Today is the first day of Family History Month. That’s a big deal to personal historians and to a growing number of Americans. During a recent series on the family histories of its anchors, NBC’s Today Show recently proclaimed researching family history as the No. 1 hobby in America.
Family History Month began in 2001 when 84 U.S. Senators co-sponsored a resolution that sailed through the chamber, recognizing that 60 percent of Americans are interested in their own family’s history.
The value of saving family stories for future generations is sadly often realized only after a loved one has died and those stories are lost forever. But even in families where stories are meticulously documented and preserved, new and unexpected material is often uncovered. Just this week, for example, I learned that my grandmother’s marriage to my grandfather wasn’t her first marital journey.
To mark Family History Month, a group of personal historians here in central Iowa has joined forces to present a free Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Urbandale Public Library. More information will be forthcoming in a few days in my newsletter. Send me an e-mail if you want to subscribe to the newsletter.
Meanwhile, Kimberly Powell lists 10 ways you can celebrate Family History Month here.
Photo: Calvin and Lillie Lehmer with their sons, Warren and Harry courtesy of Larry Lehmer.