Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition

You’ve been asking and now I have an answer. YES! There will be a 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge in 2015!

52ancestors-2015There are a few changes. The vast majority of people who responded the survey I did a few weeks ago said that they would like to continue with optional weekly themes. So, we’re going to give it a try. The weekly themes are strictly optional. They are meant to give you some ideas on who to focus on. (Isn’t choosing the week’s ancestor often the hardest part?!)

The themes are going to be general — one might even say “ambiguous.” I’m doing that on purpose. I’m hoping to inspire, rather than dictate.

On (or around) the 15th of each month, I will post the themes for the next month. Again, the interpretation of the theme is up to you. (You don’t even have to use them if you don’t want to.)

No matter if/how you use the themes, you can add a link to your post on the weekly recap, which will be published on Thursdays.

If you post to Twitter and/or Google+, include the hashtag #52Ancestors. Lots of participants follow that tag.

Without further ado, here are the themes for January:

themes-2015-01Week 1, Fresh start — Seems appropriate for the beginning of the year. What ancestor had a fresh start? What ancestor has been so confusing to research that you’d like to have a fresh start?

Week 2, King — January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Week 3, Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

Week 4, Closest to your birthday — Not too much to think about here. What ancestor has the birthday closest to yours? (I mean in terms of month and day, not the year πŸ˜‰ )

Week 5, Plowing through — We will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time. What ancestor had a lot of struggles to plow through? Or take it more literally… It’s up to you :)

I can’t wait to read your new posts!

Themes for Other Months:

109 thoughts on “Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition

  1. reflectionsfromthefence

    Interesting take. I am undecided if I will continue, my issue is that I would have to write about ancestors I have already written about. Not that review and doing more is such a bad thing.

    Good luck to all those that partake of this new challenge.

    Reply
  2. nancyhvest

    I will be participating this year for the first time. I didn’t start blogging about family history til April 2014 so I was late to that party. Looking forward to this challenge. :)

    Reply
  3. P Tollefson

    Commitment to journaling is always an issue with me. I start out with good intentions and fail to continue. Last year, I did not know about the 52 week challenge and started a couple weeks behind, then only produced 2 writings. I don’t even remember how to get back into the blog or what it was called. Blogs were and still are foreign to me. I know how to do email and Facebook but Blogs, Tweets and other social media is like a foreign language. I’d like to participate, but if it were email or Facebook, I may have a chance at successful completion … Blog not so much. :(

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      You can do the 52 Ancestors Challenge however you’d like! If you want to do it in an email to your cousins or a post on Facebook, do it that way! The important thing is to write :-)

      Reply
      1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

        The two most popular free blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress.com. Basically, you sign up for a free account, choose the URL you want (like my old blog: familytrees.wordpress.com) and start typing. If you’re on Facebook, you might want to join the Genealogy Bloggers group. They are great for giving advice on getting your blog up and running. There are also lots of tutorials online for both beginning Blogger and WordPress. Have fun!

        Reply
    2. Claudia Boorman

      If you’re most comfortable with Facebook, why not just post your weekly stories on your Facebook wall? It’s not as public as a blog (viewers must be members of Facebook and be your “friend”), but it would still get attention from your Facebook relatives. I agree that the important thing to do is just write your stories, and this sounds like any excellent way to encourage that!

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      You can use it as a badge if you’d like. If you do, please include a link back to nostorytoosmall.com. Thanks!

      Reply
  4. dianar9999

    So happy that this will be going on again in 2015. I did SO great early on last year and then fell off the wagon around the time I went to Switzerland and never got back on. The thing I loved about last year is how everything I wrote pointed out a hole in what I had! So, in 2015 I want to see if I can stick with it longer than I did in 2014. :-)

    Reply
  5. Debbie

    Last year I mainly just read everyone’s posts, and got lots of good ideas. This year my goal is to post every week, even if it’s short. The themes for January look great. I already have ideas for them all, and probably will use the themes to focus on one event or one aspect of an ancestors life so I can write something short and stick with my goal. :)

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      That’s awesome! Good luck with it! BTW, be sure to post a link to your weekly post when we do the recap on Thursdays. (The first one will be January 8.)

      Reply
          1. Sue Dunmore

            Thankyou. Will give it a go . I joined last years late and didn’t manage to keep up found ig hard to chose so this years prompts will help me and I may be able to use some of last years .

  6. Simon Bird

    I shall be continuing the theme from this year by extending it to 100 ancestors. I can’t stop at 52 as there are so many more stories to be told. I will be including my wife’s ancestors next year and also devoting a few weeks to the towns or villages my ancestors inhabited. It has been so good writing regularly over the past year and am ever so grateful to Amy for coming up with the idea.

    Reply
  7. June Stearns Butka

    Just reading your 5 week teases. I know 4 off the top of my head to post about. The fresh Start one will be the hardest when you consider that most of my immigrant ancestors arrived during the Great Migration; which one should I choose?

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      That’s great, June! I’m sure that whatever ancestor you choose for “Fresh start” will be just fine :)

      Reply
  8. Chriss

    I’ve been following along with several of the folks doing the 2014 challenge, and I am planning to have a go at it next year. My blog is quite new and I think the challenge would be an excellent way to do some short posts in order to get the names of those before us out there and on the blog. As I have time, I can then expand their stories either in the challenge posts or as subsequent posts.

    Thanks for continuing the challenge.

    Reply
  9. Beth Gatlin

    Do relatives by marriage count as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge? This year I included some aunts, uncles, and cousins, but they were all blood relatives. “Plowing Through” makes me think of my great-great-grandmother’s sister’s husband, who was killed in an accident with a cultivator. His wife, my blood relative, died the year before he did, so I couldn’t write about it from her perspective. I’m not sure whether he qualifies for the challenge, though.

    Reply
  10. Celia Lewis

    Well, Amy, I had decided I was definitely never ever doing this challenge again! I already have most of #52 roughed out for next week… And here you go with another challenge, with some rather interesting topics. Hmmm. Sigh. Okay, I will after all. I’m also doing the Genealogy Do-Over starting mid-January. Plus, my other passion – writing fiction – I have 3 books in a series that all need editing together by end of spring. This retirement is very very busy, I must say. Whew.

    Reply
  11. Jana Last

    Amy,

    I’m on track to finish this year’s 52 Ancestors challenge. Yay me! I wasn’t planning on attempting another one. But, I may join next year’s 52 Ancestors challenge, however it might be hit and miss. Thanks for these challenges Amy!

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/12/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-december-19.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Reply
  12. Marian Wood

    Amy, I hope to participate again in 2015! Thanks to your 2014 challenge, I dug deeper into the backgrounds of many ancestors on multiple family trees and learned a lot, more than I would ever have expected. Not to mention having fun. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Reply
  13. oldbonesgenealogy

    Someone earlier made a good point. do we start at Week #53 or do we add the year and start back at Week #1 in January? Also will the html that I got from you last January still work to correctly link to your 2015 52 ancestor posts?

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      I’m starting the numbering over again at Week 1, but you can number your posts however you want. Re: the HTML, what page are you pointing to?

      Reply
  14. Dawne

    Amy, I didn’t do this last year but was intrigued! A nuts-and-bolts question – how do participants physically link their posts to your challenge or let you know when they have posted one?

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      At the end of each week, I’ll publish a recap post. Just leave a comment there and include a link to your post from that week. I’m planning on publishing the recap posts on Thursdays, starting January 8.

      Reply
  15. Pingback: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Round Two | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  16. akellmurr72

    I am looking forward to this. I fell off the wagon with the prompts this year but I enjoyed writing the post that I did for this when I was keeping up. I am going to try and stick with it for 2015.

    Reply
  17. carolyngrady

    Hi Amy, This is a brilliant concept. Thank you Roberta Jestes, for publicizing it. I am ready to embrace the challenge! I have 4 genea. blogs: From Alsace and Bavaria to Buffalo, Our Polish Ancestry and Heritage, And Away We Go, and the VonHofe-Boyce-Held-Levy family.

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Hi Carolyn! Glad to have you join our merry band of 52 Ancestors bloggers! Be sure to stop back on Thursdays to post a link to your latest posts in the Challenge!

      Reply
  18. Lori

    I’ve been seeing this challenge all over the blogosphere, and have decided to jump in this year. Posting once a week isn’t a challenge of me hehe, as a professional writer, I add new content to my genealogy blog, The Buttermaker and the Midwife, five days a week :), but I like the camaraderie of this challenge and have been inspired by several of the Challenge posts I’ve read, so thought it would be fun! Just scheduled my posts for January and can’t wait to see what my fellow bloggers come up with! Thanks, Amy, for the effort :)

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Welcome, Lori! Always glad to see people excited about the 52 Ancestors Challenge! I look forward to reading your posts.

      Reply
  19. Pingback: Year in review: 52 Ancestors challenge | Getting started in genealogy

  20. Pingback: My Plans for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition | Opening Doors in Brick Walls

  21. oldbonesgenealogy

    Amy, here is the HTML I have to link to your blog and the 52 Ancestors image. How will this change for the new year? I would still like to provide a link back to your weekly recaps.

    Week 51 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      That’s fine; it points back to this blog. The blog isn’t changing πŸ˜‰ BTW, it’s Amy Johnson Crow, not Johnston. Thanks :)

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Welcome! How exciting that you’ve recently started researching your family tree! I hope you enjoy the 52 Ancestors challenge.

      Reply
  22. Penny Bicknell

    Just seen this and very excited for starting over in 2015. I started so late in the year and only managed 3 blogs before I got bombarded at work! I must remember to do a post even if it is only a short once. The topic (no matter how vague) definitely helps with this as I found the toughest part was choosing the ancestor and exactly how much to digest on each person, on each post. Hopefully the topic area will curb my procrastination!

    Same hastag #52ancestors ?
    x

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Hi, Penny! I hope you enjoy the 2015 challenge and that the themes help you choose those ancestors. That’s the idea, anyway! Yes, the hashtag will remain #52ancestors. Good luck!

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Hi, Charity! The last recap post will be published tomorrow (December 31). If you want to repost your comment there, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine, too :)

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Just do! If you like, you can include a link to your posts when we do the weekly recap, which will be posted on Thursdays beginning January 8. I hope you enjoy the 52 Ancestors challenge!

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Welcome! I love the name of your blog — it sums it up rather nicely! I’ll be publishing a weekly recap on Thursdays (starting Jan 8). Please feel free to add a link to your 52 Ancestors post from that week. I look forward to seeing your writing!

      Reply
  23. Site Admin

    I’ve been working on my family history for three years and started blogging about it last year, but I need the discipline of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge to prompt me into more action on my blog, so I’m in! I think the optional themes are a GREAT idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration. I look forward to reading everyone’s family stories!

    Reply
  24. Jessica

    I’m going to give this a shot. I am not new to genealogy research, but I am new to blogging, so we shall see how this goes. I like that you can either tell their story, or your story of trying to find their story! That opens it up to ones i’m still trying to find out about…

    Reply
  25. TX Wordweaver

    Thanks, Amy. I’m encouraged by the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge to help me to turn my research into stories that I can share with my family. It will also show me where I need to fill in the gaps and may even help me to break down some walls :)

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      You never know! Of course, when you do break down that brick wall, you’ll let us know, right? :)

      Reply
  26. Marianne Handler

    I kinda’ started in the middle last year but only did 2. Having trouble cause my links go to the most recent entry in the blog, not the one I want.. Have to find directions for exactly how to do that in Blogger. Probably repost my first two to start the new year!!

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Nice! I like how you included a list of actions at the end. Good way to build out a research plan.

      Reply
  27. Michelle Taggart

    I have been a little afraid of locking myself into such a commitment, but I have to say I have really enjoyed following many of those that participated last year. I am really considering taking the plunge this year and giving this a try. I really like a lot of your topics and it just may be the extra little bit of help I need in coming up with ideas.

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Give it a try, Michelle! Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss some weeks. As you’ve probably heard me say countless times, anything you write is more than what you had before :)

      Reply
  28. Kristi Sexton

    Ok, I am completely tardy to this party, but I am in! I launched my blog oneleafgenealogy.com last year in June! This is an amazing challenge! I have some questions however, are we allowed to use your title art (of course referencing and tagging you and your blog)? We are trying to get more information on a confusing side of my family, I think this will be very helpful for my cousins and I! Thank you, can’t wait tot to read all the great stories. LOVE YOUR BLOG by the way Amy!

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Hi, Kristi! Sure, you can use the 52 Ancestors graphic. One of these days, I’m going to resize it to make it easier to use as a blog badge. Thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      You can write about whomever you want! If you want to re-visit an ancestor from last year, go for it!

      Reply
  29. Maureen

    Hi, I am excited about this challenge – and I hope to actually complete it. I’ve written my 1st blog, but I’m a bit of a newbie, so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to add my blog to your weekly recap. Could I have a “for Dummies” lesson please?

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Welcome, Maureen! I hope you enjoy the Challenge! On Thursdays, I will publish a weekly recap, like this one from 2014’s Week 52. Leave a comment with the name and maybe a little bit about your ancestor; many people use their post’s title if it’s descriptive. In the comment, include a link to your post. That’s it!

      It’s better to leave a link to your actual post rather than your whole blog. These recap posts live on and that post you wrote this week won’t always be on your blog’s front page.

      Reply
  30. Plc718

    I’m in! I have the first 4 written. I only got to 48 last year because sometimes life gets way too busy. I’m enjoying the optional themes because they are giving me a bit of focus and inspiration when I feel stuck. I fell off in December because I kept getting pulled away and the writing didn’t get done.

    Reply
  31. Karen Ramon (@kmr521)

    Thanks Amy for doing this! I’ve been working on turning all those facts I’ve found into readable stories and have found that writing about my ancestors has helped me be a better researcher. I look forward to participating in the challenge this year! I am a first time blogger so this is all new, but I’m excited about it!

    Reply
  32. Pingback: A Fresh Start in Research – Week One (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks) | All My Branches Genealogy

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Wonderful! Welcome to the Challenge! I’ll be posting the weekly recaps on Thursdays; you might want to post your link there so it will be with all of the others. I hope you enjoy the journey!

      Reply
  33. Susan

    Good afternoon Amy.

    Reading your reply to Sue Adamson Fritz above, I’m unclear where to find the weekly recaps — could you point me with a link?? :-/ I just finished my 52-post-no,-2, and I was going to post the link hErE, but, sounds like tHeRe would be better?

    A novice at this πŸ˜€ (but LOVING it (y) ),

    Susan

    Reply
      1. Susan

        LOL, aT myself πŸ˜€ — actually I dO subscribe, Amy [blush], I’m just the pits at keeping up with my email [blush bLuSh],,,.

        THANKEW! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ :-)

        Reply
  34. Melissa Hays

    Hello Amy, I know I’m a little late to the table (is that the expression?) but I’d like to take up the challenge anyway. From looking at other people’s comments it looks like I give you the name of my blog? And then when I post I should put (52 ancestors in 52 weeks) in the title? I don’t a have a post ready yet but will in the next day or two. I’m looking forward to becoming productive!
    Melissa

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Welcome, Melissa! You don’t have to put “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” in the title of your posts. You can just put “52 Ancestors” if you’d like. I post the weekly recaps on Thursdays. When that’s posted, just leave a comment with the name of your ancestor, maybe a short bit about them (for context) and a link to your post. I look forward to seeing your posts!

      Reply
  35. honeysfamily1907

    While searching for information about blogging, I came across your 2015 challenge. Even though I am about 16 months behind, I am following your blog. Thanks for posting. I will be a fun challenge.

    Reply

Leave a Reply