“People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” —Marcus Garvey
Carter & Cecilia Davidson (front row sitting on right) and Eva Davidson their daughter (standing on far right 2nd row)
It has often been said that the quintessential character and psyche of "Americanism" is the uniquely American belief in independence and self determination. Our "Liberty", provided unlimited opportunities for individuals believing that one can accomplish anything, if they're willing to work hard, believe and sacrifice, free the restraints of the old-world empires and hierarchies of "Without so much as a by your leave". Which was an old-world phrase that was often used when someone, who might have been expected to have asked permission first, is disapproved of for acting on their own authority. That tyrannical yoke was broken with the "shot heard around the world" and its rippling effect at the beginning of the American Revolution for independence in 1775. At the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, a skirmish that saw the first shots by Americans acting under orders, the first organized volley by Americans, the first British fatalities, and the first British retreat. I believe that same courage and self-determination, is no more true that can be found in the stories within the generations of our family tree. Having a family tree helps us to learn about the past family members whom we have never met or known. It can also increase the bond with the distant family members who are also a part of our family. There is no doubting the fact that getting familiar with one’s family history brings a sense of pride to an individual. The knowledge that your ancestors had great inner strength can be a powerful motivator for anyone trying to understand their place in the world today. Knowledge of such things can definitely bring a feeling of satisfaction or gratitude learning about your family history.
Knowing our family history builds resilience. In learning about our ancestors’ lives, we can see patterns of overcoming failures and surviving hard times. Their stories remind us that surely not everything in life will work easily, that disappointments occur and inequalities exist, but that we can recover, triumph, and find happiness despite hardships.
Learning the history of our ancestors will help us gain a greater understanding of the challenges they faced, and it can inspire a greater love and compassion for the life they lived, their achievements, flaws and mistakes. This compassion can easily translate to our relationships with the living, within our families and outside them