Maegan Kasteler | Jun 10, 2020

Tackling Difficult Chapters of Our Family History

Confronting difficult parts of your family story is hard. And sometimes family history can be painful. So what do you do when you find these cringeworthy parts of your family history?

At RootsTech 2020, presenter Cheri Daniels helped us get on the right path. Daniels started by reminding those watching that the story of you is complicated and humanity is complex. There are countless factors that go into creating a person, everything from societal norms to addictions, oppression, violence, and inherited traits. Identity, and everything that goes with it, is important to understanding your ancestors, and you cannot underestimate how important your ancestry and heritage are to your identity.

Daniels recommends that when approaching these sore subjects you remember:

  • You are not your ancestors’ therapist.
  • You are not their judge and jury.
  • You don’t know everything that happened on their journey.
  • Your ancestors’ stories are personal.

Daniels also discussed the benefits of telling the complicated and difficult parts of your family history and why they are important:

  • Growth
  • Understanding
  • Historical context
  • Overcoming hardships and seeing examples of perseverance
  • Creating healthy discussions
  • Creating a safe place to talk about anything

On a final note, Daniels stated that you may never have the whole story.

Watch the full presentation here:

Tackling Difficult Chapters of our Family History

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Maegan Kasteler

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