With the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday I have been thinking about the importance of heritage and legacy. Creating this sense of belonging in a family is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and also to our children and grandchildren. My parents were officers in their local genealogy organization for thirty years. The members called my dad “Mr. Perfect” since he had perfect audits for his entire tenure. They took great pleasure in tracing not only their own roots but also in helping many others to find theirs.

The club also published several books which are utilized by libraries far and wide. Their love of genealogy rubbed off on their family and friends. We took great pride in finding that our ancestors included Daniel and Noah Webster, as well as an ancestor who lived to be 114 years of age in the 1800’s! Of course, our cadre of ancestors also includes a horse thief. Every family has its issues!

Lifelong learning has long been touted as an essential part of Aging Well. And it is a very enjoyable way to spend one’s time. Many Michiganians do not realize that a treasure trove of genealogy is housed right in Lansing via the Library of Michigan. Its mission is “to guarantee the people of this state and their government one perpetual institution to collect and preserve Michigan publications, conduct reference and research and support libraries statewide.” If you would like to get involved in genealogy or have other research needs, check out their website at www.michigan.gov/library or call their reference desk at (517) 373-1300 from the hours of 8AM to 5PM Monday – Friday and 10AM to 4PM on Saturday. Better yet, take your children and grandchildren with you. Create a lasting legacy. Enjoy!