Could We Have Been Our Ancestors in a Past Life?

Updated on June 12, 2018
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty has been following an alternative spiritual path for seventeen years. She encourages others to follow their souls' calling.

A side-by-side photo comparison of me and one of my great-great-grandmothers. Did we once live as our own ancestors?
A side-by-side photo comparison of me and one of my great-great-grandmothers. Did we once live as our own ancestors? | Source

Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

Millions of people all over the world believe in reincarnation. This is the belief that the human soul lives more than one physical life, and it has been ingrained in certain religions—including Buddhism, Hinduism, various types of modern-day Paganism, and New Age—for thousands of years. We can also see traces of this idea in the Kabbalah and within sects of the Rosicrucians and Gnostics.

If we look back through the pages of history, we'll see that belief in reincarnation dominated ancient views of life after death. The ancient Celts, Norsemen, and Egyptians were just a few of many cultures that believed we live more than one life.

The main concept is that the soul moves in a circle, just as the rest of the Universe does. The circle consists of life, death, and rebirth, whereupon it starts again. It is never-ending to some, while others believe that a soul can ascend from the constant state of reincarnation to spend the rest of eternity in a higher dimension.

So, do you believe as these people do? Do you think that reincarnation is possible or even commonplace? If so, perhaps you've pondered as I have about having lived as one or more of your ancestors in your past lives.

I often dream of a lady in a white Victorian gown. Am I dreaming of one of my ancestors? Did I live a past life alongside her?
I often dream of a lady in a white Victorian gown. Am I dreaming of one of my ancestors? Did I live a past life alongside her? | Source

Incredible Stories of Past Lives

One fascinating case of possible reincarnation came from a boy named Gus Taylor from the American Midwest. When Gus was a toddler, he would talk of being his own grandfather, who had passed away several years before Gus' birth. When shown pictures of family members, he would point out his grandfather "Augie" every time, without being told who his grandfather was.

One day, as his father was changing Gus' diaper, Gus suddenly looked up at him and said, "When I was your age, I changed your diaper." Naturally, this floored his father. But all of this could just have been the child's overactive imagination, right?

The nail in the coffin, so to speak, was when Gus' mother decided to test him by asking about Augie's dead sister (who the family never talked about due to emotional scars and trauma). She asked him, "If you are Augie, did you have any siblings?" Gus answered that yes, he had a sister who had died. This was, in fact, true. Augie's sister had been murdered and thrown into the San Francisco Bay.

King Henry VIII was my ancestor. Did I perhaps live a life as one of his grandchildren?
King Henry VIII was my ancestor. Did I perhaps live a life as one of his grandchildren? | Source

Gus' story is not the only documented and studied case of people claiming to have been their ancestors in past lives. Simply google "past lives and ancestors" and you will find a whole plethora of blogs and confessions from those who believe that they were once their very own grandfathers, grandmothers, great-aunts, great-great-grandmothers, etc.

If we compare pictures of ourselves side by side to those of our ancestors, we can often see striking similarities. Is this solely because of our DNA or because these people might have actually been us in our past lives? We can choose to look at this topic at a mundane and physical level, or we can look beyond the physical realm to see the spiritual possibilities.

I recently discovered that I am the great-x15-granddaughter of King Henry VIII. I found this all out by digging through my family tree on! However, I am technically not of "royal" blood because my blood comes from Reverend Richard Edwards, one of King Henry's illegitimate sons.

How is this significant to reincarnation? I have often been drawn to the period of King Henry VIII, taking up a wild fascination specifically with the story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Is this because I have a strand of King Henry's DNA? Could I have possibly lived as one of his grandchildren or the like?

Their bodies might be in the grave, but their memories live on through us.
Their bodies might be in the grave, but their memories live on through us. | Source

Do Souls Travel in Groups?

If we were to ask people who believe in reincarnation, many of them would say that we've not only lived past lives but that we've also lived those lives with the same people. This belief is reflected in the concept of a "soul mate" or "soul twin."

A soul mate is someone with whom you've lived a past life, someone you've had a very close relationship with for, most likely, multiple lives before. While there are those who say that each person has only one soul mate, there are others who believe that we all have many soul mates or souls with whom we've lived lives before. This is the concept of a "soul group." In this way, souls might travel together, even incarnating into the same family.

If the idea of a soul group is true, then perhaps your past life as your great-grandmother might reveal that your mother from that life might be your daughter or sister in this life! Have you ever felt a close connection to a family member that you just can't explain? Have you felt like you've known that family member in a past life? Is this really because you share the same DNA, or is it because you've both lived past lives together within the same family bloodline? It's something to ponder, isn't it?

It's hard to fathom just how many ancestors we might truly have, so how can we have lived so many lives?
It's hard to fathom just how many ancestors we might truly have, so how can we have lived so many lives? | Source

Family Trees and Bloodlines: Were We Our Ancestors?

So the question is, did we live past lives as our ancestors, our very own flesh and blood? Does DNA not only give us our physical attributes but also our spiritual existence?

According to my research, this idea could be possible in two different ways:

  1. Physically: Because we carry the DNA of our ancestors, their memories are passed down to us through the DNA itself.
  2. Spiritually: Our actual spiritual bodies move only through our bloodlines from one physical incarnation to the next.

If we did live lives as our ancestors, what about the stories of those who lived as people outside of their family trees?

Technically, we can all trace our lines back to one person who lived before us millions of years ago, to the very first of humankind. This means that everyone is related. It also means that we all share some traces of DNA; therefore, those people we might have lived as in the past are still our ancestors in some form!

Are feelings of déjà vu simply stirrings of memories from places we've been in past lives?
Are feelings of déjà vu simply stirrings of memories from places we've been in past lives? | Source

If you take a look at your family tree and begin to look further and further back at all of the people who came together to make you, you might start to feel pretty unique. At first, it doesn't seem like that many people—parents, grandparents, great-grandparents—but then you might go back another couple of branches to great-great-grandparents and then great-great-great-grandparents and realize at this point that you have the DNA of dozens of people.

What happens if you look back three or four branches further than that? Your family tree starts to look so gigantic that it's hard to comprehend just how many ancestors you might have had. In fact, you don't just have dozens or even hundreds of ancestors; you have millions of them going back to the beginning of time!

Many amazing stories of past lives show us that there are those who believe they lived as their very own ancestors—grandfathers, great-aunts, great-great-grandmothers, etc. It is difficult for us to fathom how this would be possible if we have so many ancestors.

As you can see, this might create some doubt or debate in the minds of those who believe in past lives; however, the Universe has many wonders and mysteries that our puny brains have yet to unravel, and I truly believe that ANYTHING is possible.

Do you believe we could have lived past lives as our own ancestors?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Nicole Canfield


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    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 10 days ago from Mobile, AL

      Awesome! Yes, I do believe we incarnate in groups and also genetically pass down, what I call, soul memories. In those memories are skills and abilities. By reincarnating we are able to continue with those abilities continuing to learn more and grow instead of having to start over from scratch every lifetime.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 4 months ago from New England

      Hi Kitty ~ loved reading this. I recently read a book I found in my chiropractor's office about the healing power of past life progressions and I have the intention to give myself over to one soon. I strongly feel that there are parts of myself/self knowledge I have forgotten and need to re-integrate in order to fulfill my purpise in this life. My Reiki teacher has agreed to be my guide. Don't want to do it alone. Yet I feel I have some more preparation to do.

      I love remembering a very sweet dream I had of my daughter when I was carrying her. I laid on a table and her tiny hand waved to me over the shadow on the wall of the swell of my pregnant if she were saying "here I come, mommy!" We are very close in this life and I am sure we were close in our past lives together, too.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 10 months ago from Summerland

      Jeanne - I believe past lives are meant for the individual to discover. That being said, I wouldn't try to look into my own kids' past lives. I would let that unfold for them in their own time, if it's even supposed to in this life. Hopefully this makes sense.

    • Jeanne Barrimore profile image

      Jeanne Barrimore 10 months ago from Lyon, France

      All of this is SO fascinating! I deeply, deeply believe in reincarnation. It's the only doctrine that really makes sense! But as a parent, what can I do to explore my children's past life memories and find out who they were, what they were able to do and how that could be useful in their present lifetimes? This seems to be a very little explored area of investigation, but surely someone has written a "how to" book on this subject?

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 13 months ago from Summerland

      katewistow - That's awesome! I didn't know that, but I am not surprised that others believe this happens. Thank you for sharing!

    • katewistow profile image

      Katie Wistow 13 months ago from The Otherworld.

      I gave always believed this,in the tribe I'm from (I'm 1/4 African) - the Xhosa tribe it's common knowledge that we are the reincarnation of ancestors,everyone knows this.I read an interview with a shamaness from my tribe and she listed the three ancestors she embodied.I know which ancestor I am because I dreamt it about three times,I look slightly like her,as she was white it's quite strange to feel very much like a white woman but to be a mixed girl.Im glad you wrote about it and am enjoying your articles.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 22 months ago from Central Oklahoma

      Yes, I do believe in reincarnation, and yes, I feel do "close" to certain deceased ancestors. Not because I was that person in a previous life, but because they're infinitely more interesting than many of my living relatives!

      That said, I'm *very* aware of *many* past lives, and after 30 + years of research am quite familiar with the lives and times of most of the people who occupy the branches of my family tree, but alas in no case have the two ever overlapped. In fact, I'd *love* to have a past life experience in which I found myself a member of one of my ancestral families, to be able to get answers to questions I have about them and their offspring that I've been unable to find in existing records!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from Summerland

      threekeys - Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

    • threekeys profile image

      Threekeys 2 years ago from Australia

      I am not sure about reincarnation but I, too, have had some very odd things happen. I might talk about them one day...

      That photograph and you? Very similar.

      Great read. Thankyou.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from Summerland

      MizBejabbers - Wow. Very cool. Thank you for sharing.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Kitty, I definitely believe that souls reincarnate in groups. In my years of metaphysical studies, I've met a lot of combinations that vary from generation to generation. However, I know that I'm not with my soul family in this lifetime, and it has caused me some problems with loyalty, including a feeling that my mother didn't feel the same way about me as she did my siblings. My previous incarnation as a monk in Seville certainly didn't leave me feeling like I was my own grandpa, either.

      I studied with a group for over 30 years and we weren't soul family. In fact, each participant was from a different soul family, but we were brought together for a purpose. After we fulfilled our soul contract as a group, we stopped meeting and meditating, but we formed a lasting friendship. Now I wonder what our next incarnations have in store for us. Will we meet again, or are we finished? We are mostly star seeds in this group, so it is a legitimate question.

      I love your hubs, and this one is stellar. Love and light to you.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from Summerland

      Funny that you say that, Jess, because I was just talking to a lady on Instagram who is a descendent of King John...and she said that she and I must be related too!!!

    • Jess Jem Kat profile image

      Jess Jem Kat 3 years ago

      I too have a strange "connection" to Anne Boleyn, as well as Queen Mary of Scots. I watched the Boleyn Girls repeatedly.. and actually cried. I then went on to obsessively research these people.. something quite out of character for me. I wonder how far back I can trace my genealogy.. we may just be related somehow :)

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from Summerland

      Melissa - Me and J.C. are cool. Thanks for reading!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from Summerland

      Stargrrl - Thanks for your support.

    • Melissa Orourke profile image

      Melissa Orourke 3 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

      Thank you for writing this, this topic is one to make you think!

      I never believed in Reincarnation, but then a few experiences happened... Also, the boy who remembered he was a pilot in World War II, can't think of his name. His story really made me wonder. I choose to stay close to Jesus Christ, figure I can't go wrong with Him! Someday, we will know the answers to our questions!

    • profile image

      Stargrrl 3 years ago

      I don't believe in reincarnation, but this was an interesting article. Striking resemblance between you and that woman!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Fascinating! I have seen similar photographs of people long gone who look very like people living.

      I meant to mention how remarkable your likeness is to your great-great grandmother's, so much so that you almost appear to be the same person. I can see how you might wonder if you and she are the same. Wonderful how her strength and liveliness show through, as do yours.

    • Dizze Blogger profile image

      Nalani Sanderson 3 years ago from Oregon

      I definitely believe in reincarnation, however I don't believe we only reincarnate within the same family tree. I have distinct memories of being "races" (specifically black Jamaican) of which there is absolutely no evidence in my bloodline in this life. I also have memories of lives spent as beings that were not physical at all, or were not spent on Earth. I know several people who remember past lives as their own ancestors, or have photos of ancestors who look remarkably like them (one is actually her and her sister, who is not her blood sister in this life but a cousin and very close friend; the two girls in the photo look exactly as they both did at the same age). I do believe that we can reincarnate as our own descendants, but not that it's the only way that reincarnation works.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm so glad I happened across this article tonight. I have often wondered about reincarnation and whether we might remember past lives. When I was young, I had many dreams of times gone by, one in which I was married to the man I was married to at the time of the dreams, only in the dreams, we were Native Americans in another century.

      It's odd, perhaps, but I remember those dreams, what he wore, and how he looked as if I had actually lived them and been with him. That is the memories seem of real events and people, rather than simply of dreams.

      Thank you for an intriguing article.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      It is quite true, Kitty. You are actually The Soul, which is immortal. The body is an instrument that the Soul uses, to gain experience. The Soul is on a journey back to God and it needs the experience in order to grow and become perfect. Until such time, it returns and carries on from where it left of.

      You might say, in a simple sense, that Re-incarnation is the process by which the Soul learns to fulfil its own Destiny.

      You will find a book on this called Death and Re-incarnation. Probably sold on Amazon but available freely on Much peace.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      This is such a fascinating topic... and great discussion of it! I definitely think we come back to finish what we didn't previously. Your hub reminds me a very cool movie that was out a couple years ago: Cloud Atlas. Voted up, beautiful, interesting and sharing!

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 3 years ago from World Citizen

      You talk the Hindu way, of being born again and again until you are free of all 'evolution' whereby you are spared the suffering of rebirths and attain your "moksha" or enlightenment.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Yes, I know reincarnation is a real thing. I know of several past lives of mine. My grandson, at the age of three, recalled an incident he had in a past life - the same incident my father had in a past life.

      Kitty, this hub is remarkable and very interesting, well-researched. I do believe we were once our own ancestor. Voted up, across and H+

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      OMGosh, Kitty ! I am in the midst of finishing up a hub to get it published. I will come back to read this amazingly interesting hub of yours as soon as I can. Thank you!


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