We all walk a road of creating history. Even the slightest reflection or remembrance, is a form of history because it already happened. And those reflections help to make us the people we are and who we are to become.
My own family is filled with wonderful stories from the Amish community. I scarcely know much of my Amish family since my mother left the Amish when she was 24 and married my dad whose family left the Amish, from another part of the country, when he was just 11. My mother did experience shunning, which is part of their tradition, and naturally cut me off from many of my relatives on my mother’s side. It’s been a thrill getting to know my relatives since I’ve become an adult and it’s caused me to wonder about the many family members I do not know. My family lineage is traced back to the 1200’s on Mom’s side, but I know little more, at this point in time. I am still searching!
I’m certainly not the only one who has an unusual family history. I contend many people do. But I find it exciting to think about how my relatives left Europe in hopes of religious freedom. Other families left their home country looking for opportunity for a better economic life, others left for freedom of expression or political asylum, and more! The point is we all have a background whether it be French, Spanish, African, Asian, British or a host of others! People want more from life and will often go to extreme measures to find it, if they believe their quality of life will improve.
As cultures blend we create a whole new history, one that is current and is ours, but it’s passed on to our children and grandchildren and often they want to know what their “family tree” is. Sometimes this search can be carried out via the Internet where there are scores of sites for genealogy records, many which are free. Other times it takes scouring family documents and scrapbooks, the US census records, stories from family members, a historical society, US land records, or cemetery records. Sometimes the search will take you across the ocean to visit the land of your parent’s or grandparent’s birth, as my friend did some years ago. It gives a sense of who you are and where you came from.
I challenge you to consider your roots and what it is about your family which is unique. Consider how your past and your family's past has helped create and form the person you are. Are there secrets only a few know? Are there great heroes from wars or possibly tragic events you are just learning? What was the preferred trade, if any? Were there religious preferences? What major events happened where or when your relatives lived? There are scores of questions which could be asked and ultimately in some way reflect your background. And.... your life, even as you live it today, will be the reflection of your children and grandchildren. What will they want to remember?