October is Family History Month: Start a family tree
Celebrate by moving forward in gathering you own family history. Besides the collecting of names of ancestors we are also creating family history daily. Our family traditions, the foods we eat, how we celebrate births and commemorate death are all part of our family history.
Start a family tree. There are many free forms to help you. These can be printed directly from the Internet. www.familysearch.org on the right side of the page click on forms then select pedigree chart; print it and you are on your way. If you don't have access to the Internet you can pick up forms from you local LDS Family History Center.
Start a journal. Begin today and record the day-to-day events of the world that you live in. It may seem a small thing - but if you keep writing daily it will allow those who come after you to know you.
Begin writing your life story. Divide your life into time segments and outline your life experiences and then you can fill in the details as you have time.
Gather family stories. Once the stories are gathered, you can fill in with any of your own remembrances of family events. These can be copied and put in book or booklet form. It doesn't need to be complicated or expensive to be valuable.
Organize a family cookbook. Many of our great memories and traditions center around food. Contact family and let them help you. If you have stories about a certain dish include the story or the reason it is a family favorite. Copies shared with family will be a treasured gift.
Visit sites that have historical importance to your family. Take your children if you still have them at home. Show them the old family homestead, your childhood home, where you went to school, where you played, and visit the local cemetery. If you live too far away to do this, take the trip through pictures, or if you have a computer gather around it and use "google earth" to find where you grew up.
Take your shoebox full of photos, label them and put them in an album. If you are more creative than I am you can scrapbook them. Today we seem to have more and more pictures, but we often store them all on a computer. Make sure you print enough of these to make a historical record.
Start a family web page. Don't panic, these can be very easy. Places like www.myfamily.com or www.geni.com make family Web pages that anyone can start. Geni Web pages are free and both sites allow you to limit those who can view your information to selected family members. Family web sites allow your family to share family photos, news, favorite recipes, funny stories, and even your family tree research. They are also a quick way to get important information to your entire family.
Make a family history gift. Homemade gifts are often inexpensive but can be the best gifts you can give. Frame a family picture, print the recipes you collected, make something that you learned how to do from your parents, or share a talent that has been passed down to you.
Get some help with your genealogy no matter on what level you are on. The Northern Arizona Genealogical Society [NAGS] will be hosting a workshop on Saturday, Oct 27, in Prescott. Go to their Web site at www.rootsweb.com/~aznags and you can print a registration form. The workshops are free, but classes fill up quickly. A Genealogy Discussion group meets Mondays at 10 a.m. at the LDS Family History Center on Hombre Drive. Come at 9:30 if you are interested in learning about some of the new computer Web sites. The Sedona Genealogy Club meets the last Monday of the month at 1:30 in Sedona at the LDS Church on Mormon Hill Road. The local Verde Valley Computer Club has a Genealogy SIG [Special Interest Group] that meets the first Thursday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the Clemenceau Building on the corner of Mingus and Willard.
Enjoy Family History month by not only working on your family history but by sharing it with your family. You just might get them interested in connecting with their ancestors. Enjoy the Journey.