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From the Green Valley News, Wednesday October 26 2005, page B5

Genealogy Today, by Betty Malesky

Ten Ways to Celebrate Family History Month

Family History Month has been celebrated nationally since October 2001 when Senator Orrin Hatch introduced a bill to commemorate the contributions of families to our nationís history. The following are ten ways to celebrate your own family history this month.

  1. Tackle a "brick wall" problem and devote the month to finding a solution. Brainstorm with another researcher if youíre really stumped. Two heads are better than one.

  2. Interview that elderly parent, aunt, uncle or cousin. If he/she is reluctant to talk, try going out for a ride or out for lunch and subtly steer the conversation toward the familyís past.

  3. Begin writing your own personal story if you havenít already done so. If you devote an hour a day to writing, by the end of the month youíll have 30 or more pages. If you arenít finished by the end of the month, you will at least be well on the way.

  4. Write one or more short stories focused around interesting ancestors. Give them as gifts to grandchildren, nieces and nephews to stimulate interest in their ancestry. My own interest in American and family history began with my great grandfatherís stories.

  5. Join a genealogical society or plan to attend a genealogy workshop to stimulate your personal family research. The company of like-minded persons is a great motivator. Green Valleyís Genealogy Fair is coming up Saturday, November 12 between 10 AM and 3 PM. Drop in and see what weíre all about.

  6. Visit the Family History Center (FHC) in Sahaurita and learn how to utilize their resources, such as, the Family History Library catalog, film rentals, etc. If youíre a new researcher, the FHC volunteers will help you get started

  7. Organize your family records to make it easier to determine what you have and where you need to conduct more research. If youíre like me you love to do research, but all those copies of records are worthless if you canít find them (experience speaking!)

  8. Plan a family get together and prepare a short bio of several ancestors. Give each family member a bio to read and share with the others. This is a great way to introduce your favorite ancestors to the rest of the family and stimulate discussion about the past.

  9. Contact those distant cousins you havenít seen or heard from in years. One or more may also be doing family research. If you collaborate, you can accomplish twice as much together and he/she may have family records and/or photos you didnít know existed.

  10. Finally, number one in importanceóprepare a codicil to your will declaring what you wish done with your genealogical research and family records in the event of your death. Donít let all your precious research time and the records you so diligently collected be consigned to the trash heap when youíre not here to protect them.

You can probably think of several more ways to celebrate. Have fun with Family History Month.

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