This month I will be increasing my family history knowledge by attempting the Family History Month Challenge. Created by Shauna Hicks, it is 31 Genealogy Activities for Researchers During National Family History Month August 2014. As indicated by the name, there are 31 different things to do to help you find new places to research and ways to progress your family history research. These can be done in blocks as you have time like the weekends or after work or one day per challenge. It is not necessary to do all or in any order either. This is an Australian challenge however you could adapt some of the concepts for your own country.
Shauna explains on her website Shauna Hicks History Enterprises that “National Family History Month is is an initiative of AFFHO, the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations and started as a week in 2006 and extended to a month from 2013. It is held annually in August in Australia and New Zealand and there are just over four weeks to go.”
Why should I do the Family History Month challenge?
In addition to the genealogical research and increased knowledge another justification for doing the challenge is that I will blog about my experiences with each of Shauna’s challenges. This is a way of cementing what I learn and sharing these lessons. Plus the Problogger Conference is happening later in August. Completing posts will help me go part way to one of the goals I came away with from last years conference – to blog more. It is easy to find excuses – I have been busy at work – and not really succeeded at posting on a regular basis. Instead I am trying to do more!
My Family History Month Challenge Check List
This check list will become the links to the 31 blog posts about each challenge – success or lack of success. Please go to Shauna’s site for the challenge links and details – noted below.
31 Genealogy Activities for Researchers During National Family History Month August 2014
|1||Visit the NFHM sponsors page and consider entering the prize draw for individuals www.familyhistorymonth.org.au/sponsors.||Post 01|
|2||Apply for a National Library of Australia e-resources card and explore genealogy resources online at home if you have not done so before www.nla.gov.au/app/eresources.||Post 02|
|3||Visit your State library and see what genealogical information they hold. If distant, do a virtual visit. If you do not already have a State library card, apply so that you can use their e-resources at home.||Post 03|
|4||Check out all the new resources on Ancestry www.ancestry.com.au and enter the prize draw to win a year's subscription - major sponsor and prize sponsor.||Post 04|
|5||Have a look at some of the great genealogy cruises coming up with Unlock the Past www.unlockthepastcruises.com - prize sponsor.||Post 05|
|6||Visit your State Archives and see what resources they hold and look at their fact sheets and guides. If distant, do a virtual visit. Remember to check out the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au - NFHM launch sponsor.||Post 06|
|7||Plan to attend a NFHM event in your area. If none, suggest to your local society or public library that they participate next year www.familyhistorymonth.org.au.||Post 07|
|8||Attend one of the online events in the NFHM web calendar www.familyhistorymonth.org.au/online-event.||Post 08|
|9||Explore your surname in the MyHeritage Last Name Directory http://lastnames.myheritage.com/last-names - major sponsor and prize sponsor.||Post 09|
|10||Visit your local genealogy/family history society and see what resources they hold. If you are not a member, think about joining or perhaps join a society near where your ancestors lived.||Post 10|
|11||Visit the NFHM Facebook page for updates throughout August www.facebook.com/pages/Family-History-Month/208048719235109 Have you Liked our page yet?||Post 11|
|12||Did any family members fight in WW1? Participate in the National Archives of Australia new beta website Discovering Anzacs http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/home.||Post 12|
|13||Download the free August genealogy ebook from genEbooks www.gen-ebooks.com - prize sponsor.||Post 13|
|14||Check out Twitter https://twitter.com to see the latest genealogy news - use the hash tags #genealogy or #familyhistory and remember to also use #NFHM2014||Post 14|
|15||Why not do a photo book on a person or family? Momento have some great ideas www.momento.com.au - prize sponsor.||Post 15|
|16||Attend/listen to a webinar or Google + hangout - why not join Google + and see what other Aussie genealogists are doing?||Post 16|
|17||Early NSW ancestors? - have a look at the Biographical Database of Australia www.bda-online.org.au - prize sponsor.||Post 17|
|18||Read a family history blog or start your own genealogy blog writing stories about individual ancestors or families.||Post 18|
|19||Have another look at that brick wall - construct a time line of known facts and relook at everything. I'm offering a prize to assist in brick wall demolitions if I can. See NFHM sponsors page.||Post 19|
|20||Visit your local library and explore the genealogy and local history sections. Or visit your local historical society or a virtual visit to an historical society near where your ancestors lived.||Post 20|
|21||Enrol in one of the free online genealogy courses offered by the National Institute of Genealogical Studies www.genealogicalstudies.com - prize sponsor (details of three courses offered are on NFHM sponsors page).||Post 21|
|22||Make a start on scanning all your old photographs. Remember to identify and file the images as you go.||Post 22|
|23||Visit your local newsagent and see what genealogy and family history magazines they have. Australian Family Tree Connections www.aftc.com.au and Inside History Magazine www.insidehistory.com.au - both prize sponsors.||Post 23|
|24||Findmypast www.findmypast.com.au may be available at a local council library or genealogy/family history society library - book a session time and see what you can discover - prize sponsor.||Post 24|
|25||Check out the Gould Genealogy & History www.gould.com.au online catalogue and be ready when the family ask what you want for Christmas/birthday etc - prize sponsor.||Post 25|
|26||Explore FamilySearch https://familysearch.org and perhaps do one of their online tutorials. Major sponsor.||Post 26|
|27||Join Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au and correct newspaper text after you make that exciting family discovery! Why not add tags or make a list of your discoveries?||Post 27|
|28||Plan to attend the next AFFHO congress in Canberra in March 2015 www.congress2015.org.au - Major sponsor and prize sponsor.||Post 28|
|29||Make sure all your photos are identified (both print copies and online) and explore Picasa's facial recognition capability http://picasa.google.com.au.||Post 29|
|30||Why not plan to attend the NSW/ACT conference in Wollongong in September www.conference2014.org.au - prize sponsor.||Post 30|
|31||NSW ancestors - why not look at transcriptions as an alternative to certificates with Joy Murrin transcription agent www.joymurrin.com.au - prize sponsor.||Post 31|
Do you want to join in!
Here is the link to the 31 Genealogy Activities for Researchers During National Family History Month August 2014 PDF file you can save and print off with all the details. Remember you can do one, two or more. It is not necessary to complete the challenge in order or finish it – just get moving on some of your research.
Thanks Shauna for creating the challenge.