World Wars And The Great Depression

1262 Words6 Pages
I’m amazed at how many Americans don’t know their own family heritage any further back than their grandparents. For many years, I was one of them. I would casually tell people, “My family never really talked much about our family tree, because we were afraid we’d find horse thieves hanging from the branches.” But, bad or good, I always wondered about my roots.

I’m not alone. Millions of Americans have the same questions.

So, what happened? Were so many of our families separated in the westward expansion that we lost our connections to the past? Were families in such crisis during the World Wars or the Great Depression that mere survival was their only focus? Was there a generation that just wanted to forget the past? Was it the “live for today” mentality of the ‘60s that deemed it “old fashioned” to have any roots or history? It was probably a combination of many factors, but the affect of the loss of our personal histories has been far-reaching.

Without fail, when someone discovers the stories in their own family tree, they become empowered and inspired. I know this from personal experience, because eight years ago, someone helped me discover my lost family legacies, and it changed me forever. I found stories of great sacrifice, courage, conviction, service, struggle, conflict, diversity and triumph. Some of my ancestors lived in a cave for the first few years and purchased land rights from the Native Americans who helped them plant new crops and build

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