Recording and collating this information for your family tree - and ensuring that your family and descendants will have access to it in the future - has far-reaching effects, not the least of which is improving your writing skills.
This article in the Sterling Observer describes how Marianne Wheelaghan (Edinburgh, Scotland) caught the "genea-bug" and how it led to writing her debut novel, The Blue Suitcase. It's about her mother's and aunt's experiences growing up in Germany during WWII.
Marianne said she had very limited knowledge of her mother Gertrude's background. She knew her mother was born and raised in Germany, and came to live in Scotland after the war.
One day, a suitcase filled with letters and diary pages was discovered by a family member. The documents were written by Marianne's aunt (Gertrude's sister) who immigrated to Argentina after the war. Translated, they provide insight into their lives during war-time Germany.
Marianne - thanks to these documents - become very interested in her family history, and began to write her book.
Has finding information about your family inspired you to begin a new hobby (family history), or even to start a new career?
Let us know in the comments section below.
There are many reasons why people become interested in their family history. It may be because of an inherited condition or the discovery of a previously unknown relative.
MyHeritage member Thelma (known as Thel) Brooks’ story includes both!
Born in Sydney, Australia, Thel’s interests were dancing, swimming and tennis. These days, it’s family history.
Now in her 70s and retired, she was a hospital office manager for most of her working life.
Married at 22, she and her husband, William John Brooks, were together for nearly 50 years. She has a daughter and a son, and four grandchildren. For 27 years, Thel was her husband John’s caregiver until his death in 2010.
Today, her life is devoted to her little dog, family and friends and she lives in Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Thel first became interested in family history when her husband was diagnosed with an inherited incurable disease and she wanted to find out more where it came from. She then discovered, at 56, a previously unknown half-sister in Scotland: