My Family History Month 2013

According to FamilySearch Blog, “October has been officially listed as Family History Month within the US.” There are great ideas there and elsewhere on the ‘net about ways in which we can celebrate or encourage the exploration of family history. Reading some of the tips made me think about my own research of late.

The Big Picture: My parents and their parents were born in Chicago. Many other ancestors are linked to Chicago in some way, so much of my family history research is done in records from Chicago and Cook County Illinois. Because of this I have a special affection for the Windy City and its residents.

My Big Picture projects include transcribing obituaries from extant Chicago newspapers and photographing headstones in Chicago cemeteries to share on this blog and post on Find A Grave.

Closer to Home: Here in the Twin Cities, my husband and I each have a friend we are helping do family history research. Both of these friends have ancestors who hailed from afar, and those ancestors’ records have taken all of us to exciting new geographical and historical places.

In My Backyard: The groundskeepers of a local cemetery do a wonderful job of keeping the cemetery groomed, but they can’t maintain each individual headstone. That task would be done by the family. If there is no family, there is no one to care for the burial site. In this cemetery, many headstones are sinking beneath the ground. I enjoy uncovering them.

My Family Tree: Beginning to research a new family is such fun! New pieces of the puzzle come fast and furious, each one more exciting than the last. After a few years (or in my case, a few decades) the finds are farther in between, the search less exciting. But there are loose ends, and those loose ends need to be tied up.

Some of my branches go back to the 16th century. In others, I have yet to learn my ancestor’s country of origin. Time to clarify the specific tasks needed to move each line one step further. This is my Family History Month 2013 project. Wish me luck!

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