3 Ways to Celebrate National Family History Month By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

October is National Family History Month https://nationaltoday.com/family-history-month and a perfect time to discover your roots, learn something new, or gather photos and other memories to create that special project you’ve been meaning to work on.  Here are three great ways you can make the most of this month to celebrate and share your family’s story.

1. Get Talking.   Set up a time to talk to your relatives. Prepare a list of questions and be sure to ask them about any unidentified photographs, or for stories about family heirlooms. Remember to bring along your smartphone, or other recording device to capture the conversation, and perhaps scanner such as the Vivid-Pix Memory Station https://www.vivid-pix.com/memorystation  so you can quickly get copies of those photos your aunts, uncles, or cousins may have tucked away in those boxes in the attic or basement.  If your relatives live far away, try Zoom https://zoom.us/ or create a private group on Facebook t https://www.facebook.com to keep in touch. These platforms also serve as a virtual space to seek out potential long-lost relatives or connect with other researchers to share experiences and get help with perplexing research problems.

2. Get a DNA Test. The four major DNA testing companies— Ancestry https://www.ancestry.com/dna, MyHeritage https://www.myheritage.com/dna, FamilyTree DNA https://www.familytreedna.com and 23andMe 23andme.com—typically run sales on their testing kits during Family History Month. Check these companies’ websites and social media pages during October. This will help you save money on kits to distribute to interested family members at your reunion. Or try your luck and enter Reunions magazine‘s giveaway for a DNA kit at https://reunionsmag.com/?s=giveaways.

3. Get Sharing.  Blogs are a great way to reach out and share family information. It’s easy to get a blog up and running in a matter of minutes for free on platforms such as https://www.blogger.com or WordPress https://wordpress.com. You’ll find more than 3,000 genealogy/family history blogs listed on the Geneabloggers website https://geneabloggers.com. Use your blog as a vehicle to build anticipation for your next family reunion.

It’s wonderful to have an entire month officially dedicated to the pursuit of family history. The three suggestions above are just a guide, but the possibilities are endless. What creative or innovative ways can you think of to “show your roots” during October?