Friday, September 28, 2007

What Skeletons are in your closet?

September days have raced past me, and the sunlight shortens its visit every day. In Arizona, temperatures are under 100 degrees. Ah, the beauty of fall. Not only the weather is in transition on the eve of October. October represents spooks, goblins, witches, pumpkins, tricks, treats and all the scary monster flicks you can imagine. However, that is a minor part of October for us family historians.

October is Family History Month. A time to honor our families and renew our adventure in tracking our ancestors.

Some individuals express concern about the past. Phrases I have heard include:
  • The past is over, it's done
  • My family never talked about that
  • I might find out something I don't want to know (the old skeleton theory)
  • It's too hard to do
  • I'm adopted, I don't have family history
  • I don't know where to start

Family history is fascinating. It is the story of how you became you. Genetics alone does not make a family. Every family has skeletons in their closet. Isn't it the skeletons that keep life a bit interesting? And, what better time to start the process than in October?

I agree family history can overwhelm the novice or experienced treasure hunter alike. Family historians solve one mystery and then follow the trail on the scent of a new lead. Did you ever meet anyone who finished all of their research? Let's use October's Family History Month as a way to celebrate and revive your family's history.

History touches the heart, as you can see in the attached photo of my in-laws from November 1942. It is the month they were married in Walnut Creek, California before he traveled to Europe to fight in World War II. Their expressions, their love, their loyalty and his birthday on October 29th should never be forgotten.

Join me in October as I offer a tip every day...31 days, 31 ways to make your family history live forever. If we uncover a few skeletons along the way, so be it. We can face the scary world together.

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