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Self-Expression – Voices 13



“Tapping into my ancestral roots makes me feel at home with myself and happy to own my family name.”
New York, NY
Looking back at my ancestral ties gives me a profound sense of belonging. I love to express myself by trying to understand and relate to the myriad of black and white photos of old relatives that are scattered throughout my attic.

For years, it has been a tradition in my family to keep a meticulous catalog of pictures and possessions of older family members to pass on to each successive generation. As a result of this, I’ve seen incredible ornamental vases, countless vintage photographs, and a wealth of family heirlooms. These provide a satisfying sense of nostalgia.

It feels like I’m living vicariously through all of the hardships and triumphs my family had to endure to get us to where we are today. Seeing the pictures of them crowded in tiny apartments in raggedy clothes, I feel proud of the dedication and vigor my ancestors had to assume when they came to this country from Europe.

Tapping into my ancestral roots makes me feel at home with myself and happy to own my family name. It’s also so interesting to delve into old archives and find your family name written there, immortalized.

I feel like a treasure hunter sometimes when I’m sifting through old stuff in the attic. It’s extremely fulfilling when I find something cool. Embracing my family heritage allows me to express myself and feed my endless curiosity about history.

I’m going to be diligent about giving my children some of my own possessions that are important to me. That way they too can get idea of the importance of family history.

I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried to ask their grandparents questions about their family history. At the very least do some rummaging in the attic for any interesting pieces. It’s such an important part of my life, and I don’t think that’ll ever change.