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Search for Your Ancestors

Updated on September 4, 2016
elayne001 profile image

Ruth, a.k.a. Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian and has had amazing travel experiences.

Rufus Winston and Lillie Searle Barker (my great-great grandparents)
Rufus Winston and Lillie Searle Barker (my great-great grandparents) | Source

A good way to find out who you are, and to know yourself is to learn about the ancestors that produced you. So much of what we are comes from our parents and the training they gave us as we grew to maturity under their care. They, in turn, have received much from their parents and ancestry. In particularly, we have inherited some of our physical traits and our cultural and religious beliefs from those on our pedigree chart.

I recently wrote a hub about my grandparents. I shared how much they have influenced my life. Some of them even kept journals so that I could get to know more about my ancestors. The stories they left behind mean a lot to me.

Seek out your roots and you will find your life.

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten; Either write things worthy of reading, or do things worthy of writing." - Benjamin Franklin.”, 1738

"When a society or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found. They forgot where they came from." -Carl Sandburg

Seek out your roots and you will find your life.

The farther backward you look, the farther ahead you can see. Winston Churchill

Jump into your genes...and dig up your roots.

Genealogy: A search for the greatest treasures - our ancestors.

A family tree can wither if nobody tends to it's roots.

Our family gene pool needs some chlorine.


My father has been very busy, during much of his free time, doing family history and geneology to try to find out where our ancestors came from, and what they were like. Some of his findings are auto-biographies, some are biographies written by people who knew them, some were gleaned from history books and other sources. They all give us some insights as to who we are.

I feel very fortunate to have a pedigree chart that goes back several generations. I know the names, birth dates, birth places, and other info on my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents, and on some lines it goes back to the 1500s and even further.

How a Knowledge of My Ancestors Impacts My Life

I think there is an innate desire to know about our ancestors. You can see that when children have been adopted, and many spend much time and money to find their birth parents. We all have certain physical, mental and social traits that we have acquired from our ancestors.

Particularly in my life, I have enjoyed music and art. I found through the stories of my ancestors that there is a thread of this love of art and music throughout. Another definite thread is the tendency to be religious in nature. Several of my ancestors left their homes in Europe, particularly Scotland, Denmark and England to seek religious freedom.

My great-great grandfather Archibald became a student of the Bible from an early age. Once he and his wife Agnes started raising their family. Their minister told them it was necessary to sprinkle their babies. For some time he complied with this doctrine, and then, finally, he rebelled against it. He told the minister that "nowhere in the scriptures could he find where it was necessary for young children to be sprinkled, and that he would let the dews of Heaven baptize his children before he would let the minister sprinkle any more of his children" . About this time the Mormon Elders came around, and the doctrine they taught seemed to be in line with what Archie believed. I think the examples of my ancestors influence my faith in God and desire to keep the commandments.

On both sides of my family, maternal and paternal, there were those stalwart individuals that left their homes, and sacrificed so much during their lives. They traveled on ships across the Atlantic, and pulled handcarts across the plains to Utah with the Mormon pioneers. They settled in Sanpete County, Utah, and carved out a new life for themselves in little settlements. They were very industrious and had big families. Their posterity can truly say that they were born of goodly parents.

Another thread that is woven throughout the stories of my ancestors is a love of nature. They grew gardens, nurtured house plants and raised animals, especially sheep and chickens.

We can blame our ancestors for our negative traits, although we still have our agency to choose how we deal with them. There is a definite stubborn streak that runs through our family history. I have struggled to overcome it for much of my life.

All of the individuals on my family tree have contributed DNA to make me what I am today, for good or ill.

My great-grandparents and their offspring
My great-grandparents and their offspring | Source

One story I enjoy about my great grandmother's father, Elam. At the request of Brigham Young, the Mormon leader at that time, Elam became an interpreter for the Indians in Utah. They were trying to pacify the hostile Indians so they would not cause harm or steal their animals. They would go to Grandpa Elam's mill and trade articles for sugar.

There are so many stories that I could share, but suffice it to say that I am so glad that I can read about my ancestors.

By learning about my ancestors, I try harder to follow their examples of faith, the importance of family and hard work. I also have kept my own journal for my children and hope they can learn from my life, too.

My paternal great-grandparents and their children. Rufus Orrin and Ella Isadora Barker
My paternal great-grandparents and their children. Rufus Orrin and Ella Isadora Barker | Source

Have you been involved in your family history or geneology?

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