October is Family History Month. Here are three easy things you can do this month to begin saving YOUR family history. Just pick 1 to start and see where it takes you!
1. Dedicate a little notebook to use to jot down stories of your life and stories that you heard about your family. When you think of a new story, add it to your notebook. Need some prompts to start writing?
- Describe the house you grew up in, what it was like in your neighborhood, who you played with and what games you played.
- What is a funny story you remember about your parents or grandparents?
- What was your favorite vacation and what details about it? Close your eyes and spend a few minutes “there again” and write down your memories.
2. Look at your old photographs and slides. Do they jog your memories? Take one picture and think long and hard about it. What was happening and who was there? Do you recall the feeling you had at the time the photograph was taken? Write down your memories associated with the picture (not on the photo, though – use a separate piece of paper).
3. Take a look at the many choices of free online sessions you can attend from the Allen County Public Library ACPL is one of the largest centers devoted to genealogy and family history research. Nearly every day they have a different workshop you can attend to learn more about gathering and saving your family history.
This photograph is of my great aunt, Ethel Reade. I never got to meet her, but I know she was a teacher in the NYC school system and her life companion, Kathleen Jester, taught English at the college level in NYC. This photograph was taken in their country home in Connecticut in the 1950’s. I like how the scene was posed with Ethel “reading” a book by the fireplace, no fire burning, a bed warmer hanging from the wall and an antique clock on the mantle.