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Joseph Ulrich

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How important is your ancestry to you?

Do you feel your heritage makes you a unique person? How much of an impact do your ancestors have on your life?

I was looking through some very old family photographs last weekend and I found a photo of my great, great, grandfather. He was posed with his wife and two children in Prussian military uniform; a gentleman of Prussia's great era. I then realized how important my fathers, great and grand, have had an impact on me. And listening to the stories about them, I clearly see their qualities in my brother and I as well. My ancestors clearly lay out the image of the person I am today.

So I am curious, how have your forefathers and ancestors impacted your life?


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    Aug 19 2011: Not very much.

    I don't buy into those suggestions that "you have to know where you came from to know where you are going".

    Everyone struggles for identity. It's probably easier to take your cue from others and having some blood-line connection probably makes this seem more legitimate. But I don't see it.
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      Aug 19 2011: Scott,

      You pose a very fair point.

      Looking back at my own comment, I think I would replace "very important" with "very interesting". How much will this info affect my future? Not very much - a fun story to tell perhaps, and an irrational urge to buy a suit of armour. But that's just me.

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      Aug 20 2011: I agree to an extent. My ancestors don't provide a destiny for me. I am not destined to become a farmer or great military man, my life is completely in my own hands; However I do feel that in knowing that my family is traced back to the dukes of Swabia, it gives me a sense of pride, and as Cathy Dai states earlier, "a sense of belonging in this world". I have a presence in history through them, and they have a presence here and now through me. Without them, I would not exist. Every choice that they made affected whether I am here today, my brother, parents, grandparents and so on, all became of the choices that my family and early kindred have made for a hundred years, and if you really thought about it; all the way to the dawn of man itself.

      It definitely gives me that spark within to make something great of my life, and to continue to spread that admiration of family history on to my children for generations.

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