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Family Legacy Quotes Reveal 5 Lessons About Epic Legacies

Andrew Ronald
Simirity Founder | Father of Two

The most valuable legacies can’t be named in a Will.

Way back in my family tree is Samuel Pepys, who famously kept a diary of his life in London between 1690 and 1669. His diary entries about life back then, his family, and the Great Fire of London are his legacy. Shared with the whole world. But being related to him, makes his stories even more special for my family.

Now, as I enter the second half of my life, I ponder the meaning of legacy. How can I pass down something of lasting value to future generations? Samuel Pepys proved it is possible. 

Three generations of women in one family.

Wanting to explore this topic, we searched for the most inspirational family legacy quotes and sayings, seeking to learn from them. We distilled the wisdom of our favourite quotes into five lessons that describe what a legacy is, and how we can leave behind a legacy that future family will treasure.  

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Lesson 1 – What Is a Legacy?

The following family legacy quotes show us that there’s more to pass on to one’s children than the physical things we accumulate in our lives. 

Your legacy is etched in the hearts and minds of your children and grandchildren. 

“The greatest purpose of life is to live it for something that will last longer than you.”

William James
  • “Legacy. What is legacy? It's planting seeds in the garden you won't get to see.”

    — Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “What you leave as a legacy is not what is etched in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

    — Anonymous
  • “The deeds you do for yourself are gone when you pass away, but the deeds you do for others remain as your legacy.”

    — Anonymous
  • “Unlike wealth, there is an infinite value in legacy.”

    —  Criss Jami
  • “We build our legacies piece by piece, and maybe the world will remember you or perhaps just a few people, but you do anything you can to make sure you’re still around after you leave.”

    — David Lowery
  • “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

    — Warren Buffett

Lesson 2 – The Role of Family in Your Legacy

A legacy is a whirlwind of emotions and recollections, for which people are a necessary ingredient.

It’s not only memories that live on. Your interactions with them have shaped their character, beliefs, and view of the world. And one day, they might pass them on to future family you’ll never meet. 

Now, that’s a legacy worth aiming for.

 “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

Mother Teresa
  • “The greatest inheritance you can pass on to your children and grandchildren is more than the money or material possessions you get. It’s a legacy of both character and faith.”

    — Billy Graham
  • “Your legacy on this planet when you leave is how many hearts you touched.”

    — Patti Davis

Lesson 3 – Your Role in Creating a Family Legacy

The greatest legacy one can pass on to future family is not based on money or other material things. It’s founded on people and your relationship with them. 

Each one of us can create a legacy that inspires our children and future family with nothing more than our actions and words.

Like it or not, we are role models to our children, so set them an example they can learn from.

“Many men can make a fortune but very few can build a family.”

J.S. Bryan
  • “If you don't want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

    — Anonymous
  • "Your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise."

    — Unknown
  • “The greatest legacy you can leave to your kids are happy memories; those special moments so much like rocks on the beach that are taken from the white sand and put in tiny boxes that lay unopened on shelves until one day they fall out and time repeats, with joy and sadness, in the child who is now an adult.”

    — Og Mandino
  • “Language lets us reach out to people, to touch people with our deepest fears, hopes, losses, victories. To reach out to people who we’ll never meet. It’s the single greatest legacy you could ever leave to your children or your loved ones: The history of how you felt in your biggest moments.”

    — Simon Van Booy
  • ”Our legacy will be defined by the victories and boldness by which our daughters and sons take on the challenges the world faces. I also wonder if perhaps the most important and long-lasting demonstration of one’s humility lies in our ability to teach and mentor our children.”

    — Naveen Jain
  • “Legacy is not leaving something behind for other people. It’s leaving something behind in other people.”

    — Peter Strople
  • “Our stories are the greatest legacy we will leave to our friends. A life story longest-lasting legacy you will leave to future generations.”

    — Steve Saint

Lesson 4 – How Leaving a Legacy Impacts Future Generations 

Think back to the stories you’ve been told about your ancestors and how they might have shaped your life. 

Stories from our family’s past remind us of our roots. You are the next link in the family chain, and stories about your life can connect you to future generations.

What stories will you leave behind?

“It is up to us to live based on the legacy that was left behind for us, and to leave our own that is worthy of our children, their children, and their children’s children.”

Christine Gregoire
  • "It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives."

    — Mitch Albom
  • “We are a continuum. In the same way that we reach back to our ancestors for our core values, so we, as guardians of our legacy, must reach ahead to future generations that come after us. And we do so with an awareness of sacredness in that reaching.”

    — Paul Tsongas

Lesson 5 – The Longevity of a Family Legacy

My ancestor Samuel Pepys died in 1703, yet his legacy lives on. 

However, most of our ancestors left very little behind – names, dates, and perhaps their stated occupations.

How is that supposed to inspire young minds keen to understand how their lives are shaped by the past?

A long-lasting legacy is not something we can take for granted. But it is possible. We have to work at it if we want it to last forever. 

“Even though your time here is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work will last forever.”

Anonymous
  • “Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.”

    — Gail Lumet Buckley
  • “In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, bridge to our future.”

    — Alex Haley
  • "The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family."

    —  Lee Iacocca

How Simirity App Can Be Your Family’s Legacy

Simirity is a family business, and this is our story. We are proud of our family roots and the paths we’ve chosen. We’re nothing extraordinary, but within our circle, our lives matter. And we want to preserve our stories so our children and future generations get to connect with us even though we are no longer around. 

On our family holiday.

It took a family health scare for us to recognise how ill-prepared we were to preserve our family stories. We talked about the past occasionally, but without our parents around, so many stories would be lost – stories about my parents’ lives, my childhood, my extended family, our grandparents, and even our ancestors.

What is a good way to preserve stories like these?

  • Writing a book or document felt too formal and too big a task. Once written, it would be quite a task for people to read! It would most likely gather dust on the bookshelf…
  • Collecting photos is nice, but without comments, their details will be forgotten. And so much of life comes without photos, especially all the stories of our ancestors, which have only been passed down through word of mouth.
  • You could do an audio recording and together talk about the stories, but audio alone would not be enough. And once it’s recorded, it’s easy to imagine it would rarely get listened to.

We wanted a blend of the above and more. Mixing text, photos, videos and voice narrations. We wanted it online so all family could access it, but without adverts and privacy concerns. So we build the Simirity App.

Simirity App is a private storytelling app that unites your extended family in stories, even if you live apart.

Over time, your entire family can build an archive of digital stories, connecting family members in real-time and creating a story legacy that welcomes future family. 

Unlike printed stories or digital files that get consumed and then forgotten, stories on Simirity are woven into your daily life with Story Anniversary notifications. Imagine getting a welcome prompt reminding you of what your children did several years ago today, what you did 20 years ago, what your parents did 30 years ago, or even what your ancestors did before you were born. 

Introduction to the Simirity App

We believe that media-rich stories about you and your extended family’s lives are the most wonderful legacy to leave behind. Stories that last forever, handed down to the next generation, helping them on their journey. 

If you would like to learn more about the Simirity app, you can visit our home page.

Summary of Family Legacy Quotes 

We hope these quotes about leaving a legacy behind have inspired you to consider your family’s legacy. It’s a pretty exciting thing to consider – what we can do that will outlive us.

What legacy will you leave behind?

A legacy that inspires others? A legacy that shows good character and faith? A legacy that encourages others to try a little harder, just like you?

It’s never too late to get started on your legacy. 

Find additional inspiration and wisdom in this master collection of all family quotes.

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