The Benefits of Family History

Your dreams, your disappointments, your courage, your failures, your triumphs, your traditions and the wisdom you gleaned is more than Your Personal History. It’s Your Children’s Legacy.

Record your history for Posterity.

Studies show that a knowledge of family history increases:

Good Relationships

“Learning the history of our ancestors helps us gain a greater understanding of the challenges they faced, and it often inspires greater love and compassion for their flaws and mistakes. This compassion can easily translate to our relationships with the living, within our families and outside them. We all face hard things. Remembering that fact in the context of others’ shortcomings allows us to be better employees, managers, spouses, parents, children, siblings, and human beings.” - Family Search

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"The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. [It] turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness." - Bruce Feiler, NY Times

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"In times of great stress, stories sustain us.  When children learn family stories, it creates a shared history, strengthens emotional bonds and helps them make sense of the experiences when something senseless happens."  - Robyn Fivush, Emory University

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Sense of Identity

"Knowing one’s family stories creates meaning that goes beyond the individual to provide a sense of self, through time, and in relation to family. This expanded sense of self is referred to as our intergenerational self, which not only grounds an individual but also provides a larger context for understanding and dealing with life’s experience(s) and challenges. This connection across generations appears to contribute to resilience at all stages of life." - Martha Dreissneck, Journal of Family Nursing

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Improved Intellectual Performance

‘We showed that an easy reminder about our ancestors can significantly increase intellectual performance [...] Hence, whenever people are in a situation where intellectual performance is extraordinarily important, for example in exams or job interviews, they have an easy technique to increase their success." - Fischer, P., Sauer, A., Vogrincic, C., and Weisweiler, S., The British Psychology Society

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"By anchoring oneself in family history, one develops a sense of place and security that may facilitate self-confidence and self-competence. Family stories help families pass on values, experiences, traditions and important life lessons to the next generations." - Rakesh Maurya, University of Wisconsin

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Cultural Understanding

"[C]ultural identity relies on the memory of communities and individuals: it is key to identity, well-being, decisions and actions."

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Record your history for Yourself.

Studies show that recording your history increases:


"Researchers found that past satisfaction with life - even if it's simply recalling isolated career accomplishments - is the key to happiness in our oldest years [...] Because of their results, the researchers urge caregivers of the elderly to implement programs - including reminiscence therapy and structured life review sessions - to foster feelings of happiness." - Iowa State University

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"Journaling helps keep your brain in tip-top shape.  Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, it also increases working memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing." - Kacee Bailey, Intermountain Health Care

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Immune Response

"Studies have shown that writing [recording] as therapy doesn’t only help to reduce stress and anxiety, but can even boost our immune systems, decreasing the likelihood of sickness and helping us fight off illness and disease." - Kristen Seymour, USA Today

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Improved IQ

"According to research published in Psychological Science, you can simply buck yourself up by remembering a time you were successful or proud. In fact, this kind of self-affirmation can raise your IQ score by as much as 10 points." - Jessica Stillman

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Ability to Cope with Dementia

"Setting down and sharing our stories is a powerful way for us to express ourselves. For a person with dementia especially, recording the things they’ve done and experienced can help communication and improve self-esteem." - Alzheimer’s Society

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Reduced Stress, Depression, Anxiety

"Journaling may help ease our distress when we’re struggling. In a 2006 study, nearly 100 young adults were asked to spend 15 minutes journaling or drawing about a stressful event, or writing about their plans for the day, twice during one week. The people who journaled saw the biggest reduction in symptoms like depression, anxiety, and hostility, particularly if they were very distressed to begin with." - Kira M. Newman, Berkeley University

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"It may sound a little crazy, but a 2013 study found that 76% of adults who spend 50 to 20 minutes writing about their thoughts and feelings for three consecutive days two weeks before a medically necessary biopsy were fully healed 11 days after. Meanwhile, 58% of the control group had not fully recovered."
-   CNBC Make It

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“In the study, led by Smyth, 107 asthma and rheumatoid arthritis patients wrote for 20 minutes on each of three consecutive days…writing helped patients get better, and also kept them from getting worse.” - Bridget Murray, American Psychological Association

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