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Genealogy Provides the Strength to Persevere

Knowing your family's past can help you get through a crisis


While history helps us understand the present by knowing the past, family history makes that past personal. As Jason Harrison, a manager at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, told me, “Your ancestors’ story is part of your story. Understanding what they experienced, and what they did, better helps you understand yourself.” ...genealogy provides context to our suffering, and the strength to persevere.

Without genealogy, people from the past can feel abstract to us; looked at in aggregate, a tragedy like the Spanish Flu can melt into an abstract horror. But when you have a connection to someone who went through such a tragedy, the circumstances are much more real and relatable. And if the people of the past are real to us, this means we are not so different from them. This means they have much to teach us.