Read a comment on Twitter about a person born of a rape who would like or have liked to know who her father was. While one can attribute the interest to curiosity, underlying that curiosity are some very valid reasons.
One considers, firstly the medical knowledge that one requires about the previous generations. Malfunctions whose cause is to be found in the genetic material. Disposition to a variety of other diseases suspected of being hereditary. Even, longevity or the lack thereof in our predecessors, is interpreted from the grave markers.
Little or no thought, though, has been given to the effect on our lives of other attributes of our forebears. In recent years, I have become interested in my forebears. While little is known of the early arrivals to this continent, those in the recent past (one hundred fifty years, more or less) showed in both of my lineages a predilection to separation [divorce would not have been considered in those times, and, their ages would make it impossible to restart new relationships] in the latter part of their lives – the point at which I find myself, now. It caused me to consider what was transpiring in my life. I had become disgruntled, critical and despondent – mainly about the little things that my spouse had done and was continuing to do in our shared lives. With those things bouncing in the back of my brain, I became more aware of my unexplained predilection to this form of behaviour. I was able to deal with it, and, rewire my thoughts.
My conclusion is that knowing more about our ancestors, and, forebears can be a great help in understanding what brings us happiness, what we think provides us with happiness, and what we would like to bring us happiness.