Researching & sharing the family tree



Family history is a wonderful thing to share among generations.   It offers young people a great learning opportunity, opens their minds to other times, view points, cultures and experiences; and it gives the young & old a chance to bond, to share, to think and to unite.

One of the best English lessons I ever had in school was from our English teacher, Mrs Read.  We managed to side-track her from our usual topic - and somehow got onto the subject of her life history.  It was fascinating.  You can learn a lot from other people's life stories. 

Researching the family tree is something that families can do together. 

It gives them a sense of continuity, of bonding, a sense of belonging and feeling connected. It can also introduce them to completely new members of the family they never knew they had. Like the old oak tree in the field, family trees give us a sense of grounding, of solid being, a past, a present and a future.  We know that however much changes around us, that tree - or family history - will always be - unless we choose to chop it down or off, or just not take much notice of it.

Researching the family tree gives young people of all ages a chance to question.

One of the reasons why it's useful not to leave any sort of "Life history of mum" creation until too late is in case a) one's mother passes away; and b) in case too many of her childhood friends with memories of her pass on.  There are many of us who want to get our own family history down before we lose the chance to get the missing answers we need to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.

Mothers in particular are very good at knowing the vital bits of information that they need to build a family tree.  They are used to asking questions, fact finding, delving and searching about for information.

Family knowledge is often passed down through the generations, but never before has it been so possible to build up a thoroughly good picture of what our family trees look like.

Giving your Mum the opportunity to delve into the family tree gives her the opportunity to reflect on her achievement in building the next stage in the line of your family.  It is amazing how much you can learn on route to tracing your ancestors.

For many of us, our families had to toil very hard in living and working conditions we could never imagine possible, in days where there were far fewer safety nets if you fell short of being able to earn a penny or two.  Yet the fact that through all that, our ancesters were able to build the next generation of their line says a great deal about their stoicism.  And now our mothers have furthered the line. 

For a list of ancestry gift ideas and gift membership ideas, go to - it's a sister site to this one!