October marks a special occasion in the United States as it is officially designated as Family History Month. This annual celebration, rooted in the importance of understanding one’s ancestry, has been recognized for over two decades. This year, as we commemorate our family history, we reflect on its significance and offer ten inspiring ways for individuals to get involved.
The journey to establishing Family History Month began just weeks after the tragic events of 9/11. The United States Senate passed a bill recognizing October as Family History Month, highlighting the power of ancestral knowledge in fostering unity, resilience, and understanding across diverse communities. The bill emphasizes that delving into our personal family histories transcends cultural and religious boundaries. You can read the full bill on Congress.gov.
Celebrating Family History Month
Family History Month offers a unique opportunity for individuals to explore their roots, strengthen family bonds, and discover the rich tapestry of their ancestry. Unlike one-day holidays, this month-long observance allows for a more relaxed and personalized approach to celebration. You can choose activities that resonate with you and your family, making it a meaningful and enriching experience.
For genealogy enthusiasts, Family History Month might involve in-depth research, such as writing a comprehensive biography or tracing their lineage through the annals of time. However, for most of us, family history is about simpler, everyday moments like sharing cherished stories or preserving family photographs.
10 Ways to Celebrate Family History Month
To assist individuals in commemorating this October, here are ten engaging ideas:
- Discover Your Last Name: Visit FamilySearch and learn about the origin of your last name.
- Share Family Recipes: Prepare a beloved family dessert and share it with someone special.
- Preserve Stories: Record a personal story on FamilySearch by simply speaking into your phone and saving the recording.
- Reconnect with Relatives: Send a heartfelt text message to a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Display Family Photos: Add a new family photo to your home decor to celebrate cherished memories.
- Create a Digital Family Tree: If you have a family tree, enrich it by adding photos or stories about your ancestors.
- Explore Historical Records: Search for historical records with your ancestors’ names on them.
- Virtual Ancestral Home Tour: Spend time on Google Maps exploring the streets of your ancestors’ former homes.
- Document Influential Relatives: Write in your journal about a relative who has significantly impacted your life.
- Share Stories: Record another family story on FamilySearch.
These ideas, along with more suggestions, can be found on the FamilySearch Blog.
Family History Month is an invitation to explore your roots, deepen family connections, and celebrate the unique stories that make you who you are. Whether you embark on an ancestral journey or simply share a cherished family recipe, your involvement in this month-long celebration contributes to the preservation of your family’s heritage.
As you commemorate Family History Month, remember that it’s not about the quantity of activities you complete but the quality of the connections you build with your family and your ancestors. Together, we honor the past and strengthen the future.
- Photo by Chris Curry: instant images