Celebrate Your Family This October with Family History Month!

Family History Month

October is Family History Month, and the Southern History Department is celebrating with a great lineup of class and events. Nearly everyone becomes curious about the family heritage or their ancestors at some point in their lives. Most often, this interest begins with a family story or legend that sparks someone’s curiosity. As people come to the Southern History Department, we love to hear why they decided to start researching their genealogy. Here are some of the most common reasons.
  • Planning a family reunion 
  • I’m descended from a Cherokee princess 
  • My ancestors were Pilgrims and came over on the Mayflower 
  • I’m related to ____________ (Insert some famous person here) 
  • Finding out about the black sheep of the family 
  • Crime or murder involving my family or another family secret 
  • Genetics and health related questions 
  • I’m descended from royalty 
  • My family immigrated here through Ellis Island 
  • What my last name means or my family coat of arms 
Family TreeGenealogy can be great fun as you unravel family secrets and find long-lost relatives, but many people do not know where to start. Our Introduction to Genealogy class is perfect for beginners as it covers the different types of sources encountered in genealogy. We offer this class throughout the year.  This month, we are offering it at the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library, Hueytown Public Library, and Irondale Public Library.


We will once again teaching a hands-on computer class on FamilySearch, a free genealogy website that connects you to resources to research your family history. In this class, you will learn how to locate genealogy resources, build your own family tree, and so much more. Using FamilySearch.org will take place on Tuesday, October 13, from 9:15-10:15 a.m., in the Regional Learning Computer Center (RLCC) on the 4th floor of the Linn Henley building at Central Library. Because we offer these classes in the RLCC, space is limited, so please call 205-226-3680 to register.

Beyond The Basics of Genealogy
We also will have another edition of our popular topical genealogy workshop series, Beyond the Basics of Genealogy. This month’s workshop is entitled The Ties That Bind: Connecting to Your Alabama Slave and Slaveholder Ancestors and will be held on Saturday, October 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the Arrington Auditorium located on the 4th floor of the Linn Henley building. In this workshop, we will go over a number of readily available sources from 1860 to 1870 that can help you to find and to follow your slave and slaveholder ancestors within that critical period of transition. This workshop is free of charge, but registration is requested. To register, contact the Southern History Department of the Birmingham Public Library at 205-226-3665 or askgenlocal@bham.lib.al.us.

Southern History Department 
Central Branch 
Birmingham Public Library