"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 5 Oct 2000

October is Family History Month

October is Family History Month and you can celebrate it by learning about your family heroes, family black sheep, family accomplishments, and family stories. You will have fun as well as develop pride in your family’s history.

Where to start? Write down everything you personally know about your family history and stories. Talk to your older relatives and write down (or tape record) all of their memories about your family.

Try to located photographs of your ancestors. Make duplicate copies of important or rare photographs. Be sure to mount the photographs in an acid-free scrapbook and include a label to identify the person, approximate date, location, etc. and include how the person is connected to other family members.

Take time to talk about the things you're proud of about your family. Think about and discuss with family members how many of your family traditions were shaped by your ancestors and what you do today will affect your family traditions in the future.

How can you get your community involved in Family History Month? First, you can find out what your local genealogy society or library has planned to celebrate this event. Your local genealogy society can contact local service clubs (Rotary, etc.) and other volunteer organizations and ask to provide a speaker for one of their October meetings.

You can contact the local Mayors/City Councils,County Judges/Commissioners Court, and Chambers of Commerce requesting they declare October as Family History Month in your community. See if your local libraries will set-up a special display during October of genealogy material to get their patrons interested in family history. Be sure and include a flyer with the display on how to contact the local genealogy society for information and membership.

The assortment of ideas to promote Family History Month is limited only by the imagination and dedication of those engaged in making things happens. As with research it starts at home.

Begin with your local genealogy society and start a Family History Month Committee with an innovative chairperson to explore the possibilities and develop a workable plan. Consider sponsoring a writing and/or poster contest to involved local school children on the importance of family history.

Involve as many members of the genealogy society as possible, calling upon them to volunteer their special skills. Activities may involve providing posters, writing articles for the media, providing speakers, and possibly even writing the official proclamation.

Celebrating Family History Month in your community will increase the awareness of the importance of knowing your family history. In turn, awareness will increase interest in genealogical research.

African-American Legacy Symposium

Join historians, archeologists, anthropologists and interested citizens for a three-day symposium, Nov. 3-5, 2000 (Friday-Sunday), entitled “Viewing the Past Through Different Lenses: The African-American Legacy in the Lower Brazos Valley” at the Lake Jackson Civic Center located in Lake Jackson, Brazoria County, Texas.

The Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historical Park will be sponsoring the event. Workshops and events include tours of an archeological investigation at a 19th-century plantation; formal paper presentations on historical research, site interpretation, cultural preservation and methods of applying research; and oral history, genealogy and cemetery research.

The fee for the symposium is $20, and the three workshops on oral history, genealogy and cemetery research are $5 each. For more information, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/lenses/index.htm or contact the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historical Park, P. O. Box 696, West Columbia, Texas 77486 or e-mail: varner-hogg@computron.net or telephone: 979/345-4656.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 2 Oct 2000 and was last revised on ________ 2000

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604