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Cherishing Traditions: Make a Family Tree Come Alive

This past week was my Grandpa Cutler's birthday. I saw multiple social media posts from aunts, uncles, and cousins who were all celebrating his birthday with homemade peppermint ice cream. Although he died in 1979, my dear grandmother celebrated his birthday each year for the 23 years she remained a widow, and 16 years after her passing, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now great-great-grandchildren still carry on the tradition. Since my grandpa died when my dad was only 15, I never had the opportunity to meet him or build any personal memories of him, but because of the stories and traditions left behind, I feel I know him in some small way.

grandpa

Here at Family Tree Prints, we're all about helping you make a family tree that looks beautiful in your home and is exactly to your taste, but it's not because we love home decor. It's because we've seen the positive impact that remembering your ancestors can have in our own lives, and want to make it easy for the modern family to have this visible reminder of the names that came before them. We can help you make a family tree, but making the names on your family tree come alive is up to you, and one way to do this is by preserving traditions, be they big or as small as having a bowl of peppermint ice cream once a year.

What traditions do you cherish in your home that help you know your ancestors?

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Taking Up a 37 Year Old Challenge: Leaving Behind More Than A Name on a Pedigree Chart

Taking Up a 37 Year Old Challenge: Leaving Behind More Than A Name on a Pedigree Chart

Great emphasis is placed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in genealogy and family history work because of our belief in the eternal nature of families. In preparing to participate in General Conference this weekend, I turned to past talks given in General Conferences pertaining to family history and read Writing Your Personal and Family History by Elder John H. Groberg, given in 1980.

He spoke about the importance of writing your personal history. 

By writing personal and family histories and doing the research required thereby, we inevitably have our hearts turned to our fathers as well as to our children. The Lord says this must happen, “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:6). Let us not be part of a curse.
Also, by writing personal and family histories, we are helped immeasurably in gaining a true, eternal perspective of life. Writing our histories with the proper blend of fact and feeling (and so often, feelings in spiritual things are the real facts) gives us a deep spiritual insight into the meaning and purpose of our lives.
He also spoke about the blessings that come to us from reading and being familiar with the personal histories of our own ancestors. 
As we contemplate what those before us have gone through that we might be here, as we sense their faith and courage and feel their love for us and our love for them, we realize what is really important. We begin to comprehend the eternity of the family. We gain great insight into the things of God, and we are not the same. We talk and act differently—for we have a deepened understanding of eternity. We realize that so-called problems are only what we see when we take our eye off our eternal goal.
Recent academic studies, such as the one conducted at Emory University finding that children who were aware of their family histories had more confidence and ability to cope with difficult situations, support this value found in the benefits of knowing our ancestors spoken of Elder Groberg 37 years ago, as do my own personal experiences. Having a gorgeous pedigree chart in our home is a lovely talking piece and work of art that serves as a reminder of our ancestors, but is made infinitely more meaningful as we come to know the names on the wall. Elder Groberg further said:
I have a strong feeling that when this life is over, our personal and family histories and the influence they wield will be of much greater importance than we now think.
This 37 year old challenge to record my own personal history is one I feel moved to accept--I want to leave behind more than a name. I want to leave behind a rich heritage.

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