52 Weeks of Ancestors

old family photo with guitarWould you like some motivation that would make your genealogy research a bit more exciting? Sometimes, all it takes is a set of pre-planned goals that several people are doing at the same time to make that happen. You can get a weekly “prompt” from the No Story Too Small website.

The project is called “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”. The 2015 edition has begun. You can jump in and quickly catch up if you start now. Or, you can work your way through the 52 weeks a few weeks behind the others who are participating in it. It’s all up to you!

Each week, there is a new genealogy research theme for you to be challenged with. You are allowed to interpret that theme however you see fit. This year, the weekly themes are considered “optional”. If you find one that you really don’t want to do – that’s ok. Substitute a different one that you feel is more motivating, or interesting, or that fits better into your family history.

Start with the theme of the week. Decide if it is one you want to try. (If not, quickly pick a new one). Visit the “No Story Too Small” website for more details about each theme. Next, you need to pick an ancestor who somehow fits into that theme. In some cases, you will immediately think of an ancestor who matches the intent of the theme. Other times, you might have to do some genealogy research in order to find one.

Take what you learned about an ancestor (or what you already knew and want to share) and post it on your genealogy blog. This is where you have the opportunity to tell their story. You won’t have a whole lot of time to do it, because there will be a new ancestor, and a new theme, to focus on next week. This forces you to be “short, sweet, and to the point”. Tell the story that connects your ancestor to the theme of the week. Save their life story or biography for a different project.

People who are participating in the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge are linking their blog posts to social media. They are attaching the #52Ancestors hashtag to their Tweet on Twitter or their post on Google +. Search for that hashtag on Twitter or Google +. You will now be able to find the ancestor stories that everyone else posted on their genealogy blogs as part of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge.

Feel free to take this challenge in your own direction. You don’t necessarily have to create a genealogy blog to do it. Some people are posting their ancestor stories to their Facebook page instead. You could write the stories in a paper journal that doesn’t go online if you prefer.

Don’t forget to return to the “No Story Too Small” blog to discover what the theme of the week will be for upcoming months. Those who participate in this challenge will end the year with a wealth of stories about their ancestors.

Image by ierdnall on Flickr.

Related Articles:

* Children’s Games Your Ancestors Played

* Famous Ancestors

* What Was Your Ancestor’s Occupation?

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