25 Favorite Family History Quotes

Wise Words About Genealogy

View family history-related quotes such as this popular one by George Bernard Shaw.
Kimberly Powell

Are you looking for a quote related to genealogy and family history, for a family history photo or scrapbook, your Facebook or Twitter page, or a family genealogy website? These famous quotes include humorous quotes, inspirational quotes and other quotations related to our interest in the past.

  1. "Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you." — Mark Twain
  2. "In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness." — Alex Haley, Roots
  3. "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten; Either write things worthy of reading, or do things worthy of writing." — Benjamin Franklin, May 1738
  4. "There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings." — Hodding S. Carter
  5. "When a society or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found. They forgot where they came from." — Carle Sandburg
  6. "I don't know who my grandfather was, I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be." — Abraham Lincoln
  7. "You live as long as you are remembered." — Russian proverb
  8. "Those who forget their past are destined to repeat it." — Robert A. Heinlein
  9. "We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its ancestor." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  10. "Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  11. "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors." — Edmund Burke
  12. "Everyone has ancestors and it is only a question of going back far enough to find a good one." — Howard Kenneth Nixon
  13. "It is a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors." — Plutarch
  14. "Anybody can make history, only a great man can write it." — 
  15. "He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning." — Old English proverb
  16. "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." — George Bernard Shaw
  17. "There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his." — Helen Keller
  18. "Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future." — Gail Lumet Buckley
  19. "Genealogy" Tracing yourself back to people better than you are." — John Garland Pollard
  20. "I don't have to look up my family tree because I know that I'm the sap." — Fred Allen
  21. "If you don’t know history, you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree." — Michael Crichton
  22. "We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise." — Edward Sellner
  23. "We've uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business." — Jimmy Carter
  24. "A man who thinks too much about his ancestors is like a potato—the best part of him is underground" — Henry S.F. Cooper
  25. "Southerners are so devoted to genealogy that we see a family tree under every bush." — Florence King