If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you have some interest in preserving your family history for future generations to enjoy. After all, learning about who came before us and what they accomplished can give us an identity that transcends the years, instilling pride and knowledge within our hearts. But in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to find time to preserve family history – let alone know where to start! Here are 10 benefits to begin preserving your family history so that future generations will be able to learn from their past as well.
1) Identify your ancestors
Before you can preserve your family history, you need to understand who your ancestors are and where they came from. Start by using resources like genealogy websites or a local library to find records that identify your ancestors’ names, birth dates, hometowns, and last known addresses. These will help form a foundation for further research.
2) You get to know your family better
By preserving and sharing your family history, you’re able to learn more about yourself and your loved ones. You can pass down stories from one generation to another, which will help preserve family legacies for future generations. Some families choose to take it a step further and create family trees that outline their entire ancestry with names, dates of birth and death, professions, interesting facts—the list goes on! After all, knowledge is power! It also gives great life lessons: Most people who engage in preserving family history (and other genealogical projects) agree that doing so provides them with wonderful life lessons.
3) Online Digital Storage
Digital storage is perhaps the most cost-effective way to preserve your family history, and there are a number of online solutions. Online storage is a secure and safe way to preserve these memories and stories, making them more widely available to members of your family. But with numerous providers offering online storage, how do you choose?
Here are a few key questions you should ask before making your decision: How long will it take for me to access my data? Can I easily share my documents among family members or on social media? How will I know that my files are stored securely? If anything happens in the future, what kind of disaster recovery plan exists? The better able an online digital storage provider answers these questions, the more likely it is that they can help ensure that your efforts don’t result in tears down the road!
4) Share your legacy with others
If you’re trying to preserve your family history because you want to leave a legacy for future generations, that’s great. But what about everyone else? When your descendants look back on their family tree and reflect on their past, they’ll need people to share their story with: whether it be friends or even strangers. Don’t be selfish; preserve your story so others can learn from it!
5) Be ready in case of an emergency
By using digital online storage, such as Storii, you're ready in case of an emergency. While we're not talking emergency supplies here, we're talking about preserving your family legacy. Ask yourself, what's the first thing you'd grab in case of a fire? Aside from your loved ones and pets, the answer is almost always photo albums. By having digital online storage filled not only with photos but the memories along with them, you're ready in case the worst-case scenario happens.
6) Connect with relatives you don’t know
A lot of people are very close to their families. For them, family history is nothing but a hobby that helps keep their relatives’ memories alive. But if you’re not that close with your family, preserving their history could be an opportunity to connect with relatives you never knew or haven’t seen in years. You can even meet distant relatives at local genealogy gatherings or conferences—and there are several online social networks you can use to join these communities and connect with new people.
7) Create a sense of belonging in your kids
One reason for building a family tree is to create a sense of belonging in your kids. Many people find it important to know where they came from, and that their roots are firmly planted in specific places or with specific ethnic groups. If you’re interested in creating a family tree as part of your interest in genealogy, make sure you share what you learn with your children so they can understand their place in history and also feel connected to past generations.
8) Know where you came from and where you are going
One of my favorite quotes from American statesman and orator Benjamin Franklin is ...and know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in life. The same can be said for knowing your family history; it doesn’t just happen. You need to understand where you came from to know where you are going. This understanding comes with time and effort, but a little goes a long way.
9) Helps you make informed decisions on your healthcare
You may have a family history of heart disease, cancer, obesity, or diabetes. By knowing your family’s medical history, you can better understand why someone in your family is affected by these illnesses. Being aware will help you make informed decisions on your healthcare and lifestyle. If no one has ever had heart disease or breast cancer in your family, for example, it’s less likely that you will get these diseases.
10) Most importantly, it’s fun!
One of the biggest benefits to preserving family history is that it’s fun! Whether you want to capture your family stories or preserve old photographs, it’s a way for families to connect. Take memorable moments, little happenings...the funny things we used to do and pass them on down through time so that future generations can read about them, learn from them and connect with others who have similar experiences.
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