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Why Genealogists Treasure Each Family Member

I know exactly when it happened. When I became that person who cries over a sappy TV commercial. Who can't hold back her own tears when someone else is crying. It was when I lost a close family member to a tragic accident when she was a toddler.

This little boy's spirit is imprinted on his siblings, my cousins.
I've added thousands of ancestors to my family tree by documenting every family in my ancestors' small Italian hometowns. That means I've entered death records for lots and lots of babies. Each one breaks my heart!

This doesn't describe every genealogist. But I suspect you feel an emotional connection to the relatives in your family tree.

Think about your favorite genealogy TV shows. Doesn't each one showcase a heart-wrenching connection to previously unknown ancestors?

Isn't that genuine emotional connection a part of the human condition? And isn't it the reason we do our family research?

I went to a funeral yesterday, and his death was a tragic loss for everyone gathered there. I want to focus on all that went into creating the man I knew. His ancestors, their emigration from Italy, their struggles to raise their families and carry on.

We are, as genealogists, paying tribute to the lives of each one of our ancestors. We're enriching our own spirits as well as those of our cousins.

You're discovering all the ancestors who made you exactly the person you are today. You're paying tribute to the people who touch your heart each time you see their names.

And if you think that's a waste of time, you don't know what family is.


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