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Ancestral Ties to Past Lives: Were We Our Own Ancestors?

Updated on June 18, 2016
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty has been following an alternative spiritual path for seventeen years. She encourages others to follow their souls' calling.

A side-by-side photo comparison of me and one of my great great grandmothers. Did we once live as our own ancestors?
A side-by-side photo comparison of me and one of my great great grandmothers. Did we once live as our own ancestors? | Source

Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

Millions of people all over the world believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that the human soul lives more than one physical life. This belief has been ingrained in certain religions for thousands of years, including: Buddhism, Hinduism, various types of modern day Paganism and New Age. We can also see traces of it in the Kabbalah, and within sects of the Rosicrucians and Gnostics. If we look back through the pages of history, we would see that the belief in reincarnation dominated the ancients' views of life after death. The ancient Celtic people, the Norse people, and the Egyptians were just several of the cultures who believed that we live more than one life.

The main concept is that the soul moves in a circle...just as the rest of the Universe does. The circle consists of life, death, and rebirth where upon the circle starts again. It is never-ending to some, while to others there is a belief that a soul can ascend from the constant state of reincarnation to spend eternity in a higher dimension. So do you believe as these people do? Do you think reincarnation is possible or simply common sense? If so, perhaps you've pondered as I have the idea of having lived as one or more of your ancestors in past lives. We will examine this theory more closely...

I dream often of a lady in a white Victorian gown, am I dreaming of one of my ancestors? And did I live a past life alongside of her?
I dream often of a lady in a white Victorian gown, am I dreaming of one of my ancestors? And did I live a past life alongside of her? | Source
King Henry VIII was my ancestor...did I live a life as his grandchild perhaps?
King Henry VIII was my ancestor...did I live a life as his grandchild perhaps? | Source

Our Incredible Stories of Past Lives...

One very interesting case of possible reincarnation came from a boy named Gus Taylor who lives in the American Mid-West. The story goes that when Gus was a toddler he would talk of being his own grandfather, who had passed away several years before Gus' birth. When shown pictures of family members, Gus Taylor would point out his grandfather "Augie" every time without being told who his grandfather was.

His father remembers changing Gus' diaper one day when Gus looked up at him and said, "when I was your age I changed your diaper." This obviously floored his father, as it would any parent. But all of this could simply just have been the child's overactive imagination, right? The nail in the coffin, so to speak, was when Gus' mother decided to test him by asking about Augie's dead sister (a topic that was never discussed within the family due to emotional scars and trauma). The question she posed to Gus was, "if you are Augie, did you have any siblings?" Gus answered yes, that he had had a sister but she had died. This in fact was true. Augie's sister was murdered and thrown in the San Francisco Bay which is why the family never discussed it.

This is not the only documented and studied case of people claiming to have been their own ancestors in past lives. Simply google "past lives and ancestors" and you will find a whole plethora of blogs and confessions from those who believe they were once their very own grandfathers, grandmothers, great aunts, great great grandmothers, etc. If we were to compare our own pictures with those of our ancestors side by side, often we can see striking similarities. Is this simply because of physical DNA or because these people might actually have been us in our past lives? We can choose to look at this topic on a very mundane and physical level, or we can see beyond the physical to the possibilities of the spiritual...

Recently I discovered that I am the great x 15 granddaughter of King Henry VIII. I actually found this out all by digging through my family tree on! Technically I am not of "royal" blood because my blood comes from one of King Henry's illegitimate sons by the name of Reverend Richard Edwards. How is this significant to reincarnation? I have often been drawn to the age of King Henry VIII, taking up a wild fascination specifically with that time period and the story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Is this because I have a strand of King Henry's DNA? Or did I possibly live as one of his grandchildren or the like?

If Souls Travel in Groups; We Were Sisters in a Past Life

If we were to ask people who believe in reincarnation, many of them would agree that they believe we not only live past lives but that we've lived those lives with the same people. This belief is reflected in the concept of a "soul mate" or "soul twin". A soul mate is someone whom you've lived with in a past life...someone you've had a very close relationship with for most likely multiple lives before. While there are those who say that each person has only one "soul mate", there are those who believe we all have many "soul mates" or souls with whom we've lived lives before. This is the concept of a "soul group". In this way, souls might travel together...incarnating into the same family even.

If the idea of a soul group is true, then perhaps your past life as your own great grandmother might reveal that your mother from that life might even be your daughter or sister in this life! Have you ever felt a close connection to a family member that you can't explain as a normal relationship? Have you felt like you've known that family member in a past life? Is this truly because you share the same DNA or is it because you've both lived past lives together within the same family bloodline? It's something to ponder...isn't it?

It's hard to fathom just how many ancestors we might truly how can we have lived so many lives?
It's hard to fathom just how many ancestors we might truly how can we have lived so many lives? | Source
Their bodies might be in the grave but their memories live on through us...
Their bodies might be in the grave but their memories live on through us... | Source
Are feelings of deja vu simply stirrings of memories of places we've been in past lives?
Are feelings of deja vu simply stirrings of memories of places we've been in past lives? | Source

Family Trees and Bloodlines: Were We Our Ancestors?

So the question is did we live past lives as our very own ancestors...our own flesh and blood? Does DNA not only give us our physical attributes but does it also bring together spiritual existence?

If you take a look at your family tree, and begin to look further and further back at all of the people who came together to make you, you might start to feel pretty special. At first it doesn't seem like that many people - parents, grandparents, great grandparents. But then you might go back another couple branches to great great grandparents and then great x3 grandparents and realize at this point that you have the DNA of dozens of people. What happens if you look back even three or four branches further than that? Your family tree starts to look so gigantic that it's hard to comprehend just how many ancestors you might have had. In fact, you don't just have dozens or even hundreds, you have millions of ancestors going back to the beginning of time!

Many amazing stories of past lives show us that there are those who believe they lived as their very own ancestors - grandfathers, great aunts, great-great grandmothers, etc. It is difficult for us to fathom how this would be possible if we have so many ancestors. As you can see this might create some doubt or debate in the minds of those who believe in past lives; however, the Universe has many wonders and mysteries that our puny brains have yet to unravel. So I truly believe that ANYTHING is possible.

This idea/belief could be possible in two different ways, according to my research:

1. Physically: Because we carry the DNA of our ancestors, their memories are passed down to us through the DNA itself.

2. Spiritually: Our actual spiritual bodies move only through our bloodlines from one physical incarnation to the next.

But if we did live lives as our ancestors, what about the stories of those who lived as other people outside of their own family trees? Technically we can all trace our lines back to one person who lived before us millions of years ago...the very first of human kind. Which means that everyone is literally related. Which furthermore means that we all share some traces of DNA; therefore, those people we might have lived as in the past are still our ancestors in some form!

Participate in a poll:

Do you believe we could have lived past lives as our own ancestors?

See results

© 2015 Nicole Canfield


Submit a Comment

  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen A Szklany 5 weeks ago from New England

    Hi Kitty ~ loved reading this. I recently read a book I found in my chiropractor's office about the healing power of past life progressions and I have the intention to give myself over to one soon. I strongly feel that there are parts of myself/self knowledge I have forgotten and need to re-integrate in order to fulfill my purpise in this life. My Reiki teacher has agreed to be my guide. Don't want to do it alone. Yet I feel I have some more preparation to do.

    I love remembering a very sweet dream I had of my daughter when I was carrying her. I laid on a table and her tiny hand waved to me over the shadow on the wall of the swell of my pregnant if she were saying "here I come, mommy!" We are very close in this life and I am sure we were close in our past lives together, too.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 7 months ago from the Ether

    Jeanne - I believe past lives are meant for the individual to discover. That being said, I wouldn't try to look into my own kids' past lives. I would let that unfold for them in their own time, if it's even supposed to in this life. Hopefully this makes sense.

  • Jeanne Barrimore profile image

    Jeanne Barrimore 7 months ago from Lyon, France

    All of this is SO fascinating! I deeply, deeply believe in reincarnation. It's the only doctrine that really makes sense! But as a parent, what can I do to explore my children's past life memories and find out who they were, what they were able to do and how that could be useful in their present lifetimes? This seems to be a very little explored area of investigation, but surely someone has written a "how to" book on this subject?

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 10 months ago from the Ether

    katewistow - That's awesome! I didn't know that, but I am not surprised that others believe this happens. Thank you for sharing!

  • katewistow profile image

    Katie Wistow 10 months ago from The Otherworld.

    I gave always believed this,in the tribe I'm from (I'm 1/4 African) - the Xhosa tribe it's common knowledge that we are the reincarnation of ancestors,everyone knows this.I read an interview with a shamaness from my tribe and she listed the three ancestors she embodied.I know which ancestor I am because I dreamt it about three times,I look slightly like her,as she was white it's quite strange to feel very much like a white woman but to be a mixed girl.Im glad you wrote about it and am enjoying your articles.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 19 months ago from Central Oklahoma

    Yes, I do believe in reincarnation, and yes, I feel do "close" to certain deceased ancestors. Not because I was that person in a previous life, but because they're infinitely more interesting than many of my living relatives!

    That said, I'm *very* aware of *many* past lives, and after 30 + years of research am quite familiar with the lives and times of most of the people who occupy the branches of my family tree, but alas in no case have the two ever overlapped. In fact, I'd *love* to have a past life experience in which I found myself a member of one of my ancestral families, to be able to get answers to questions I have about them and their offspring that I've been unable to find in existing records!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 23 months ago from the Ether

    threekeys - Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  • threekeys profile image

    Threekeys 23 months ago from Australia

    I am not sure about reincarnation but I, too, have had some very odd things happen. I might talk about them one day...

    That photograph and you? Very similar.

    Great read. Thankyou.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from the Ether

    MizBejabbers - Wow. Very cool. Thank you for sharing.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

    Kitty, I definitely believe that souls reincarnate in groups. In my years of metaphysical studies, I've met a lot of combinations that vary from generation to generation. However, I know that I'm not with my soul family in this lifetime, and it has caused me some problems with loyalty, including a feeling that my mother didn't feel the same way about me as she did my siblings. My previous incarnation as a monk in Seville certainly didn't leave me feeling like I was my own grandpa, either.

    I studied with a group for over 30 years and we weren't soul family. In fact, each participant was from a different soul family, but we were brought together for a purpose. After we fulfilled our soul contract as a group, we stopped meeting and meditating, but we formed a lasting friendship. Now I wonder what our next incarnations have in store for us. Will we meet again, or are we finished? We are mostly star seeds in this group, so it is a legitimate question.

    I love your hubs, and this one is stellar. Love and light to you.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from the Ether

    Funny that you say that, Jess, because I was just talking to a lady on Instagram who is a descendent of King John...and she said that she and I must be related too!!!

  • Jess Jem Kat profile image

    Jess Jem Kat 2 years ago

    I too have a strange "connection" to Anne Boleyn, as well as Queen Mary of Scots. I watched the Boleyn Girls repeatedly.. and actually cried. I then went on to obsessively research these people.. something quite out of character for me. I wonder how far back I can trace my genealogy.. we may just be related somehow :)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Melissa - Me and J.C. are cool. Thanks for reading!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Stargrrl - Thanks for your support.

  • Melissa Orourke profile image

    Melissa Orourke 3 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

    Thank you for writing this, this topic is one to make you think!

    I never believed in Reincarnation, but then a few experiences happened... Also, the boy who remembered he was a pilot in World War II, can't think of his name. His story really made me wonder. I choose to stay close to Jesus Christ, figure I can't go wrong with Him! Someday, we will know the answers to our questions!

  • profile image

    Stargrrl 3 years ago

    I don't believe in reincarnation, but this was an interesting article. Striking resemblance between you and that woman!

  • ecogranny profile image

    Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

    Fascinating! I have seen similar photographs of people long gone who look very like people living.

    I meant to mention how remarkable your likeness is to your great-great grandmother's, so much so that you almost appear to be the same person. I can see how you might wonder if you and she are the same. Wonderful how her strength and liveliness show through, as do yours.

  • Dizze Blogger profile image

    Nalani Sanderson 3 years ago from Oregon

    I definitely believe in reincarnation, however I don't believe we only reincarnate within the same family tree. I have distinct memories of being "races" (specifically black Jamaican) of which there is absolutely no evidence in my bloodline in this life. I also have memories of lives spent as beings that were not physical at all, or were not spent on Earth. I know several people who remember past lives as their own ancestors, or have photos of ancestors who look remarkably like them (one is actually her and her sister, who is not her blood sister in this life but a cousin and very close friend; the two girls in the photo look exactly as they both did at the same age). I do believe that we can reincarnate as our own descendants, but not that it's the only way that reincarnation works.

  • ecogranny profile image

    Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

    I'm so glad I happened across this article tonight. I have often wondered about reincarnation and whether we might remember past lives. When I was young, I had many dreams of times gone by, one in which I was married to the man I was married to at the time of the dreams, only in the dreams, we were Native Americans in another century.

    It's odd, perhaps, but I remember those dreams, what he wore, and how he looked as if I had actually lived them and been with him. That is the memories seem of real events and people, rather than simply of dreams.

    Thank you for an intriguing article.

  • manatita44 profile image

    manatita44 3 years ago from london

    It is quite true, Kitty. You are actually The Soul, which is immortal. The body is an instrument that the Soul uses, to gain experience. The Soul is on a journey back to God and it needs the experience in order to grow and become perfect. Until such time, it returns and carries on from where it left of.

    You might say, in a simple sense, that Re-incarnation is the process by which the Soul learns to fulfil its own Destiny.

    You will find a book on this called Death and Re-incarnation. Probably sold on Amazon but available freely on Much peace.

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

    This is such a fascinating topic... and great discussion of it! I definitely think we come back to finish what we didn't previously. Your hub reminds me a very cool movie that was out a couple years ago: Cloud Atlas. Voted up, beautiful, interesting and sharing!

  • Dip Mtra profile image

    Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

    You talk the Hindu way, of being born again and again until you are free of all 'evolution' whereby you are spared the suffering of rebirths and attain your "moksha" or enlightenment.

  • Phyllis Doyle profile image

    Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

    Yes, I know reincarnation is a real thing. I know of several past lives of mine. My grandson, at the age of three, recalled an incident he had in a past life - the same incident my father had in a past life.

    Kitty, this hub is remarkable and very interesting, well-researched. I do believe we were once our own ancestor. Voted up, across and H+

  • Phyllis Doyle profile image

    Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

    OMGosh, Kitty ! I am in the midst of finishing up a hub to get it published. I will come back to read this amazingly interesting hub of yours as soon as I can. Thank you!