Why you need to do Family History

By Michael Bunderson

            In the past couple years there have been an increase focusing on the importance of family history. With that in mind one question may arise, “Why is it important to know about someone who died decades or even centuries before we were born?” In answer to that question someone once said, "We are who we are because they were who they were” There is a great value in learning about those who lived on before us, especially our ancestors. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is a great emphasis on eternal families. This doesn’t mean just the ones we see every year at the family reunions, but it can and if we fulfill our responsibilities everyone on earth can be together with those they loved.  Ellen Goodman said, “..what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we lived. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage.”            Family history doesn’t mean you have to go through hundreds of resources and spending all your time searching for your ancestors. It is a lot easier than that it could as simple as talking to your parents about memories they had as a child or how their parents were. There are stories that may never be told all because no one asked about them. All it takes is just asking with real interest. By hearing the stories of parents and grandparents you will be able to feel closer to them and show them how much you really care about them. Everyone has a story, and people like to know that others want to hear what they have experienced no matter whom you are if you show interest in them they will want to share their stories with you.

            Family history goes even farther than simply getting to know about your relatives it also can start with you. Write down your stories, because if you don’t share them through either writing them down or with people no one will know.

            In Malachi Chapter 4 verse 6 it reads, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” God wants families to be together that is why there is the spirit of Elijah that has the purpose of bringing family together.  No matter how rough it may seem at first people can come together, wounds will be mended and everyone will feel happiness and love.

            Ultimately family is a major key in helping us become who we are life always feels better when we have people there for us. The ones that care about us, who are there for us are often described as the same thing, family.



To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.            – Chinese Proverb



Here are some examples of questions you could ask your parents and grandparents
1. What is your full name?
2. Does it have any meaning to it?
3. What is your earliest memory?
4. How many are in your family?
5. What do you remember about your parents?
6. How did you and your siblings get along?
7. Did you have any childhood nicknames?
8. What activities did you do as a child? What was your favorite thing to do?
9. Did you play on any organized sport teams?
10. What was your first job?
11. What grades did you get during elementary, middle (junior high) and high school?
12. Did you got to college? Why did you choose to go there?
13. What was your field of study?
14. How did you meet your spouse?
15. How did you decide on a career?
16. Where did you decide to live and why?
17. What did you want to be when you grew up?
18. What did friends remember most about you?
19. What were you most known for in your family/area?
20. Who was (were) the one(s) you looked up to?