Birmingham Public Library Hosting Events to Celebrate Family History Month in October

The Birmingham Public Library’s Southern History Department is hosting 13 different free programs
throughout October to celebrate Family History Month.

Since being passed by Congress in 2001, Family History Month has been observed annually in the United States during the month of October to promote the importance of family and researching your family tree.

If you have been thinking of researching your family tree, getting a DNA test done, or desire to learn more about how to preserve important family photos and documents, BPL has several services and resources available to assist you.

Make plans now to attend these free workshops throughout October, all taking place at the Central Library/Linn-Henley Research Library.

Using Government Documents for Genealogy
Monday, October 1, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC), 4th Floor
Many government agencies offer resources for genealogical research. Learn how to look beyond census records and find genealogical information in some truly surprising places. You can search for service records and land grants, view web tutorials, and much more using free websites from the state and federal government.

How to Research Your House History
Monday, October 1, 3:30 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
This class will introduce participants to sources available at the library and online to help them research the history of a house in Jefferson County. Participants can learn when a house was built, who has lived there over time, and see historic photos of their house.

Preserving Your Family Papers and Photographs
Tuesday, October 2, 9:15 a.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
There are many basic and inexpensive things you can do to ensure that your family letters, scrapbooks, and photographs are preserved for the future. This talk introduces the fundamentals of home archiving.

Jump into the Gene Pool: Genetics and Your Family History
Tuesday, October 2, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
Discover how genetic research can help you explore your family history. Find out what a gene sample can tell you about what parts of the world your ancestors came from and more.

Old Photographs: Solving the Mysteries with Frances Robb
Saturday, October 6, 1 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor
This program, led by author and historian Frances Robb, will allow patrons to look at ways to date and begin to identify individuals in family and institutional photographs, including a look at clothing and accessories. Participants may share their photographs and get help in solving their puzzles. Period photographs will be available for comparing to participants' family photographs, and participants may learn from actual examples and even handle them (with care).

Understanding DNA Ethnicity Test Results 
Tuesday, October 9, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
Discover how DNA testing companies determine ethnicity percentages and what these estimates mean in terms of your genealogy.

Introduction to Genealogy
Saturday, October 13, 10:00 a.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Southern History Department, 1st Floor
Want to learn how to do genealogical research? Come to this introductory class that will help get you started on your genealogical journey. The staff in the Southern History Department covers such topics as vital records, courthouse and church records, and the Federal Census.

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy – Dear Cousin: Corresponding with Your DNA Relatives
Sunday, October 14, 2:30 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Auditorium, 4th Floor
This program builds on previous programs about DNA testing for genealogy. Patrons who have undergone DNA testing will learn how to reach out to their newly identified family members in a way that is welcoming and enriching for both parties.

The Bases are Loaded! Databases for Genealogy
Monday, October 15, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
Don’t be left sitting in the dugout. Make use of all our resources in your game plan for family history research. Learn how to locate genealogy databases and discover the wealth of genealogical information they have to offer. Let us help you knock one out of the park.
Tuesday, October 16, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
Learn how to search our newest history/genealogy database to find articles, obituaries, and other tantalizing bits of information available in newspapers large and small throughout the Southeast. Library Edition 
Tuesday, October 23, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
Participants will be introduced to the Library Edition database in which you can research your family history. Learn the tips and tricks about how to search this database like a librarian.

Beyond the Basics of Genealogy – Church Records and Histories for the Genealogist
Sunday, October 28, 2:30 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, Auditorium, 4th Floor
Using church records for genealogy research can be challenging. This workshop will give patrons the tools they need to determine if these records are an option for them and where they might be likely to find them.
Tuesday, October 30, 2:15 p.m.
Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor
This hands-on class will introduce researchers to Fold3, the premiere genealogy database for US military records. We will cover the different records which are included in Fold3 (military and non-military), how to do a basic search, and how to interpret your results.

Additional resources, meetings, and seminars at BPL:

BPL Genealogy Subject Resources

Find genealogy books, movies, and crafts for the whole family.

The Alabama Genealogical Society will hold their Fall Seminar at the Alabama Department of Archives and History on October 13, 2018.

The Birmingham African American Genealogy Group will have their monthly meeting on October 14, 2018. This meeting is a field trip to LDS Family History Center in Vestavia Hills.

The Birmingham Genealogical Society will hold their monthly meeting on October 27, 2018, 2:00 p.m., Linn-Henley Research Library, RLCC, 4th Floor.