To know one’s family tree today in Russia is a kind of an entertainment or fashion. We think it no more than just fun. Family tree information has become a popular, though expensive, today. But we never consider this information important for us.
Now we hopefully know something about our parents and grandparents. And quite few of us are eager to find out anything about at least our great grandparents. In fact before the October revolution people of different classes almost always knew their family trees very well; not to say about merchants and the nobility for whom that was a must.
We almost never question ourselves why for people in other countries it is absolutely natural to know a lot about their ancestors. I think that there are good reasons for finding out who your ancestors were. Not knowing one’s family tree is like being without roots.
Just imagine that among your ancestors could be persons, who lived very interesting lives, or even were famous. And it is not necessary to belong to a noble family. It is an excellent opportunity to feel proud of someone of your family!
Why is it vitally important to know the history of your country and world history? Today we live in a fast moving world, and we think that all the problems and difficulties that we face are totally new. This is absolutely wrong. There is a very good line from ABBA’s song: “The history book on the shelf is always repeating itself.” I absolutely agree with this statement.
Nothing is new. The history being made today is just a slightly updated variant of the history made by our ancestors. History is not only referred to our past, but mostly to our today and future.
History is built up of events and relationships of peoples, nations and countries. How can we live and communicate with each other not knowing how our ancestors did this? So this is the key. Lives of people from our family tree is a reduced model of the country’s or world’s history.
Is there something good and useful that can we pick up for ourselves? Surely there is something. You can not only be proud of your ancestors’ achievements, but also look up to them.
For example, my great great grandfather was a famous and rich merchant. He was not only lucky but very clever. He knew how to build up a successful business.
But apart from that he was very honest as with his business partners, so with everyone else. He never had business with dishonest people. I try to be like my ancestor – honest in everything and with everybody.
I consider a genealogical tree to be a real treasure that everybody should find.