The U.S. Senate has designated October as Family History Month. This year, the Senate reissued the designation. This act recognizes the growing popularity of genealogy. It is one of America’s favorite hobbies–and the Internet has played a big role in increasing it’s numbers.
The need to preserve one’s heritage is strong in these modern times. There are about 80 million Americans currently working on their family trees! People have found many ways to preserve their heritage. They include family trees, video tapes interviews, photo albums, family websites, oral histories, and so forth.
In essence, by working on your family tree, you honor your heritage every day. By filling in a name, date, and place on your pedigree, you ensure that another person will not be forgotten. They will be remember though they may have been paupers instead of princes. By designating one month of the year to family history, we can renew our interest and restart some of those projects sitting in a closet, on a desk, or spread across the kitchen table!
How will you celebrate family history month? There are many things big and small that you can do! Need some ideas? Each week IslandRoutes will post some ideas to get you motivated. October is the time to blow the dust off those genealogy binders or create something new. Honor your heritage in your own special way.
Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:
1. Revive a family tradition. Did your grandparents do something special at family gatherings? Was there something always done at dinner time? In my family, before leaving my Grandparent’s house we had to sit on Grandpa’s lap. Grandpa would always reward us with money–quarters, 50 cent pieces, or the elusive dollar piece. (Boy, were we rich!) But it’s something that I will always fondly remember. Bring these traditions back to life or start one of your own!
2. Get out that box of old photographs and get them labelled! Enlist help from older family members who may share stories that go along with the faces. An unlabelled photograph is a sad thing indeed.
3. Put all of your old photographs into albums. The scrapbook kind work great for the older odd sized photos. (Okay, you may need more than one month for this one!)
4. Get a world or U.S. map and mark the migrations of your ancestors. Follow their paths across continents, countries, and within states. Remember your ancestors did this without the aid of the automobile or the airplane. Their determination and perseverance shines through.
Would you like to share your ideas? Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post them here!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com