1    Oct 20118 comments

Siblings: Lessons learned

We’ve written about  the importance of mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts and even grandparents on this blog, but we’ve never really spoken much about siblings - until now.

Siblings are unique in our family life because, for the most part, they are more than just family - they are peers.

In our siblings, we see our future or our past reflected in the familiar face of someone who shares our genes, cultural beliefs and, most importantly, family context.

That idea of context is an important one. We often attribute the success or failings of friends,  cousins or strangers to their particular set of conditions. Luck of circumstance or, in some cases, a lack thereof, is how we justify our differing fortunes from those of our other peers.

Siblings, however, don’t afford us that opportunity.

It is for this reason we learn so much from our brothers and sisters - how to succeed, how to overcome adversity, how not to waste our talents – these are examples of the learnings and teachings that are shared daily among siblings all over the world.

Sometimes we learn the most important life lessons from our brothers or sisters. Sometimes it’s as simple as how to skim a rock on a lake or how to draw a tree. It doesn’t matter. The point is that shared experience makes those lessons some of  the most valuable and longest held lessons in our lives.

We recently asked followers of MyHeritage on Twitter a simple question: “What’s the most important thing your brother or sister taught you?”

I’ve included some of the responses we received, below:

As you can see, the responses were as varied as the relationships that created them, but all show the importance of the lessons our siblings teach us. For this reason, among many others, we love them.

Do you have any other views or comments? Please add them as comments below. We always look forward to reading them.

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Comments (8) Trackbacks (0)
  1. My dad's birth certificate shows a twin who evidently died at birth. Would they have named stilborn babies in 1916?? Can't find an other record of him.
  2. I was very unfortunate never to have known my half sister. I blame that on my parents. I was also very fortunate to find her at the age of 63 and her being 76. A lifetime lost. We never had the opportunity to know each other but have the rest of our lives to know. Hope it never happens to anyone else. Our wrong was righted at long last.
  3. Possiby not Jean. You might look for a Birth Certificate just before your Dads or just after it. There should be a certificate, but it might just say "baby Adams". Hope this helps.
  4. Thanks for helping Jean out, Linda.

    Love how we're building a real community on this blog of family history lovers who are willing to help each other out.

    Keep up the good work :)
  5. Having been brought up as a singleton, who later researched and found my birth family - the joy of having siblings is wonderful. At nearly 60 to be bossed around by my older sister and to discover my brother has been a wonderful journey. We also have a younger brother than none of us have met yet, one day I hope he will want to share in the joy of siblings, as we have.

    On another topic as past Chair of the Twins and Multiple Births Association, tamba - multiple siblings i.e. twins, triplets, quads, quins and sextuplets, provide a special and unique sibling situation and the singleton siblings of multiples also face certain challenges!
  6. I lost my oldest brother three years ago, he had taught me to read, he supported me in every possible way at all stages of my life. He bought me my first bike out of money he saved. I was wiped out by his death,I will always miss him. It is so hard to lose a sibling as one of the 'gang' you grew up in is gone. Love you Eddie.
  7. In the UK stillbirths were not registered until 1927
  8. @Rachel - great to hear that you've finally met each other. I wish you all the best in your attempts to reconnect with your younger brother too.

    @Margo - Your brother sounds like he was an amazing person. I'm glad you've kept his memory alive by sharing it with us.

    @Ewen - thanks for that information. I'm sure Jean will find it useful.

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