Family History Month Across the U. S.

All across America during the month of October is celebrated National Family History Month. This concept started off small with different genealogical societies in several states back in the 1990s.  Within a few years the idea caught on and was eventually recognized by the Federal Legislature and Executive branches, so proclaiming a National Family History Month.

Why recognize a separate month for genealogy?  There are always newcomers to the pursuit family history and many individuals who do need to be made aware of their own family heritage. That is the purpose of distinguishing family history during October, to make people aware of their heritage, their ancestors and how to preserve such personal history for future generations.  Remember the saying; “By keeping one’s memory alive, it is a way to honor their life forever.”

So the following are some great suggestions to help anyone achieve more during the month of October and all year long:

Get children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren involved in their family history.  Depending on their ages; set up games, day trips to museums, go over photos, help them write out their own life stories, review a local or region map about locations of ancestral hometowns or start a scrapbook with the child, their siblings and parents.

Start a newsletter about family events (births, sports, vacations, achievements) and add any interesting notes or photos about one or two of the ancestors.

Take the time to write down or record verbally some of your own childhood memories. Then share them.  It could inspire others to do the same.

Look around the house for any objects that could be considered family treasures or heirlooms.  First photograph them and then record or write down what is known about the item.

Start a collection of traditional family recipes; especially those favorite dishes or treats you remember your mother always making.

Seek out the local genealogical society and  / or  Family History Center (Church of the Latter-Day Saints) in your community. Make a point to spend some time there to see what treasures they can offer. Your ancestors may have lived in Maryland and you now live in California, but generally all genealogical societies can assist a researcher.

Review back over any earlier ancestral research. With new databases and improved indexing, you just might be able to locate some missing information on a relative.

Focus on one particular ancestor and make it your goal to not only learn as much as possible on that person, but take it a step further and write up a biographical sketch about them.

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Graceland 4/10/11

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Max Villaplana 4/10/11

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