How self-isolation has inspired us to discover more about our family history

The coronavirus pandemic has left families globally, unable to see their loved ones. [...]

The coronavirus pandemic has left families globally, unable to see their loved ones. This period of self-isolation has been a time to reflect and has left family members seeking out deeper connections with one another while spending more time sharing and exploring their family history.

Coronavirus has highlighted that connection is essential to our emotional and mental health with research from Ancestry®, revealing 57% of British adults feel that being connected to their family is a key factor in improving wellbeing.  The research comes as lockdown rules loosen and meeting up with loved ones in our support bubble is top of our minds, particularly after such a long time of being unable to be physically together.

The study of more than 2,000 British adults also found that 41% of people seek more meaningful connections in our day-to-day lives with this rising to 59% amongst those aged between 18-34. Meanwhile, a further 61% said that they are interested in digging into the roots of their family tree in hope of forming closer bonds with their relatives.

Along with helping ourselves feel closer to our families, discussing family history and stories from the past can also help navigate this period of uncertainty.  Discovering your family history can give you a real sense of security and a better understanding of who you are.   Exploring your family origins, listening to tales from relatives and sharing early memories creates a sense of togetherness and strengthens family bonds.   

Learning more about your family can you take you on your own travel journey as you uncover where your ancestors were born and raised, as well as how their heritage and culture has shaped your family and you as a person.

Discovering the road your great grandparents and their great grandparents have travelled and the challenges they may have encountered in life, is a good leveller.  Knowing their origins and perhaps even the hard times they faced and overcame can put life’s current struggles and worries into perspective too.

It’s really simple to get started, using tools like ancestry.co.uk, you can enter your family’s names and dates of birth, or as much information as you can. Once you start adding detail, you’ll get hints for other records and other family members, that help show you where to look next and lead you to even more discoveries.

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Anji McGrandles
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22/10/2020
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