Roots Matter


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I’m going to take a break from a specific question today in order to talk about the larger picture of knowing your roots and why it’s so important.

I remember the first time I went to Oklahoma with my Mom back in 2000. I hadn’t been since I was little girl, and I barely remembered it. But this time it felt like home. It was the strangest thing to not know how to get anywhere, but once I did it seemed I had been there many times. Strangers seemed familiar. Restaurants served food I thought my mom had invented. I came to realize that much of who I am stemmed from this community that made my mom and grandmother who they were.

Roots matter, for the family tree is more about the roots than it is about the branches.

Where do your family roots come from? Do you know? Do you care? Oh, I beg you to care. There are stories waiting to be discovered that will encourage you, motivate you and help you understand more of the why’s of your parents’, grand-parents’ and great-grandparents’ decisions.

Starting on Sunday, April 21st, PBS is continuing a new series titled, Finding Your Roots. It will explore the world of immigrants to America and help them go back and uncover stories they have never known. It sounds fascinating! So much so, I want to share with you the following video that explains the motivation behind the series. Pay special attention to Martha Stewart’s interview–I love her heart for uncovering the stories of old.

What stories are hidden from your history waiting to be discovered?

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12 thoughts on “Roots Matter

  1. I love researching the family tree, I’ve tried to go back on my grandfather’s side but unfortunately I’ve drawn a blank as he was from Poland and the family was killed in the Second World War in the Camps. We did a trace on the origins of our polish ancestry and the surname we use and it’s fascinating to discover the journey a name, a legacy, and a family can have.

    great post 🙂

  2. What a great post, Debi. My sister and I have been doing some research over the past few months, and find we come from a long line of coalminers and fisher folk. Very East Coast Scotland, to be sure! Although we did find one musician away back in the 1800s. It’s quite sad that we’re only now becoming interested in this, now we’re middle-aged, and all the ‘oldies’ have passed away. Life has a bittersweet irony sometimes, don’t you think? Thanks for sharing today.

    • Susan,
      It is sad to think if we had only asked good questions when our elders were still alive, the stories we would know. That’s something TV and not living close together has taken from us–the stories that were told over and over after dinner and before bed. How wonderful though, to know you’re from Scotland–I think that warrants a visit! I hope you discover more of your history, but you can make sure your grandchildren and beyond know yours! This is why I’m doing this blog–to help people to that end as well.
      Loving the journey,
      Debi

  3. So very true, and such good points. I recently discovered more about my family’s roots in Ireland at a Great-Uncle’s funeral than I’d learned my whole life, and it was fascinating to hear the steps my not-so-distant relatives took to come to the U.S. and start a better life. Thanks for the reminder of how important our roots are in shaping who we are today!

    • Tammi,
      I hope you’ll write down what you discovered at that funeral. It’s amazing how many people are willing to talk at funerals than they are at other times. This may be a future post. Thanks for commenting.
      Loving the journey,
      Debi

  4. I LOVE that program! I happen to work in a historical society and we often find ourselves helping people find their roots.
    Personally, I am very fortunate to live in the community my father’s family came to in the 1700’s. My own children know their grandparents and now their children know their great-grandmother.
    Who they were does shape who we are – like Martha Stewart in that show! :o)

    • Carrie,
      What a blessing to live among your history. I’m afraid this is no longer the norm. I hope you’re asking your grandparents great questions and writing them down. In the back of my book, Through The Eyes Of Grace, I have included a Family Questionnaire to help you to that end. I hope this helps and that my blog inspires you to continue.
      Loving the journey,
      Debi

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