Research Your Past During National Family History Month

In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, creating Family History Month. Hatch wrote, “By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.” Family history enthusiasts continue to celebrate National Family History Month every October. It has grown and evolved on a national stage, with community groups, historians, storytellers, and genealogical and historical societies promoting and celebrating National Family History Month as way to commemorate each family’s rich and deep history.

The programs weave together the importance of sharing and capturing family stories and histories, which inspires families and communities to connect in real and meaningful ways. Events, like the ones being hosted by the NJ State Library during the month of October, are essential to educating and to encouraging families to research their histories and share their stories. All of these classes will be held in the State Library’s 5th floor meeting room, 185 West State St., Trenton, from noon to 1 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Regina Fitzpatrick, genealogy librarian, will tell stories gleaned from her own research about residents from long ago. Forbidden romances, lost relatives, pirates, even criminal activity are some of the things she will share about those folks unearthed from her genealogy digs.

The following Wednesday, Oct. 18, Katherine Ludwig, librarian at the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, PA, will tell how to use the resources at the David Library to research family history from the colonial and revolutionary periods.

Researching Your Civil War Ancestors will be covered on Tuesday, Oct. 24, with Jon Bozard, reference assistant at the NJ State Archives. Bozard will discuss the military records available at the archives, what information can and cannot be expected to be found there, and what information might be available at other places, including the National Archives.

Joe Klett, director of the NJ State Archives and genealogist, will look toward the future of genealogical studies through what DNA testing, such as is offered by, can reveal about a person and solve some genealogical mysteries. This program takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

To register for any or all of these classes go to the NJ State Library event calendar at