Take a look back at your history

Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

With all the talk going on about history and heritage this month, it is a good time to take a look at our own history and heritage.

Our history is the actual stories of our ancestors and family, the text of our past. Our heritage is the emotional bind that links us with that history.

How can someone trace their history or discover their heritage? The best place to begin is through someone who would likely know, like a family member. Another source could be a family friend or a neighbor, someone who has lived in the same area as your family.

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The library is a great source of local information.

The Demopolis Public Library has all kinds of historical information about this area in its archives. You can also get online to look up even more information.

There are other local resources, too, like a historical society or genealogical society. The library would not only be able to help you find information but also to find other sources of information like these groups that deal with history.

Why is it so important to know one’s heritage? It helps provide background into the person you are, showing you who your family and ancestors were and the kind of people they were.

When you know your background, you understand more about who you are. It doesn’t necessarily define you, but it provides the shape and texture to who you can be and what you can become.

It is interesting to find famous people in our lineage, but sometimes, what is even more interesting is finding people who worked for a good cause, and Demopolis has a strong history of that. It takes a strong person to be a leader, but a person cannot lead if there is no one to guide, no one to share the workload.

Look back on your own past and your own heritage.

Ask questions about your family’s ties to local history. In finding out more about your past, you find out more about yourself.

David Snow is managing editor of the Demopolis Times.