Another factor for stress in people’s lives can be family caring responsibilities. With an ageing population, many people in their 40s and 50s can find themselves saddled with the responsibility of caring for ageing parents to cope with gaps in adult social care, as well looking after their own families AND working. Unpaid caring is a tough and under appreciated role.
So where does knowing about your family’s history come in?
Finders uncovers all kinds of fascinating family histories when we embark on our work to search out missing beneficiaries to an estate or trace next of kin and we often are able to share information about their families with people.
On the majority of occasions, we have found that this news is very cheering. If you are someone whose life is stressful, then there is no doubt that news of an inheritance can definitely help, perhaps with bills or the mortgage for example, but on another level finding out about your great-grandfather’s life may also provide stress relief?
Knowing what other generations went through and how they survived great privation – world wars, flu epidemics etc – can sometimes put our own everyday struggles in a different light. And it is always good to know that your family has always managed to survive and continue. There is a thread of history that weaves its way down to you, connecting you to the past, the present and the future.
Coping with Stress
An outside interest is always a great way of coping with stress. Our work to piece together accurate family trees often triggers further interest in family history. We can present those that we work with with an accurate family tree, which may inspire further research into ancestors and the era in which they lived.
Perhaps, for example, we tell you about your great-great-grandmother who lived in the early Edwardian era and who was a proud Suffragette – might that not trigger a desire to investigate the fight for women’s votes?
Or maybe, just as one of the episodes of BBC Heir Hunters documented in the last series, you discover that a relative once worked as a chimney sweep and that leads you to the forgotten worlds of Victorian London?
One final reason knowing family history is worthwhile is that it can provide a bond between old and young. Encouraging grandmothers, grandfathers, great-aunts and others to share stories of their youth with you can be a very rewarding experience. Sitting down and sharing a cup of tea with someone whilst you look through old photos and newspaper articles and encourage the exchange of information is very worthwhile.
Who knows what you will find out?