Connecting with our ancestors

We develop deeper roots of connection by researching our family, community or nation’s ancestors.

The Red Rose of Lancaster won the Wars of the Roses

As well as nature and philosophy I have a passion for history.  Forget television and video games, getting involved with the history of our ancestors is fun.  We are the sum of all the actions and thoughts of our ancestors, we then add to that sum of history in our own lives to hand down to our descendants.  Solving history puzzles and trying to imagine the world view of my ancestors is part of my history passion.

I am watching developments of an archaeological dig in the UK.  It is not often that an English king is dug up in a car park.  Pending DNA confirmation the archaeologists have announced they have found King Richard III under a car park.

For 30 years Britain suffered a civil war between two noble houses, signified by their coloured roses: House of Lancaster (red rose) and the House of York (white rose).  Even today the English counties of York and Lancaster are intense rivals. In total seventeen battles were fought in the Wars of the Roses, involving six different kings.  Richard III was of the House of York, and he died in battle, ending the medieval age and a ruling dynasty.  Richard III was immortalised by William Shakespeare in his play called Richard III.  The enemies of Richard III blackened the name of what was a reforming king, who gave new legal rights to the poor, and eliminated censorship surrounding the printing and sale of books.  It is alleged, wrongly in my opinion, that Richard III was responsible for the disappearance and likely murder of the two Princes of the Tower.

Why not put time aside to study the ancestors in your own family, community or nation?

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25 responses to “Connecting with our ancestors

  1. Probably not a lot of English kings get buried in car parks. I have been following the news on that myself.

    AV

  2. Seems there may be some descendents in Canada!

  3. I was reading about that dig earlier! It’s very interesting!

  4. There was something said to me once, similar to your ‘we are the sum of history’ that left a lasting impression.

    We are here today because our ancestors managed to procreate before they were crushed, burned, squashed, eaten, suffered a fatal illness, starved, fell off a cliff, throttled, lost forever, etc……
    Now, these ancestors are not only your human ancestors, but also the proto-humans, and whatever came before them, and those before them! and it goes all the way back to the very first proto-organism that managed to replicate itself.

    This was said in the context of giving us a feeling of responsibility to our ancestors ‘are you behaving in a way that they would be proud of?’ in a way that makes their own struggles with life worthwhile…?

    For me, this lesson changed a few things in my mind that made me a more responsible person in terms of carrying my ancestors’ memory forward.
    Quite a nice idea I thought…

    • That is an insightful lesson worth its own blog. Put like that it makes one feel humble and responsible. It is a nice idea and thanks for your comment.

      • Ha, exactly what I thought the first time!
        It also raises the thought in my mind that if a person chooses to never have children, then it is a selfish act as it ends the continuation of the gene line that so many millions of ancestors desperately tried to keep alive… but that’s just me.
        On the flip side, it could also be said that those ancestors fought for those people to have this choice…

        Maybe I’ll write a blog on this one day!

      • I am sure it would be a great blog post. I also loved your blog post that touched on evolution.

  5. It also gives us a sense of our own insignifigance, but also puts us in awe of the world as a whole, like Brian cox has done with the universe. Helps put our problems – however big they seem, into perspective.

  6. Wow, great post! For me, quite timely!
    I’m beginning to feel quite significant, knowing that my existence stems from the actions, activities, hopes, dreams, deeds, lives and desires of those who came before me.
    Though I’d been dreaming throughout my life about who I am, where I came from, it wasn’t until watching AMISTAD, a historical drama, that I made the decision to put a tremendous effort into seeking out my ancestors.
    Thanks, Alex. I’m interested in hearing more!

    • Hi Seapunk2, I have enjoyed reading your efforts to track down your ancestors.

      • I’m still going after them… And with more members joining the DNA project, I hope to find more connections and assistance with filling in some of the blanks, or, provide help to those who are stuck.
        I did get a list, and unfortunately, no one is forthcoming. So, I will continue to DIG, DIG, DIG. I may never know, and may just consider that I’m adopted, even though I’m not.

      • Family research is fascinating. Good luck in your research.

  7. I agree. Recently I’ve become addicted to Ancestry.com. It’s expensive, but at least I can begin to understand the people that preceded me.

  8. I’ve been researching my ancestors 4-5 generations removed.I am struck by my physical resemblance to people I never knew in real life.Sometimes there is a greater resemblance at different ages which are not evident at other ages.I am struck by mannerisms I am told I share with long gone relations.Most striking of all is reading the words of people I never knew and finding we have similar thought patterns and even ways of expressing oneself.Genes.Nurture or Rebirth?But I find that in researching my ancestors I have got a greater understanding of myself and my potential.

    • I am sure our genes store far more than just physical characteristics, but also how we feel, think and act.

    • You are fortunate if you have images to refer to, to see a physical resemblance. I’ve noted that in others and on one blog here on WP.
      I’m interested in knowing why I look the way I do (which isn’t half bad) but mainly, why I THINK the way I do. I certainly did NOT learn it from anyone in my upbringing.
      I’ve learned that even though one of my ancestral lines go all the way to French Nobility, they dropped off of me over the years. Perhaps that’s a good thing!

  9. Excent Blog:

    The truth be told, we are who we are because of those who came before us; we belong to the same cyle of life as our first progenitor – our Mothers and Fathers.

    Religion (spirituality), philosophy, Art, literature and science come from this ‘cycle’…we have an obligation to never forget this.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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