How well do you know your family?

A new study commissioned by ‘from you to me’ shows the vast majority of us spend little or no time talking to older relatives, or even our parents, about their lives. So could years of family stories be lost forever to future generations?

Many of our family stories, traditions and secrets could be lost forever, according to the results of a new study which shows that the majority of us have never spoken to our parents and older relatives about their pasts.

The study saw three quarters of respondents admit they spend little or no time talking to older relatives about their lives and the family stories of their parents.

More than half of us do not talk to our parents or grandparents about our family heritage, while close to 30% have never even talked to their mother, and nearly 40% to their father about their own lives.

Close to 40% don’t know how their parents met, 48% don’t know when they met and 86% of respondents whose dad proposed to their mum don’t know where or how it happened, while over 60% don’t know what their parents’ hobbies were as children.

Over 40% don’t know where their maternal grandmother or paternal grandfather were born, a quarter don’t know what their grandfather did for a job, and almost a third don’t know their grandmother’s full name.

However, it seems the intentions are there, 90% of us agree it’s important to know about the stories from our relatives’ lives to capture this information before it is lost forever, but we just don’t seem to be following this through. The results also show that the older you get, the stronger these feelings get too.

Sadly, more than 70% of those surveyed by gift journal publisher ‘from you to me’, have had a relative or close friend pass away who they wished they had asked more questions to about their life.

Rhoda Breakell, head of Genes Reunited, commented on the ‘from you to me’ research results: “The amount of people who don’t spend time listening to their parents and grandparents about their family heritage is surprising. We feel it’s so important that people listen to the older generations within their families before their stories are lost forever.”

So how well do you know your family and its past? And what can you do to learn more before it’s too late?

‘from you to me’ gift journals are inspiring families to correct these research results, making it easy to ask the questions we never ask and to preserve priceless memories and stories for us and for future generations.

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