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July 2015 Themes for 52 Ancestors

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Summer fun should include some blogging! (Just be careful not to get sand in your laptop.) If you’re looking for some ideas for the 52 Ancestors challenge, here are the optional weekly themes:

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Week 27 (July 2-8) – Independent: This is the week for Independence Day! Which one fought for (or against) America’s independence? Or which of your ancestors was independent?

Week 28 (July 9-15) – Road Trip: Any epic “road trips” in your family tree? Which ancestor do you want to take a road trip to go research?

Week 29 (July 16-22) – Musical: There seems to be a musician in every family. Who is the one in yours? Don’t have a musician? Which ancestor has a lyrical name or reminds you of a song?

Week 30 (July 23-29) – Challenging: It’s a good time to take a look at another challenging-to-research ancestor.

The weekly recaps will be posted on Thursdays. I look forward to seeing your posts!

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 25 Recap

Posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge on by .

52ancestors-2015-25This is a quick recap post, as real life has eaten into many of my activities.

The optional theme this week was “The Old Homestead.” Who did this theme make you think of?

Of course, it’s fine to not use the theme (it is optional!)

Who did you write about, whether you used the theme or not? Leave a comment with a link to your post and a little bit about your ancestor in the comments below.

Next Week’s Theme

The optional weekly theme is “Halfway.” It seems appropriate for Week 26, the halfway point of the 52 Ancestors 2015 challenge!

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap

Posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge on by .

52ancestors-2015-24First, I want to thank everyone for the good wishes sent to my mom. She’s home from the hospital and is doing well.

This week’s recap is another thin one. I appreciate your understanding as my schedule has been a bit…  different…  than it usually is.

The optional weekly themes for July will be posted next week. Keep an eye out for those!

Your Turn

Who did you write about last week as part of the 52 Ancestors challenge? Leave a comment with a link to your post and a bit about your ancestor. While you’re here, take a look at the ones from Week 23!

Upcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 25 (June 18 – 24) – The Old Homestead
  • Week 26 (June 25 – July 1) – Halfway

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 23 Recap

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52ancestors-2015-23Yes, this recap is a day later than usual. It has been an incredibly hectic week and a half.

My mom ended up having surgery on Tuesday. She’s doing well, thankfully. But as you might expect, I have had zero time to write and little time to read. (Even when I have had time, my mind hasn’t exactly been in “reading and writing” mode.)

I did see some wonderful 52 Ancestors posts this past week, but honestly, I was too scatterbrained to bookmark them to highlight them in this week’s recap.

Who Did You Write About?

Who did you write about last week? Leave a comment with a link and a little bit about your ancestor. And since the weather is so hot, crank up the A/C and read the posts from Week 22. Someone might have written about an ancestor of yours!

Upcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 24 (June 11 – 17) – Heirloom
  • Week 25 (June 18 – 24) – The Old Homestead
  • Week 26 (June 25 – July 1) – Halfway

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 22 Recap

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52ancestors-2015-22Week 22. To say that time is flying would be an understatement. So many things are happening right now. I’m embarrassed that I’ve fallen behind in my own challenge. Please know that even though I haven’t been blogging about my own ancestors, I have certainly enjoyed reading about yours.

Among the many posts I read and enjoyed this week were:

Your Turn

Who did you write about this week? Leave a comment with a link to your post and a little bit about your ancestor. Also be sure to take a look at the posts from Week 21. There are some wonderful Memorial Day tributes.

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Upcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 23 (June 4 – 10) – Wedding
  • Week 24 (June 11 – 17) – Heirloom
  • Week 25 (June 18 – 24) – The Old Homestead
  • Week 26 (June 25 – July 1) – Halfway

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 21 Recap

Posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge on by .

52ancestors-2015-21On Monday, the United States observed Memorial Day, a day to honor the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives in service to our country.

The theme for Week 21 was “Military.” Many of you wrote about ancestors and cousins and uncles who served. They were beautiful tributes.

I’m only going to highlight one post this week. Roberta did such an incredible job of telling the story of Frank and her mother. Through it, we can learn not only about their lives, love, and loss, but reflect upon what our own ancestors struggled with.

Please read Roberta Estes’ essay, “Frank Sadowski (1921-1945), Almost My Father,” on DNAeXplained.

Thank you, Roberta, for sharing their story with us.

Your Turn

Who did you write about this past week? Leave a comment below with a link to your post and a little bit about the ancestor you wrote about. Also take a look at last week’s posts. As always, there is some wonderful reading to be had there.

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Upcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 22 (May 28 – June 3) – Commencement
  • Week 23 (June 4 – 10) – Wedding
  • Week 24 (June 11 – 17) – Heirloom
  • Week 25 (June 18 – 24) – The Old Homestead
  • Week 26 (June 25 – July 1) – Halfway

The Real Reason for Memorial Day

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Memorial Day — or Decoration Day, as it was originally called — began shortly after the end of the Civil War. It was a way to pay respect to those who had lost their lives in that bloody conflict. Eventually, it grew as a way to honor those who died in any of our nation’s wars.

Like many of you probably do, I head out to local cemeteries on Memorial Day weekend. Ok, I go much more often than just that weekend, but the trip to cemeteries is a key event in my Memorial Day activities.

Gerald Ridenour was from my mom’s hometown. He enlisted in the Army and served in the Army Air Forces. He died in the line of duty in October 1943. His body was brought back to Perry County, Ohio for burial.

Mom was still in school at the time. She remembers that the entire school — and almost all of the town — went to his funeral. “I remember that he was wearing his uniform,” she told me on our visit to Highland Cemetery yesterday.

“At the end of the service at the cemetery, there was someone at the bottom of the hill playing Taps. None of us could see him. It’s something that I’ll never forget for as long as I live.”

Gerald V. Ridenour tombstone, Highland Cemetery, Glenford, Perry County, Ohio. Photo by Amy Johnson Crow, 23 May 2015.

Gerald V. Ridenour tombstone, Highland Cemetery, Glenford, Perry County, Ohio. Photo by Amy Johnson Crow, 23 May 2015.

Gerald Ridenour isn’t related to me, but his funeral is such a vivid memory for my mom, that he almost feels like it.

Sometime this weekend, please pause for a moment and consider the real reason we observe Memorial Day.

40 Genealogy Accounts You Should Follow on Twitter

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Recently, the folks over at Crestleaf put together a list of 40 genealogy accounts you should follow on Twitter. I am thrilled that they included me!

Check out these people on Crestleaf’s list — you’ll get good genealogy info! (And if you follow me @AmyCrow you’ll also get history, writing, and random doses of my rants about college football.)

See you on Twitter!

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52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 20 Recap

Posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge on by .

52ancestors-2015-20This is the weekly recap I’ve been looking forward to. With the theme being “black sheep,” I’m sure there are going to be some great stories!

I think I might be turning into the black sheep of the family. This is two weeks in a row that I haven’t blogged as part of the challenge. Sigh.

Among the many posts I enjoyed reading this week were:

Your Turn

Who did you write about last week? We’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below with a link to your post. Be sure to include the person’s name and a bit about them. You never know when I cousin will come along and find you!

And during this holiday weekend, spend some time reading the posts from Week 19. There are some wonderful posts there!

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Upcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 21 (May 21-27) – Military
  • Week 22 (May 28 – June 3) – Commencement
  • June themes

June 2015 Themes for 52 Ancestors

Posted in 52 Ancestors Challenge on by .

Summer will be here before you know it! While you’re planning your summer getaway, think about the ancestors you want to write about next month!

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Week 23 (June 4-10) – Wedding: June is time for weddings. Write about a June bride in your family or highlight a favorite wedding photo. Maybe there’s a serial marry-er in the family — that could be a fun post!

Week 24 (June 11-17) – Heirloom: What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?

Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead: Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?

Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?

The weekly recaps will be posted on Thursdays. Looking forward to seeing all of your posts!