In January 2014, I issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process. (Oh, yeah, and hopefully develop a regular writing habit in the process!)
How can you participate? Easy:
1. If I included you in the Week 1 recap, I have you in Feedly (my current favorite blog reader). If I didn’t list you, leave your blog in the comments below.
2. Blog about a specific ancestor. If you want that post to be included in the weekly recap (published on Wednesdays), be sure to include “52 Ancestors” in the title, such as “52 Ancestors: #1 Adah Young Johnson.”
3. The weekly recap is published on Wednesday. If you want the post to be in that week’s recap, please publish before Tuesday at 8:00pm (Eastern). And by “publish before Tuesday at 8:00pm Eastern,” I mean “Please feel free to publish long before Tuesday night at 8:00. Try Tuesday at 8:00am… or Monday… or the Friday before…”
4. If you happen to be on Twitter or Google Plus, please use the #52ancestors hashtag.
“But I didn’t start with Week 1.” “I’ve missed a week.” “I don’t know 52 direct ancestors.”
The point of 52 Ancestors is to write, not to enforce a bunch of guidelines. Feel free to start whatever week you want. Skip a week if you need to. (Catch up later… or not. It’s up to you!) Include collateral relatives if you want; I’m not going to check if it’s an actual ancestor or a collateral. It’s up to you.
“But I don’t know who to start with/write about next.” This is probably the most common question. My answer — if you’re truly stuck, print out an ancestor chart, close your eyes, and put your finger on someone random.