Your Legacy and Your Heritage Work Together… To Keep You Connected…for Generations to Come

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the word “Legacy” is defined as:  “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” Looking at the origin of the word, the Online Etymology Dictionary says that Legacy stems from the 14th Century French: “legate-body of persons sent on a mission or charge”, and from the middle Latin “ambassador or envoy.” Putting these two elements together, I define a legacy family as: “A long standing family with a calling or charge.”


Returning to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, we find Heritage is defined as: “something possessed as a result of one’s natural situation or birth.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary the origin of the word Heritage is “that which may be inherited.” Inherit is derived from the word “heir” which the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines as, “one who receives or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor.” From these pieces, I define heritage as this: “Something received from the past which is distinctly inherited from the family.” This could be anything from DNA to traits to characterizations, to physical looks to interests.


Combining the words legacy and heritage brings me to this definition for a long lasting family: A family that transmits something from one generation to another as a quality or specific charge, that has a beginning, is ongoing and is lasting.” It has beginning where it defines its values and articulates its purpose. It is ongoing through each member’s individual commitment to its values, and a furthering of its purpose. It is long lasting as it stays relevant and flexible through changing times and customs.


A continuing connected family is one in which:

  • The successes and trials of its past (the heritage) are not forgotten
  • Its future (the legacy) is built with confidence and the present (the bridge between the two) is unified in strengthening the purpose of the family.



Tell me your thoughts about your family’s legacy and history.

  • Is it one that is supported by the entire family?
  • Do individual family members have separate ideas on what constitutes the family legacy?
  • Do you have a cohesive way to build your legacy while celebrating your heritage to strengthen a long lasting connection?

Let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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