serves you and others for
Writing family history provides a way to bring history to life. It's a way to make true the hope, "Gone, But Not Forgotten."
The Gift of Understanding the Past
Do you want the rising generation to comprehend the sacrifices made during a war?
Tell them a story about their ancestor who fought, evaded, or was ill during a conflict. Tell them of Jerome Bonaparte Howard who died in Anderson Prison during the Civil War. Then tell them about his widow who became a doctor during a time when women didn't work outside the home.
Do you want to war a young adult about inflation, depressions, and recessions? Tell them about their ancestor who lived during the time period and the hardships they experienced. Help a young person see into the past via their ancestors and how past events shaped their family.
Build Upon The Shoulders of Strength
Every family tree has a few nuts in them. We have to all accept that. However, nearly every tree has some strong individuals who we should emulate.
These persons of strength - be it physical prowess, fortitude during trials, or unshakeable faith, can offer encouragement and motivation for family members facing difficult circumstances.
For instance, a grandfather who worked as a sharecropper in the segregated south. How he never allowed excuses or the color of his skin prevent him from providing for his family. When he saw racial injustices, he worked harder and proved people wrong through his strong, civilized character.
Or, a woman who was practically an only child because her mother struggled to birth viable children. This woman learned she could not have her own biological children. Instead, she adopted girls in the 1920s. She even gave a home to an infant that was sickly and not expected to live very long. Her long helped that daughter live to the age of 92.
Or what about an ancestor who lived through religious persecution. She left hearth and home to stay true to her principles even when she was driven out by mobs and other persecuting townsfolk. In the end, she died knowing she would be welcomed into the arms of her Savior after loving her neighbors as herself.
While I do not have every one of these strong characters on my family tree, I know many of my ancestors faced great trials and overcame them. The greatest gift family history has given me is the confidence to do my best and build upon their shoulders.
When we don’t know where we come from, it can cause some self-esteem issues. It can leave you wondering who you are or like a piece of you is missing. By writing your family history, you can provide a sense of purpose and belonging to current and future generations that will give them more confidence.
Don’t put off writing your family history. Start your research today and get ready to share an amazing story about your genetic line.