As the COVID-19 pandemic throws our daily lives into chaos and confines us to our homes, researching your family history is an increasingly attractive way to spend your time indoors. After you run out of home renovation ideas, tire of baking bread and have purged your wardrobe, tracing and recording your family history is a rewarding and safe outlet for your pent-up energy.

With all that spring cleaning you’ve been doing, you’re bound to have discovered a treasure-trove of ancient VHS tapes relegated to your attic or a dusty carton out in the garage.

Sadly, those old tapes aren’t going to last forever so now’s the time to save them for posterity by converting them to a digital format. It’s easy. No more having to track down a VHS player from the Op Shop or untangling gnarly tapes. And preserving them benefits you, your family, and even future generations of descendants you may never meet.

Here’s why you need to know your family history more than ever:

  1. Sense of Identity

Identity matters. Understanding where you came from together with your cultural background help you frame your sense of who you are. How you relate to your family stories helps frame your narrative your authentic identity.

  1. Forging Connections

People are social animals. We look for a sense of belonging. The connections and relationships we forge with others can be phenomenally durable, not only with our current generation but also with past and future generations.

The more we uncover about our family’s past, the greater sense of connection we feel with our ancestors and the larger the opportunity for future generations to connect with us after we’re gone.

As you progress with your family history search, you’ll discover many of your more recent family members videoed family gatherings, important milestones and even family travels, capturing departures and arrivals on VHS video cassettes. Original recording can be fragile or damaged but it’s useful to be able to revisit these visual records. Digital is definitely the only way to go forward here! You’ll be rewarded by the knowledge you’ll be allowing the next generation to forge connections with their past.

  1. Self-Worth

As we delve into our family histories, we uncover often surprising and unintended episodes. Some unfold on an intimate scale, while others reflect seismic shifts at a social level.

Exploring your family history will quickly lead you to understand your family history transcends simple dates, locations you uncover as you may your family tree. Ancestry is about making sense of who we are and where we came from. At its heart, your family history is about people with whom we shore connections that go beyond just a genetic inheritance. It’s about relatives who lived, loved, suffered and experience joy and occasionally triumph.

  1. Empathy

At a time when compassion fatigue is challenging all of us, discovering our family history can provide us with a greater sense of empathy towards the struggles, sacrifices and challenges many of them faced.

This enhanced sense of empathy can translate to our current relationships and our interactions within our social network. We will all be confronted with adversity at one time or another. Recognising that reality in the context of others’ experiences assists us in becoming better partners, parents, friends, siblings, children, managers, and employees.

  1. Resilience

Knowing our family history helps us develop renewed resilience of our own. In learning about our ancestors’ lives, we can see patterns unfold where past generations overcame disappointment and failure and survived difficult times. Their personal stories serve to remind us that not everything in life comes easily, that inequality exists, and disappointments are many, but we can endure and rebound to discover happiness regardless of setback and privations we may endure.

Research studies indicate the more we know about our family’s history, the more robust our sense of control over our own lives becomes. This has important implications for our sense of self-esteem. In time this feeling for our family narrative can emerge as an important predictor of our emotional wellbeing and happiness.

Final Observation

Now more than ever, discovering our family history is important in framing us in terms of who are, and we continue to be. Whether you’re interviewing family members, researching online, visiting a cemetery or wading through a microfiche resource at your local library our sense of our past informs our view of our future.

And where better to start than by preserving your slice of family history by converting your old VHS tapes to digital. Websites such as https://www.tapestodigital.com/ will digitize your old VHS tapes saving them for future generations.

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