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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Oops!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Oops Find more genealogy blogs at FamilyTree.comThe No Story Too Small blog has been presenting genealogists and family historians with a series of themes they can use as inspiration. Do them all, and you will end up writing about 52 ancestors in a year. One of the themes for October is “Oops!”

All of the themes presented by “No Story Too Small” are suggestions. Genealogists and family historians can use the themes or substitute other themes that they feel would go better with their blogging. There are plenty of ways to connect the “Oops!” theme with an ancestor.

The most obvious way to use the “Oops!” theme is to write about a time when you were researching a particular ancestor and made a big mistake in your research. Did you find a family tree that seemed to connect with your own – and copy it over without checking it’s accuracy? At first, it sure seemed like your great aunt Mildred was the same Mildred in the other person’s family tree.

Later, you discover that this branch was meant for an entirely different tree (and not yours at all). This is a common “Oops!” that genealogists make. Write a blog about the mistake you made and how you plan on avoiding it in the future. Or, write a blog about the real great aunt Mildred (and how you found her.)

You identified a person in an old family photo as great great uncle George. Excited by your ability to solve that mystery, you sent that photo to several family members. One of your relatives points out that the man in the photo isn’t great great uncle George and posts several photos of the real great great uncle George online. Oops! You’ve got the wrong guy!

There are two ways to turn this embarrassing situation into a blog. One is to write about the real great great uncle George. Tell his story. The other option is to figure out who the mystery man in the photo really is. He might be an ancestor that your relatives don’t know anything about. Share how you tracked him down and identified him.

Did your ancestor have an “Oops!” that involved a social faux-pas? Some of these stories can be quite entertaining. Take care about sharing them if the people involved in the story are still alive. Genealogists who share unfortunate family secrets publicly commit their own faux-pas.

You might have ancestors who got married without going through all the socially appropriate stages of courtship because an unintended pregnancy occurred. The couple was probably intending to get married anyway, eventually, but the “Oops!” sped up the process. You could write a blog about what courtship was like at the time and which parts your ancestors skipped over.

Image by mbtrama on Flickr.

Related Articles at

* 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – School Days

* Never Assume Someone Else’s Research is Correct

* Research Mistakes

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