Updated: Jul 26
Do you know your Icelandic family story? Understanding your family history will actually increase your happiness and help you handle stresses in life! Read more below to learn why.
When people think of genealogists, they usually imagine an old person hunched over a computer with stacks of books on their desk, coffee cups, photos of cemeteries, and people who are a bit nerdy. Well, people of Icelandic descent might have some of these traits but it is very common to find young people involved in tracing their family history.
Working on Icelandic ancestry and helping others to discover their family history is usually very fun and interesting. I love following the clues, reading the history books, finding the genealogy facts of our shared Icelandic story, and making the connections.
Sometimes, we discover secrets our ancestors wish were buried forever. The hard times and the victories are all part of the story. Remember, when you find these stories, you have a distinctive and interesting story to tell about your ancestors. Your family story whether good or bad can be a wonderful inspiration and give you a perspective to the past experiences of your ancestors.
Did you know that children who have a strong sense of their personal family narrative do better in their lives when they face challenges? Research by Robyn Fivush and Dr. Marshall Duke, two psychology professors from Emory University have accomplished an amazing study showing how well families function in great stress. Fivush says, "There seems to be something that's particularly important about children knowing where they came from in a larger sense and having a sense of family history and a family place."
Dr. Marshall Duke and Dr. Robyn Fivush developed twenty questions called "Do You Know," which included where their grandparents grew up?, where you mom and dad went to school?, where your parents met?, did anything terrible happen in your family?, do you know how you were born?
They then performed psychological testing on these children and the results were amazing. The children who knew more about their family history had a higher self-esteem and felt in more control over their lives. The more they knew - no matter if it was good or bad - the higher they ranked on emotional health and happiness. Dr. Duke said the reason these children cope better is they know they belong to something bigger than themselves. Even stories with mistakes, difficult times, and failure help children learn about resilience and overcoming hardships.
Icelandic flag fun
According to their study, a person's sense of self is linked to personal experiences and also our family's experiences. Learn more about your story. Discover who you are by joining the amazing Icelandic Genealogy Database at www.IcelandicRootsDatabase.com .
Yes. I am sitting at the computer most of each day, books stacked on the desk, coffee cup getting filled often, photos of cemeteries and people long gone, emails stacking up that need attention, and yes .... probably a little bit nerdy ... but I am loving it all. Making the connections with people, helping them discover their family history, finding lost cousins and information, plus so much more, are all very rewarding.
The genealogists are volunteering their time on the database to make it much more than just names and dates. We are developing a great genealogy resource for all people of Icelandic ancestry. With personal service, special reports, interactive maps, photos, documents, and a very fun "Cousins Across the Ocean" project, this is a great site. Access the best online Icelandic genealogy resource and start discovering your Icelandic story.
For further reading on this topic:
What are the 20 questions? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marshall-p-duke/the-stories-that-bind-us-_b_2918975.html
Family Narrative Interaction and Children's Sense of Self: http://www.psychology.emory.edu/cognition/fivush/lab/FivushLabWebsite/papers/FamilyNarrativeandInteraction.pdf
Here is a link to the Emory University study: http://www.psychology.emory.edu/cognition/fivush/lab/FivushLabWebsite/papers/intergen%20self.pdf