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How to celebrate Family History Month

Many historians and others celebrate October as family history month. Genealogy is the science of studying one’s family history. Researching and tracing family lineage has many rewards. It helps define who we are and where we came from. It can also help us to know the medical history of family members. This information might possibly enable us to get better treatments based on genetics. There are many websites and organizations that can aid you in researching.

A great way to start preserving your family’s history is to interview and write down all the information that all of the older family members ever said and are saying about any family member. Once this opportunity to get information is lost, it is gone forever. Write down everything you know and remember someone saying. Give family member notebooks or journals and encourage all to write down information, feelings, thoughts, births, deaths, graduations, weddings, and life experiences. This information will be priceless at some point in your life and the lives of others.

Some ways to observe and preserve family history are to:  inventory and make a list of family artifacts, record interviews about the history from members, prepare family recipes, start a family cookbook, start a scrapbook, preserve photos, craft a heritage gift, explore attics and basements, visit cemeteries, create a reverse time capsule, or create a family trivia game.

Get inspired! Visit a library or family history center and make every month family history month.

— Written by Linda Craig of the Marengo County African American Preservation Alliance.

(This column originally appeared in the Wednesday, November 6 issue of the Demopolis Times.)