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. Blog about a specific ancestor.
2. The weekly recap is published on Thursday. After it’s published for that week, leave a link to your blog post in the comments. Include the ancestor’s name and a bit about them for context.
3. If you also post on Twitter or Google Plus, include 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.