The study of genealogyfinding our roots–is a popular pastime these days. According to a 2012 study by market-research firm Global Industry Analysts, these searchers spent $2.3 billion on genealogy products and services last year, and membership in web-based genealogy sites has risen 54% since 2010, to more than 2 million But do you really want to know who your ancestors were? You may find some nasty folks back there in your family tree, and begin to wonder: Did they pass along their genes?

According to genealogist Terry Koch-Bostic, about 1 in 5 of the things people discover this way are negative. In the January 16th edition of the Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger quotes her as saying, "We all find things that are really shocking and surprising."

When genealogist Crista Cowan researched her OWN family history, she would that one of her ancestors was a famous murderer who ground up his victims into sausage meat. Another searcher found out that one of her ancestors was imprisoned for being a witch, and one man discovered that someone on his family tree spent four years in Sing Sing prison for bigamy.

But finding out about your roots can be valuable if it gives you more of a medical history, especially for people who may not know much about theirs, and if you have problems such as alcoholism or addiction–both of which are genetic–it can be therapeutic. Shellenbarger quotes searcher Ron Arons as saying that these discoveries can be a form of "extended psychotherapy."

She quotes searcher Jean Wilcox Hibben as saying, "My ancestors were human, and it’s OK if I’m human too."

There are LOTS of things we ought to knowbut don’t–and at, we’re here to help you learn more! (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows). Make sure we keep on doing this important work in 2013, and the only way to do that is to subscribe today! If you subscribe for two years, we can help you keep up with your year on the FREE crop circle calendar we’ll give you!

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