Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
October is Family History Month in the United States and has been so designated since 2001 when the resolution was first sponsored by Senator Orin Hatch of Utah. The resolution is renewed and voted on each year. Family history is important, not only for gaining a sense of who we are as individuals, but also who we are as a nation. The gathering of a family health history is equally important, allowing individuals and their doctors to better anticipate and understand medical issues. As stated in the Resolution, "interest in our personal family history transcends all cultural and religious affiliations."
Millions of Americans, today, are researching the history of their families. Genealogy is said to be the second most popular hobby next to gardening. It is believed that more than 80 million Americans are actively searching for more information about their ancestors. Family History Month is celebrated by individuals, families, and many types of organizations, including communities, societies, libraries and archives. Sponsored events often include workshops and classes on how research family history. Individuals may celebrate by interviewing family members; gathering and recording family health history; working to preserve family photos and documents; and engaging the younger generation.