Question of the Week: How has researching your ancestors made you more thankful?

+7 votes
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How has researching your ancestors made you more thankful?

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
I have learned that many in my family tree (on both sides) died very young and had sad lives. It made me realize how blessed I have been to live 75 years despite many challenges like surviving Cancer, losing family members, etc. I'm also blessed with cousins I didn't know I had ad who have become friends. Glenda McCarty

10 Answers

+5 votes
My Morgan Family Tree on Ancestry.com taught me how difficult it was to survive in early times. And there Morays and Forays. Marriages at 13-15 years old. Difficulty in travel. Cousins marry, and having children born with problems. We are so fortunate to live at this era.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (842k points)
+7 votes

Researching my ancestors has certainly made me more thankful. Before I saw the 1900 census, I had no idea that my great grandmother Clara McCleery had five children and one had died young. I did not know my great grandmother Laura Lovelace died in childbirth, and her mother died young of yellow fever.  I also found had two more great great grandmothers that died in childbirth and one other, Margaret Pine, had to spend several years in a hospital with Tuberculosis before she died. I could go on and on, but my point is that these are tragedies that are now part of history with modern medicine. Doing genealogy is certainly educational and thought provoking, and it makes me appreciate the life I have.   

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (110k points)
+5 votes
I am thankful I was born in a time and place where I can vote, access higher education, not die in childbirth with my tenth child, and not have to put up with being beaten or raped by my own husband.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (114k points)
+7 votes
I am thankful to be alive. Every generation has its tough battles. But finding out what happened to some of my ancestors helped put mine in perspective. One of my great-grandmothers for instance got pregnant with her first child at 14 yrs old. When her parents found out the family moved from the Wild west gold rush town of Hokitika to the North Island, probably to get her away from the predator. She married only a few years later at 17 yrs old and died age 34, giving birth to her 15th child. That child was my grandfather. So finding out about my paternal heritage and ancestry has made me thankful to be alive. I am also thankful to live in the time when science has advanced to the extent that we now have DNA and could find out who my father is, and about my ancestors, good, or bad. By the way her husband didn't settle for only 14 children, he remarried and had more. They had big families back in the day - no T.V., as a friend of mine put it.
by Sarah Jenkins G2G6 (6.1k points)
+6 votes

Looking through family records has made me realize my grandmother was a thoughtful, caring person. She never demonstrated a lot of affection, and I didn't know her very well. But now I see how she helped my parents through the rough spots. Her quiet actions -- mowing the lawn when my dad was hospitalized, wall-papering the house, paying special attention to one of my siblings -- was her way. I'm thankful for this.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 4 (48k points)
+3 votes
Without ancestors I'd have had no parents, and without parents, there'd be no me. I think, all in all, that gives me a lot more to be thankful for than to regret.
by Frank Blankenship G2G3 (3.2k points)
+4 votes
Certainly has!!!   Our ancestors certainly struggled, had a shorter life expectancy, and endured great losses.   It's made me even more aware of how precious life is; we should appreciate what we have in this country.
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (145k points)
+3 votes
Absolutely it makes me realize how hard my family has worked to get to where we are.  From the first Langford that came to the colonies in 1640 to all of his descendants, I am thankful for their hard work and the knowledge they passed down. I am also thankful that they fought for our freedom. And instilled in me the importance of America which brought me to serve in the military.
by Teresa Langford G2G4 (4.7k points)
+2 votes

The research of all my Heid and Briesch ancestors made me actually very grateful, but also in many cases between 1698 and 1900 very sad because of the high infant mortality rates. However, some parents' ancestors were only 35 or 40 years old due to epidemics.  In one family both parents and all children died up to one son. That was the extreme time frame between 1755 and 1798. My paternal grandmother gave birth to 11 children, two of them stillborn and one son only one day after his birth. This shows that life before 1900 was a very difficult time for everyone. Characterized by heavy physical work in agriculture, as well as in the trade and also the many armed conflicts with serious consequences for many families.

 With 80 years I can be today only very grateful that I was allowed to experience over 70 years without war and also the economic development after 1948 allowed me a very pleasant and successful working, as well as a beautiful retirement period made possible.

ago by Winfried Heid G2G2 (2.2k points)
+2 votes
I am thankful for the rootedness that my research has given me. Knowing about my ancestors lives gives a great background to my life.
ago by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)

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