If you are lucky, these lifecycle events will be documented in the newspapers where your family lived. The pages also allow us to glimpse how people lived, what they bought, what they ate, their social activities and more through advertisements and local event coverage.
If your family lived in New Mexico, you may find information dating back to 1860, as the University of New Mexico Libraries has just received a major grant to digitize the state's old newspapers (1860-1922).
Now that I'm back to my normal routine, I'm trying to review the great experiences from this summer.
Great times included four conferences in California, Washington State and Texas; visiting dear friends and family members; and meeting several relatives for the first time as we shared family history.
At all the conferences, I helped explain what we do at MyHeritage.com and how our tools and features make it easy for families to connect and communicate no matter where they live.
My suitcase now includes several new T-shirts from this year's events and some for 2011 events.
Here are some highlights:
Some 50 geneabloggers attended the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree this year.
In the US, more than 35 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino in the 2000 census. The census form provided for people to identify as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino."
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the US from mid-September through mid-October. Many organizations, archives and libraries organize special lecture series, classes, exhibitions and spotlight their holdings.
President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and President Ronald Reagen expanded it to a month. The time frame was set to include the independence and independence days of several countries: Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Among the US-based organizations highlighting Hispanic heritage are Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives with the National Park Service.
There are many resources available for those researching their Hispanic heritage, both in the US and other countries.
Many Hispanics settled in New Mexico. The New Mexico History Museum held its grand opening in Santa Fe earlier this month.
The museum highlights the history of the state, including Native Americans, Hispanics and European immigrants and all of their contributions.
The exhibits trace the the history from pre-Colonial Era to the present. There's even a re-creation of a wall of petroglyph-type handprints; touch some and the words of Navajo, Apache and Pueblo Indians talk about their worlds.There are interactive displays, bilingual exhibits, a hand's-on room for kids where they can handle artifacts and watch films and more, .
Among its holdings are the digitized collections of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, which is the successor of the state's oldest library (established 1851), and part of the Palace of the Governors. A non-circulating, closed stack research facility, the library preserves historical materials in many formats documenting the history of the state, the Southwest and meso-America from pre-European contact to the present. Search its catalog here.
There is an obituary database here. Started by staff and volunteers of the Historical Society of New Mexico as early as the late 19th-early 20th century, serious efforts to maintain and add to it were begun in the 1930s. The database goes through the end of 2005.