According to an article in the New York Times, an Emory University researcher, Marshall Duke, found that children who knew more about their family history were more resilient in the face of stress. While genealogy has been historically perceived as an entertaining diversion for the wealthy, it is no longer necessary to have the financial wherewithal to hire a certified researcher to discover one's family roots (but time, that is another matter entirely). The internet now allows for easy access to millions of records documenting the migrations of ancestors. See the sidebar for some of my favorite resources.
For people with uncertain ancestry, DNA testing can further elucidate a person's roots through connections with 4th (or maybe even 1st, 2nd or 3rd) cousins, to mitochondrial or even Y-DNA origins, to comparison with multiple world populations (admixture analysis). While the research on more distant connections is constantly evolving, closer connections can yield important identifying information for close ancestors, such as locations and surnames. DNA testing is helping many genealogists to break down long-standing brick walls they had reached with paper trail research.
Having grown up away from my first cousins, to parents whose parents were deceased early in my life, and with my sister and I both having married into large families, I am especially interested in learning about my family history, and also that of my husband, for the sake of my children and future family. In that vein, I am studying the following families:
(also Luark, Llywarch and possibly Ruark, Rook, Roark, and O'Rourke)
Ancestors of Larry Lafayette LEWARK (1883-1962) who married Nora B PECKINPAUGH (1882-1958), and Maurice T HABGOOD (1880-?) who married Leota RATCLIFF (1877-?).
Ancestors of Mathias Fay TRUMBO (1888-1953) who married Beulah GALEY (1902-1990), and Myron A STILL (1898-1967) who married Vivian BONEBRAKE (1895-1927).
(also McMillan and associated spellings)
Ancestors of George Adam MCMULLEN (1889-1964) who married Josephine Marie VOLKMAN (1891-?), and Thomas P SLATER (1892-1967) who married Helen MINGOS (1897-1985).
Ancestors of Edward Franklin ELLISON (1873-1967) who married Ina Della "Anna" WORKMAN (1879-1929), and Clarence Delbert WILSON (1877-1935) who married Edith SLEASTER (1877-1974).