Genealogy Provides the Strength to Persevere

According to an article by Libby Copeland in the Psychology Today web site, knowing your family’s past can help you get through a crisis. She quotes Jason Harrison, a manager at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

“Your ancestors’ story is part of your story. Understanding what they experienced, and what they did, better helps you understand yourself.”

Spanish Flu – 1918-1919

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps over this nation, Copeland believes genealogy provides context to our suffering, and the strength to persevere. She also states:

“Without genealogy, people from the past can feel abstract to us; looked at in aggregate, a tragedy like the Spanish Flu can melt into an abstract horror. But when you have a connection to someone who went through such a tragedy, the circumstances are much more real and relatable. And if the people of the past are real to us, this means we are not so different from them. This means they have much to teach us.”

You can find this rather interesting article at:


My grandfather died from the Spanish flu in northwestern Nebraska five weeks after my mother was born in 1918. He was 30 years old. My grandmother contracted the flu as well but a “traveling doctor” helped her to recover. Certainly this event in living memory is seared into my family’s consciousness. That, and my grandmother’s abandonment by her father in 1903 when she was 4 years old.


When I was a transcriptionist at a hospital in 1970s, one of our heart doctors would mention if an elderly person had evidence of the 1918 flu damage to the heart. Pamela O.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: