October: Family History Month and American Archives Month

What a great combination of designations for this month. In many places, the temperatures are cooling down. We aren’t going on as many picnics, to the beach, or using the swimming pool.  Children are back in school. The genealogist’s minds turns to FAMILY HISTORY.

October seems fitting to be both Family History Month and American Archives month. I usually don’t celebrate chewing gum day or ice cream month. The former two are more worthy of celebration and doing something concrete to celebrate.

What is more perfect than working on your family history in an archive! A couple weeks ago, I wrote about “When Is The Last Time You Were A Tick Mark” and this is the month to be sure you are marked as present!

Go to the website of a state archive or maybe a college or university archive. Perhaps one of the National Archives locations. Study any catalogs, finding aids, newsletters, digitized images, and start a “To Do” list. Do you need to work at one too far away for this month? Plan a trip for later this fall or into 2016.

I am going to celebrate this month by presenting family history seminars in Arkansas (Arkansas Genealogical Society), Alaska (Anchorage Genealogical Society), and Illinois (Illinois State Genealogical Society). I will also be doing in-person research at some archives in Washington State. What is your genealogical society doing to celebrate?

It’s time to firm up your plans to celebrate Family History Month and American Archives Month. Do your own research, join a genealogical society, help someone to get interested in family history research, thank an Archivist, sort and file those stacks of paper in your work area, and remember to let your legislators at all levels know the importance of archives, preserving records, granting access to records, and funding places needed to research all facets of history.

© 2015, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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