Genealogy produces a family heirloom – the heirloom is the family.
I started a family tree in preparation for a “roots tour” to visit my grandparents’ home towns in Eastern Europe, and was quickly able to identify 80+ ancestors as far back as 5 generations, over 150 years, thanks to trees already assembled by others. This of course leads me to wonder who will be looking back on us 150 years from now? What will they see?
The Zen koan refers to your “original face” which is defined in a question:
What did your face look like before your parents were born?
No amount of genealogy or genetics would allow me to imagine the original face of my great-grandchildren before my grandchildren are born. But I choose to believe that they are all smiling.