Drawing strength from our ancestors’ resilience—from the Spanish Flu to today – Ancestry.com September 24, 2020

I saw this today on Ancestry.com – Drawing strength from our ancestors’ resilience—from the Spanish Flu to today: https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2020/09/24/drawing-strength-from-our-ancestors-resilience-from-the-spanish-flu-to-today/.

Posted by Ancestry Team on September 24, 2020 in Website

It’s hard to believe six months have passed since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. As a collective community, we have endured unprecedented challenges in every lane of life – from the global economy to  our own family dynamics. At the same time, we have been deeply inspired by how people around the world have come together, with each and every organization and frontline hero joining forces to help those in need.

Many have pointed to the similarities between our current situation and the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, but what has yet to be  articulated are the inspirational lessons from 100 years ago that can give us a greater sense of connection and understanding for what we are going through today.


Resilience Found in our Records

Ancestry® has always been committed to helping people discover the stories of generations that came before us, and now we’re uncovering even more stories of grit, perseverance and resilience. By analyzing census records on Ancestry, we’ve uncovered trends in occupations and industries in 1920 (the year the Spanish Influenza pandemic ended) compared to 1930 (a decade later) showing not only how the Spanish Flu affected our ancestors and the world they lived in, but how they persevered.


“When we learn about our ancestors’ challenges and triumphs during difficult times, it empowers us to know that if they overcame it and built a better future, so can we,” explains Crista Cowan, Corporate Genealogist at Ancestry. “As we’re faced with major historic events, like our ancestors 100 years ago, and we compare it with what our world is facing today, we can find comfort in hearing how they rebuilt and how they bounced back — all by looking to our family’s past to shape our future. In fact, 91% of Americans believe that through their behaviors we can learn how to rebound ourselves, and approximately half also use this knowledge as a source of hope or motivation for what is around the corner. When we discover their stories and what their experience was overcoming these hardships, we can draw strength from their resiliency, and ultimately feel stronger in tackling whatever lies ahead.”


The data indicates that in the years following the Spanish Flu, there was a sense of commitment to help others in order to build a stronger future together as seen with the rise in teachers and hospital workers. The hospitality industries likewise rebounded and respectively showed that communities, meeting places and the need for connection persist and prevail.

The year 2020 will be a year everyone remembers and despite the difficulties we have suffered, it is important to remember that like our ancestors, we can come together and overcome the difficulties ahead. These Census Records offer signs of hope of what is to come.

Take a look at your own family’s story from the Spanish Flu. What other lessons can we take forward? Let’s find out more.


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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