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A Resolution to Designate October as Family History Month 
From: Senator Orrin G. Hatch, UTAH
To: United States Senate
July 10, 2001

Dear Colleague:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to ask you to cosponsor my resolution that will dedicate the Month of October of each year as "Family History Month."

Within the last month some 14,167,329 people researched their family history and 24 million people have used the Web and email to locate or hunt for family or friends with whom they had lost touch. Researching ancestry is a very important component to self identity. It can lead to long-sought-after family reunions or life saving stories like that of Nancy Andjelich Margraff. Nancy's story, found in the book In Search of Our Ancestors by Megan Smolenyak, helps to illustrate the need for public attention to the important subject of family history. Nancy started showing signs of an illness that afflicted her father who died suddenly at the age of 39. At the time her mother was told that her father had a rare illness that caused the cerebral hemorrhage that killed him.

After Nancy learned she had this deadly illness, she began corresponding with the Minister of Health in Zagreb, Croatia. He kindly accepted and distributed informational packets that Nancy put together regarding the diagnosis and treatment of her illness. She disseminated the informational packets to her extended family members, many of whom are alive today because they were identified through family history research that lead to the early diagnosis and treatment of their affliction.

At present, there are some 2,500 genealogical societies in the United States that represent approximately a million people who belong to these groups. One such group, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, represents around 560 genealogical societies and ultimately at least a half million individuals. There is no doubt that the study of family history is growing in popularity and is an important tool in researching ethnic identity and genetic health concerns.

I urge you to join me in supporting the millions of American men and women who have researched their family history by co-sponsoring the Family History Resolution. For more information on this resolution or to add your name as a co-sponsor, please contact Chris Campbell in my office at (202) 224-4412.



Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator



Designating the month of October each year as "Family History Month"


Whereas it is the family, striving for a future of opportunity,
and hope, that reflects our Nation's belief in community,
stability, and love;

Whereas the family remains an institution of promise, reliance,
and encouragement;

Whereas we look to the family as an unwavering symbol of
constancy that will help us discover a future of
prosperity, promise and potential;

Whereas within our Nation's libraries and archives lie the
treasured records that detail the history of our Nation,
our States, our communities and our citizens. 

Whereas individuals from across our Nation and across the
world have embarked on a genealogical journey by
discovering who their ancestors were and how various
forces shaped their past;

Whereas an ever-growing number in our Nation and in other
nations are collecting, preserving and sharing
genealogies, personal documents and memorabilia that
detail the life and times of families around the world;

Whereas 54,000,000 individuals belong to a family where
someone in the family has used the Internet to research
their family history;

Whereas individuals from across our Nation and across the
world continue to research their family heritage and its
impact upon the history of our Nation and the world;

Whereas approximately 60 percent of Americans have
expressed an interest in tracing their family history;

Whereas the study of family history gives individuals a sense
of their heritage and a sense of responsibility in carrying
out a legacy that their ancestors began;

Whereas as individuals learn about their ancestors who
worked so hard and sacrificed so much, their
commitment to honor their ancestors' memory by doing
good is increased;

Whereas to encourage family history research, education and
the sharing of knowledge is to renew the commitment to
the concept of home and family; and

Whereas the involvement of National, State, and local officials
in promoting genealogy and in facilitating access to
family history records in archives and libraries are
important factors in the successful perception of nationwide
camaraderie, support and participation: Now, therefore,
be it

Resolved, That the Senate --

1) designates the month of October each year
as "Family History Month;" and

2) requests that the President issue a procla-
mation calling upon the people of the United States
to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies
and activities.

Back to Family History Month Web Page

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