Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Health Benefits Of Genealogy

Genealogy is an enjoyable hobby to have. I find researching my family history to be exciting, and it's something that makes me happy. That's why I devote so much of my leisure time to it. Hobbies, including genealogy, have long been known to reduce stress levels and to promote overall well being.

Family history research can undoubtedly be challenging, however. Sometimes the trail goes cold on a particular ancestor, and you just can't discover anything new about them. This is when your detective skills come to the fore. You have to approach your brick wall from a different perspective in order to find a way through it. In this way genealogy can be about solving puzzles, and is a great way to keep the brain active.

The real point of this post, however, is to point out the importance of genetics. Your family history can provide clues about any illnesses or disorders that you might have a predisposition to. The importance of genetics is the reason that doctors will always ask about the history of your family's health. 

Since beginning my family tree research I have discovered ancestors who have died from various forms of cancer, heart disease, and historical killers such as tuberculosis. Death certificates can provide a huge amount of detailed information, and can be very interesting to read. As a side note, it can often be useful to look at who the informant on the death certificate is, as this can reveal a previously unknown relation.

Finding the causes of your ancestors' deaths is a fascinating part of researching your family tree, but it can also give you an important insight into your personal health. I have to be wary of the fact that both of my grandfathers died of stomach cancer, for example. It's not something that will necessarily affect the way I live my life, but being aware of the health history of my family is just another of the benefits of my genealogical research.

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