3 Ways Your Ancestor’s Decisions Still Affect You

An old photo in a book
Written by Nancy

Almost every choice that we make in our life affects us, our families, and in some ways, the community as a whole. Moreover, all the small and big decisions we make today will affect our future generations in some way or the other.

It’s the same for us, though. Where we are today and who we are as people are partially determined by the decisions our ancestors made centuries ago. Of course, we have the power to change the course of our lives, but the default course we’re born into was decided by our ancestors—intentionally or, at times, unintentionally.


Here are some ways your ancestor’s decisions in the past may have impacted your life today.

Their Decision to Migrate or Stay Put

Unless you come from a Native American family, your ancestors, of course, came to America from Europe or elsewhere at some point in history. That’s what makes you an American today, doesn’t it?

Had your ancestors not decided to cross the seas to settle in America, you would’ve identified as British, French, Spanish, and so on, depending on where they migrated from. You would’ve spoken a different language, and generally, your life would be very different from what it is today, considering the differences in people and opportunities.

Additionally, many people continued migrating within America during those first few centuries. So, whatever town you call home today is a result of your ancestors’ migrating decisions.

The Family You’re Born into Is Also a Result of Your Ancestors’  Decisions

Have you seen your family tree overall? Don’t look at specific branches but zoom out and look at the family tree as a whole. The further back you go, the denser those branches get. That shows the many families you’re related to—the ones that got linked through marriage and eventually, generations later, led to your birth.

So, the family you’re born into—the wider one you see in the tree, and not just the immediate family—is the result of your ancestors’ decisions to get married and the families they chose to marry into.

Old photos and keepsakes

The Culture and Religion You Grew Up With

Religion and culture are very important in some families and not so much in others. If your family follows cultural and religious traditions, it’s because all of your ancestors made a conscious decision to keep those traditions alive and pass them down to you.

Alternatively, if your family isn’t big on culture or  religious practices, it may be because, at some point, an ancestor may have decided that these concepts weren’t important enough to be passed down to their children or that they weren’t able to pass them down for any number of reasons (illnesses, death, estrangement, financial status, etc.).


The point is – your ancestors’ decisions do affect your life, and the more you learn about them, the more fascinating it gets!

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to DavisDNA And Family Research and ask about their traditional and genetic genealogy services. They can help you discover your family’s history through their traditional family research services and as well as online forensic genealogy services.

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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