31 Ways to Celebrate Family History Month

October is Family History Month

October is Family History Month!

Wondering how you should celebrate Family History Month? Here are 31 ideas to get you started…

1. Attend a lecture. (I enjoyed giving one today!)

2. Love Twitter? Join the “Genealogy Photo-A-Day” Challenge!

3. Preserve a family recipe (or delight your family by making one!)

4. Take an hour or four and sort through your backlog of genealogy-related bookmarks. Make a date with yourself to dig deep on one of them.

October 5: #AskAnArchivist Day! Hop on Twitter and follow this hashtag to ask the experts about collections, archives, and preserving your history.

6. Got heirlooms? Pick one and take some time to write down where it came from, who it belonged to, and why it is special.

7. Update your genealogy wish-list. Check off completed items to celebrate your progress, and start making a plan for how to solve the next mystery.

8. Check your interesting locations on GenDisasters.

9. Visit your local historical society, either in person or online. The volunteers want to answer your questions, so bring as many as you can think of! (Bonus–they may also be celebrating Family History Month with special programming! Get out there and find out!)

10. Choose a time period or locale outside of your specialty, and spend some time getting acquainted.

October 11: Lurk on the #AncestryHour thread and add some fun and interesting genealogy articles to your reading list.

12. Pick a mysterious or confusing old photo and attempt to date it by the fashions and setting details. (Don’t have one? Check here!)

13. Browse small town America postcards or RPPC collections on eBay. Who knows–you might find one written by a relative. (I did!)

14. Got a brick wall? Join a genealogy group on Facebook and try crowd-sourcing your problem for ideas on new research angles!

October 15: Designate today “Scanning Saturday” and tackle that scanning project you’ve been meaning to get around to.

16. Read Will and Ruth. This completed historical letter project is just wonderful. A beautiful collection and about as romantic as real life ever gets!

17. Interview an older relative. (Are you the older relative? Phone up your family’s genealogy buffs and tell ’em that you’ve got stories for them!)

October 18: Make it a Transcription Tuesday and transcribe a historical document. Don’t have one? Find one here!

19. Jump over to Geneabloggers and see what’s new and exciting in the geneasphere lately!

20. Are you a subject matter expert? Create an online resource to help others on their family history journey.

October 21: Explore #genchat on Twitter! The scheduled topic? What to do with… Too Many “Smiths”?

22. Visit Google Maps and plot your genealogy dream road trip. Hey, if the opportunity arises, you need to be ready!

23. Read a time-slip novel. I can’t think of a better fiction choice for family historians than one that alternates between the present and the past. Here’s one I think you’ll really like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

24. Visit the place where you live on the USGenWeb or WorldGenWeb project (even if your ancestors were from elsewhere) and see if you can contribute. A cemetery transcription or images of an obscure record set might break down brick walls for someone without the means to visit your area!

25. Take a look at your favorite note-taking app (OneNote, EverNote, etc.) and think about ways to use it for genealogy.

October 26: The first anniversary of Back to the Future Day! Create a document or record that your grandchildren will consider a real find!

(But how to make sure they receive it? This may take some thought if you don’t have a flying DeLorean…)

27. Don’t speak legalese? Slow down and take the time to really understand what a difficult deed, will, guardianship record, or other document may be telling you. Recruit an expert if necessary.

28. All work and no play? No way! Learn (or teach someone!) how to play a time-honored game like cribbage or pinochle.

29. At your next family get-together, set up a digital picture frame or a laptop with a slide show of old family photos and see whose memory is jogged with a gem of a story.

30. Whew, what a month! Time to grab a friend and binge-watch episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, Antique Roadshow, or some really great historical documentaries!

October 31: Dress in the period of your favorite ancestor! Too grown-up for that? Make your kids do it!

How do YOU plan to celebrate Family History Month? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! Now what do you want to do?

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