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  • Writer's pictureJan Bishop

Family History and My Pioneer Heritage

Why is knowing your family history important?


Family history holds significance for several reasons:

1. Identity and belonging: Family history provides a sense of identity and belonging. Understanding our family's roots, traditions, and cultural heritage helps us develop a stronger sense of who we are. It connects us to a larger narrative and helps us appreciate the values, customs, and experiences that have shaped our family over generations.


5 Generations

2. Connection and relationships: Exploring family history fosters connection and strengthens relationships. It encourages communication between family members, creating opportunities for storytelling, sharing memories, and building a sense of kinship. Learning about our ancestors and their lives helps us understand our place within a broader family network.

3. Learning from the past: Family history serves as a valuable source of knowledge and learning. It offers insights into our ancestors' triumphs, challenges, and life lessons. By understanding their experiences, we can gain wisdom, guidance, and a broader perspective on life. Family history provides a foundation for personal growth and learning from the successes and mistakes of those who came before us.

4. Preserving heritage and traditions: Family history helps preserve our heritage and traditions. It ensures that cultural practices, stories, and values are passed down through generations. By keeping these traditions alive, we honor our ancestors and maintain a connection to our roots. It also allows us to share our heritage with future generations, preserving our family's unique legacy.


This 14 Karat Cake is my favorite. It is one that my Grandma Banks made, when she made it for my birthday she would always bring extra cream cheese frosting!


5. Medical and genetic insights: Family history provides valuable information about inherited traits, genetic predispositions, and health conditions that may run in the family. Understanding our family's medical history can be crucial for identifying potential risks, taking preventive measures, and making informed decisions about our health.

6. Sense of continuity and legacy: Family history offers a sense of continuity and legacy. It reminds us that we are part of an ongoing story that extends beyond our individual lives. It encourages us to think about the impact we want to have on future generations and consider the legacy we want to leave behind.

Exploring and understanding family history is an enriching and meaningful endeavor that strengthens our connection to our heritage, enhances our sense of self, and provides a valuable foundation for personal and collective growth.


My Pioneer Heritage


Today is Pioneer Day. July 24th is Pioneer Day in Utah (where I am from), the pioneers who traveled west to escape persecution and religious freedom. It is estimated that over 70,000 people traveled to the Salt Lake Valley between 1847-1868. On Family Search, you can look to see if any of your ancestors traveled to Salt Lake during that time. I have such a profound appreciation for these individuals. The trials and tribulations they faced give me the courage to overcome my own trials, which seem minuscule in comparison. I have highlighted 4 of my ancestors here.


Elizabeth Houston: Elizabeth traveled with the Brigham Young Company (1848), a wagon company. They departed from Winter Quarters, Nebraska on 5 June 1848. Elizabeth was 2 years old at departure and traveled for 107 days. Here is more about Elizabeth, from Family Search.


Elizabeth is my 2nd great-grandmother, on my father's side. See the linked tree below.


Mary Ann Partridge: Mary Ann traveled with the James McGaw Company (1852), a wagon company. They departed from Kanesville, Iowa on 24 June 1852. Mary Ann was 2 years old at departure and traveled for 88 days. Read a little more about Mary Ann.


Mary Ann is also a 2nd great-grandmother, on my father's side.


Elizabeth Jane Wright: Elizabeth Jane traveled with the Lewis Brunson Company (1862), a wagon company. They departed from Florence, Nebraska on 14 June 1862. Elizabeth Jane was 20 years old at departure and traveled for 76 days.


Elizabeth Jane is my 3rd great-grandmother on my mother's side.


Ernestine Marie Anne Douerin: Ernestine Marie Anne traveled with the Cyrus H. Wheelock Company (1853), a wagon company. They departed from Keokuk, Lee, Iowa, United States on 1 June 1853. Ernestine Marie Anne was 25 years old at departure and traveled for 127 days. Here is a short story about Ernestine.


Ernestine was also a 3rd great-grandmother on my mom's side.

Part of our own story is knowing who and where we come from. Knowing the stories of our ancestors is part of our identity. Exploring and understanding family history is an enriching and meaningful endeavor that strengthens our connection to our heritage, enhances our sense of self, and provides a valuable foundation for personal and collective growth.

If you would like help looking for ancestors. I can help you.


Source: https://www.familysearch.org/

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Invitado
28 jul 2023

Wonderful post! We really do have so much to learn if we will just look at where we came from. Those examples of doing hard things can be so inspiring--I know they are to me as well in my family. I have "fallen in love" with great grandparents I never met simply because I read their histories and know about their lives. Family search is an AMAZING database for that! I have ancestors who came in the Ellsworth Handcart Company--the very first one to the Salt Lake Valley. :) Thank you for an inspiring post and for sharing it at the first Will Blog for Comments linkup at lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com. ~Jennifer

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Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
02 ago 2023
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Thanks for stopping by. I find so much joy in doing this work.

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