Ancestry Quotes

Marc McDermott
January 18, 2022

Here are 22 great quotes to get you inspired in your research. From famous authors and historians to everyday people, these quotes will remind you why you got into genealogy in the first place – because exploring your family history is fun, fascinating, and full of surprises! Whether you’re just starting out on your family history journey or you’ve been researching for years, these quotes will help motivate and encourage you. Enjoy!

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” —Michael Crichton

“We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.” —Shirley Abbott

“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without roots.”  —Chinese proverb

“Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponent will do it for you.” —Mark Twain

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” —Linda Hogan

“History remembers only the celebrated, genealogy remembers them all.” —Laurence Overmire

“When our hearts turn to our ancestors, something changes inside us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves.” —Russell M. Nelson

“The sacrifice our ancestors gave yesterday gave us today and our tomorrow.” —Stephen Robert Kuta

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”  —Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

“The person who has nothing to brag about but their ancestors is like a potato; the best part of them is underground.” —Sir Thomas Overbury

“We all carry inside us, people who came before us.”  —Liam Callanan

“Roots are, I’m learning, as important as wings.”  —Michele Huey

“..what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we lived. In the end, it’s the family stories that are worth the storage.” —Ellen Goodman

“My family tree has many branches, both living and dead… but all equally important. I cherish the memories that make its roots run deep.” —Lynda I Fisher

“The ancestors of the mightiest tribes must have grown to prodigious proportions . . . in the end the ancestor is necessarily transfigured into a god.”  —Friedrich Nietzsche

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Judge not…Our ancestors made decisions about the world they lived in based on what they knew and what was normal and legal at the time. Good or bad today, those decisions might have been perfectly reasonable at that time and place.” —Mark Daly⁣

“If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row, would you be proud of them or not? Or don’t you really know?… But here’s another question which requires a different view. If you could meet your ancestors would they be proud of you?” —Nellie Winslow Simmons Randall”

“We don’t own our family history. We simply preserve it for the next generation.” —Rosemary Alva

 “The more you know of your history the more liberated you are.” —Maya Angelou.

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” —Sir Winston Churchill

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