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National Family History Month :: 31 things you should do in August

Shauna Hicks is the National Family History Month co-ordinator and has come up with 31 activities for all family historians and the terrific societies they belong to. You can download the forms from the links below.

31 Genealogy Activities for Societies – click here to download the form

  1. Hold a NFHM event (this could be your regular August meeting renamed or even a library open day)
  2. Visit the AFFHO website and check out the benefits of membership and consider joining
  3. Start a Facebook page
  4. Visit the NFHM Facebook page for updates throughout NFHM
  5. Plan a membership drive
  6. Have a display table at your local newsagent
  7. Talk to your local council library about potential collaborative events
  8. Start a Twitter account
  9. Put your NFHM events in the NFHM web calendar so that they are seen by more people
  10. Investigate funding to bring professional speakers to your area (often available through local councils)
  11. Start a society blog to publicise your events and publications – try Google Blogger it’s free
  12. Transcribe tombstones in local cemeteries if not already done – or perhaps do an update
  13. Plan an interesting speaker program for 2014
  14. Reward the volunteers who keep your library open and help members and visitors with their research
  15. Consider a collaborative project with your local historical society
  16. Convert your card indexes to a computer database for easier access and make a back up copy
  17. Does your society newsletter or journal need a new look
  18. Does your library need a new layout (or tidy up)
  19. Contact your local newspaper for publicity on society meetings and any special events
  20. Hold a new members session at the library
  21. Have members bring a friend to the next meeting
  22. Investigate what local events you could have a display at
  23. Focus on attracting younger members
  24. Have someone greet visitors or new members at each meeting
  25. Consider doing something for the centenary of WW1 in 2014
  26. Are the war memorials in your area transcribed? If not think about doing it and perhaps even adding information on those listed especially for WW1
  27. If you have a website, how user friendly is it?
  28. Start a genealogy book reading club and get members discussing new resources
  29. Encourage members to write their stories for your journal, perhaps even offer a prize for the best story
  30. Look at what other societies are doing for more ideas
  31. Plan to participate in NFHM 2014

31 Genealogy Activities for Researchers – click here to download the form

  1. Visit your local library and explore the genealogy and local history sections
  2. Visit your State library and see what genealogical information they hold. If distant, do a virtual visit
  3. Apply for a State library card so that you can use their eresources at home
  4. Apply for a National Library of Australia e-resources card and explore genealogy resources online
  5. Visit your local historical society or a virtual visit to a local historical society where your ancestors lived
  6. Visit your State Archive and see what resources they hold. And look at their fact sheets and guides. If distant, do a virtual visit. Don’t forget the National Archives of Australia – they are a NFHM sponsor with lots of online resources
  7. Plan to attend a NFHM event in your area. If none, suggest your local society hold an event next year
  8. Visit your local genealogy/family history society and see what resources they hold
  9. If you are not a member, think about joining or perhaps join a society near where your ancestors lived
  10. Tombstones may have more information – have you looked to see if your ancestors had tombstones
  11. Did any family members fight in the South African (Boer War) 1899-1902?
  12. Did any family members fight in WW1?
  13. Did any family members fight in WW2?
  14. Check out Twitter to see the latest genealogy news – use the hash tags #genealogy or #familyhistory and don’t forget #NFHM13
  15. Visit the NFHM Facebook page for updates throughout the month
  16. Attend or listen to a webinar
  17. Read a family history blog
  18. Start your own genealogy blog writing stories about individual ancestors or families
  19. Have another look at that brick wall – construct a time line of known facts and relook at everything
  20. Did your ancestors own land?
  21. Did they leave probate records?
  22. What about their school years – was it one school or did they move around?
  23. Visit your local newsagent and see what genealogy and family history magazines they have. Inside History Magazine sponsors NFHM
  24. Subscription databases such as Ancestry and Findmypast are often available at your local council library or your genealogy library – book a session time and see what you can discover. Both are sponsors of NFHM
  25. Check out the Gould Genealogy & History online catalogue and be ready when the family ask what you want for Christmas/birthday etc. Another sponsor of NFHM
  26. Explore the new FamilySearch and perhaps do one of their tutorials. Also a sponsor of NFHM
  27. Join Trove and correct newspaper text after you make that exciting family discovery
  28. Plan to attend the next AFFHO congress in Canberra in 2015
  29. Make sure all your photos are identified (both print copies and online) and explore Picasa’s facial recognition capability
  30. Make a start on writing up your family history or perhaps just one family’s stories
  31. Start planning a family reunion or a family gathering

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