Question of the day: What do we celebrate in October? Columbus Day, yes. Halloween. The start of the Christmas season, in most shopping malls.
October also is Family History Month. In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote, “By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.
Similar legislation has passed in several years since. I couldn’t find an official declaration for 2009 (anyone else?), but family history enthusiasts continue to celebrate Family History Month in October.
Dont hesitate to hold your own party. Give yourself a whole Saturday at the library or Family History Center, ask a relative your burning family history questions, put some photos in an album, jot down a family story, or tell your state representative how much you appreciate your public library’s genealogy resources. The New England Historic Genealogical Society has more ideas.
Heres a sampling of genealogy classes and other special events weve heard about. Check program schedules for your local library and genealogy society to see whats going on near you.
- The California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland will waive its non-member library use fee and host a range of how-to workshops during October.
- Saturday, Oct. 3, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County offers classes, Genealogy and Local History Department tours, and free consultations with Hamilton County Genealogical Society experts. More events happen throughout the month, including a library lock-in Oct. 17. See the Genealogy Section of the librarys October Calendar (a PDF download) for more details.
- The Fort Myers-Lee County Library in Florida has a free Family History Month class series on Saturdays in October. For more info, mouse over the listings on the librarys online calendar.
- The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis has lots of classes planned, including dating photographs, Indiana marriage laws and getting started.
- The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind., has something going on every day in October, including sessions on house history, female ancestors and Adobe Photoshop, as well as the first-ever International Black Genealogy Summit (Oct. 29-31).
- Online genealogy class Web site GenClass is sponsoring a competition for a free genealogy classwrite a 1,200 word essay about a creative way youve honored your ancestors and what inspired you. Get the entry instructions here.
Have yourself a happy Family History Month!