My approach to ancestral research – ‘intuitive, heart and soul’

My approach to ancestral researching ‘intuitive ancestral’ is different to many. It is primarily:

  • guided through the heart, the seat of the soul
  • not by spreadsheets, dates and gaps
  • by the one who pulls at my heartstrings and whispers in my ear


My approach to ancestral researching is an intuitive process.  I am not so much interested in compiling spreadsheets of data (although they do have their place), getting bogged down in dates and identifying where the gaps are in my family tree.  For me it is listening to my heart and being guided to the ones that have something they want to share.  I am very mindful of the delicate nature of revealing stories of those who are no longer with us.  Ones who perhaps never envisaged that years later they would have someone burrowing into their lives and attempting to understand who they were and bring forth what they perhaps would prefer to remain in the past, lost to the veils of time. 

When I embark on a research journey I ensure I do so with care, respect and privilege.  I ask for permission to do so, seek to be guided by those who give permission and perhaps welcome the opportunity to reveal themselves here and now.   Whilst I gather data, facts and various certificates and documentation as evidence of their existence I am seeking to understand their challenges, tap into the qualities they cultivated and passed on genetically. 

What qualities do they have that maybe lying dormant within me waiting to be activated? 

What can they show me about ‘me’ and those who came before me? 

And what is there that still needs care and healing to ensure that wounds no longer impact trans generationally?  

If we take this approach to ancestral researching we can have a completely different experience, one that is insightful, respectful and transformative.

My ‘why’

Which leads me into my why.   My personal awakening to transgenerational influences some years ago, still provides enough impetus to continue this field of work.  With each ancestor who reveals themselves to me, and allows me into their life, I became further aware of the power of intergenerational impacts.  Whilst I am mindful not to judge these as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, I simply am curious about what has gone on before me, influenced who I am now, and what I can either integrate or release.   As I engage in this process I feel the benefits of living life authentically, from a place of wholeness and with gratitude and appreciation for the delicate nature of life.   I experience the interconnectedness of all there is.  With each story, with each place I travel to, I feel my way home.  I release myself from past moments, unhooking from past trauma, whilst simultaneously identify qualities that lay  within me waiting to be activated.  I do this transformational process for myself, for those before me and for future generations.  What better gift to give then one of integrating the genetic line.

How does one begin?

Three phases

I have identified three key phases that I undertake before delving in the ancestral records.

  1. Space – I ensure I create a compassionate and supportive space within which I begin to connect and explore.  I make sure I will not be disturbed and have at my disposal, pen, paper, highlighters, the folders on my laptop ready to place documents into, the software packages I use open and if I so feel inclined, music and essential oils burning. I ensure I am in a clear, calm space and ready to commune.
  2. Connection – I undertake a brief meditation to ensure I have a clear head and heart.  I ask for boundaries of unconditional love and above to ensure I only commune with those who are of love.  I ask permission to raise the veils of the past and do so with grace, respect and gratitude
  3. Flow – from there I allow my heart to guide where ‘we’ go.  Perhaps today it is my maternal line (one that is distant and provides more road blocks then I like) or my paternal line (one that is full to the brim of pickings)?  Maybe it is an ancestor from Scotland? Or Ireland? From the 17-19th century that seeks attention? Or one closer to home, one who settled here in Australia and wants to share.  It doesn’t really matter.  I simply allow my heart to guide, and my hands to do the work.  Is it that I delve into? Or hit the National or State archives?  Is it the newspapers (via Trove) or a specific county historical society?  Whatever is guided is where we go.

I appreciate this approach would be uncomfortable and perhaps messy for some.  Yet for me, it’s the only way that works.  I have attempted many times to gather data in spreadsheets, colour code everything, identify gaps and then fill those gaps.   I found this suffocating , frustrating and fruitless.  Sometimes someone just doesn’t want to be found.  Sometimes the walls are up, no go zones and no matter what research you do nothing comes forth.  And that is okay.  Ancestral researching is like the rabbit going down the rabbit hole, there is no clear path, we twist, we turn and often come back on ourselves.  It is simply a dance across generations.  It is simply delicious when this dance flows.  We are in sync, the veil is lifted, and we discover gems that our ancestors have scattered across the generations. 

What do we do with what we find?

There is the logistics of gathering data and for me over the years I have attempted various systems and processes to record, store and monitor activity.  It is an individual process and one worth investing time and energy into. Do you prefer printing documents and storing in folders? Would you rather store online (there are so many packages you can use to assist). 

For me I currently use Evernote (to store), Trello (to keep track of research and task status) and I also store some documents on my laptop.  I create folders by family name and tag generations, place and life experience.  Whilst I have excel spreadsheets in place, I personally find this package challenging to use and keep up-to-date.  So I am exploring other options.  As you continue on your journey your methods will most likely need to change.  Be open to reviewing what works and does not and pivot where necessary.

Uncovering distressing moments

If you discover something distressing, painful and that perhaps leans into your own personal wounds make sure you take the time needed to feel how you feel.   You will uncover stories that are upsetting.  Yet don’t hold onto what you feel when you discover a traumatic event your ancestor experienced.  Feel it and release it, knowing it is not yours.  Be grateful for this opportunity to shine a loving light on this moment trapped in time and let it go.  Your genetic line will thank you for it.  We don’t need to be a martyr and carry familial wounds within us.  That is not our role.  Your ancestor experienced what they needed to for their own growth, as you will yours.  You are not your ancestor and as such, say thank you and let it go.  If you feel to undertake a ceremony (such as lighting a candle, burning a document or photo) do so.  Your intention is of utmost importance.  An intent to be loving, respectful and an agent of change. 

A priceless gift

What you are gathering is priceless and you need to value the work you are undertaking.  It in itself is a gift – a gift to your family (past, present and future) not to mention a gift to yourself.  It is the ultimate in ‘know thyself’ the key to personal transformation.

Would you like some guidance on how to get started with your intuitive ancestral researching?  Get in touch with me and let’s see how I can help you out!

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