The Color Purple

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 30: Health PROMPT: Week 30's theme is "Health." A person's health has such an impact on everything in his or her life. Do you know of any health related events in an ancestor's life? What about an ancestor who worked in medicine or health care?  My Granduncle James… Continue reading The Color Purple

State Your Name

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 31: Favorite Name People sometime ridicule celebrities for the "unusual" names they choose for their children. Clearly, they haven't looked at some ancestral names, like "Strange Powers" or "Preserved Fish." Who's name in your family tree makes you smile? (Of course, you can interpret this theme however you'd… Continue reading State Your Name

Go From Your Country

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 27: Free PROMPT: Week 27's theme is "Free." You could focus on an ancestor seeking freedom, a free-for-all, your favorite free resource, or take it "free form" and write about whatever you want to write about! (Of course, that's true any week!)  The Dark Hedges at Bregagh Road,… Continue reading Go From Your Country

Religious Animals

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 26: Conflict PROMPT: Conflict seems to be part of the human experience. How did it affect your ancestors? It could be through war, legal conflicts, or bad relationships. You could also think about having to resolve conflicting evidence in your research.  Plaque with Agnus Dei on a Cross… Continue reading Religious Animals

Solidarity

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 25: Groups PROMPT: Humans are generally social creatures; that is, we tend to form or join groups. These groups could be familial or they could be by choice. Think about church groups, fraternal organizations, schools, jobs/trades, sports teams, or clubs that an ancestor belonged to. My great-grandfather Ernest… Continue reading Solidarity

That’s Entertainment!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 23: Bridge PROMPT: A bridge connects two things that are separated, whether it's land or people (maybe even time?). You could take the theme literally and write about an ancestor who worked on bridges or had to cross them regularly. How about someone who worked or lived on… Continue reading That’s Entertainment!

The Fighting Falcons

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 22: Military PROMPT: What is something you've learned about one of your military ancestors? I recently discovered information about a family member who died in combat in Germany in World War II. I knew that this new (to me) information would be material most appropriate for this post.… Continue reading The Fighting Falcons

Milk of Sisterly Kindness

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 19: Mother's Day Prompt: Sunday was Mother's Day in the US. This week, let's take a look at the mothers you're researching. (They do make up half of your family tree, after all!)  I guess you could call this a mother-daughter-daughter story. My husband's great-grandmother Tziporah "Sarah"/"Sela" Fox/Fuchs… Continue reading Milk of Sisterly Kindness

Maine Attraction

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 17: Favorite Place Prompt: So many records that we use (and memories that we have) are tied to a place. What is a favorite place to research? What is a favorite ancestral home? Feel free to interpret this theme in your own way!  Lobster fisherman dressed for the… Continue reading Maine Attraction

Taking Cellfies

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 18: Crime and Punishment PROMPT: Our ancestors were human, so it tends to reason that someone in the family tree found themselves on the wrong side of the law. The upside for us is that they often created more records than the law-abiding ancestors!  Samuel Perry Curry's mug… Continue reading Taking Cellfies

“Sometime I’ll Dance It One Time”

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 15: Brick Wall PROMPT: Brick Walls—we all have them. This would be a good week to write down what you know about your brick wall problem. (Sometimes just writing about it can help!) You could write about an ancestor who used to be a brick wall. Or get… Continue reading “Sometime I’ll Dance It One Time”

The Great Plains

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 14: Great Week 14 should be great... because that's the theme! It could be someone many generations back (like a great-great-great-great-great-grandfather), an ancestor who did something "great," or someone who was great in some other way. (And remember -- there is no "wrong" way to interpret a theme.… Continue reading The Great Plains

The Harmonious Hardings

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 13 PROMPT: Any musicians in the family? How about someone who loved music and dancing? What about someone who makes you think of a song?  Reginald Harding I am a professional musician. My parents are both musicians. But even before that, members of my mother's paternal line--the Hardings—were… Continue reading The Harmonious Hardings

Living with Loss

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 12: Loss PROMPT: Loss is universal. There are many ways to explore this theme, whether it's the loss of a loved one, a livelihood, freedom. You could take a research-based angle on it and talk about the loss of records where your ancestors lived.  John Wallace Cathcart II… Continue reading Living with Loss

The Real Thing

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 11: Fortune PROMPT: Week 11's theme is "Fortune." Merriam-Webster gives several definitions for fortune: A large sum of money; prosperity attained partly through luck; or destiny, fate. Be creative with this week's prompt!  Julie Deppish with a Coca-Cola dispensing machine toy, ca. 1961. The topic of "fortune" brought… Continue reading The Real Thing

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 10: Name's the Same PROMPT: Is there a name that keeps popping up in your family tree? Have you had to sort out multiple people with the same name? Romeo’s surname mattered not to his beloved Juliet. A mention of “Uncle Dave and Aunt Rose” in any conversation… Continue reading John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Double the Pleasure!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 9: Multiples PROMPT: Any twins in the family? What about triplets? Or maybe you have an ancestor like my 3rd-great grandmother who was married multiple times. How about an ancestor who held down multiple jobs?  A set of twins was born into my mother's maternal family, the Cathcarts.… Continue reading Double the Pleasure!

Twenty-Two Horsepower

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Week 8: Power PROMPT: “Power." Does that mean physical strength, political power, power in the family, electrical power? Yes. 😉 It's a vague theme on purpose 🙂 It's whatever the theme sparks in you. Reginald Harding Once Henry Ford successfully installed an assembly line for the mass production of automobiles… Continue reading Twenty-Two Horsepower

On This Day: Woody’s Anthem

Eighty-one years ago today, Woody Guthrie composed what some might call an alternate “National Anthem.” Woody composed “This Land is Your Land” at the Hanover House hotel at 6th Avenue and 43rd Street in New York City, shortly after moving there from his native Oklahoma. Woody Guthrie with one of numerous guitars upon which was… Continue reading On This Day: Woody’s Anthem

Inmate No. 33501

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 7 - Unusual Source Prompt: Not all of our genealogy discoveries come in the "regular" sources like vital records and the census. What is a discovery that you've made using an unusual source?  Mug Shot of Samuel Perry Curry - June 1929 - Leavenworth, Kansas One of the most… Continue reading Inmate No. 33501

Valentines

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 6 - Valentines PROMPT: Do you have any Valentines from any of your ancestors? Or maybe you have an ancestor named Valentine. (I remember when I was little being surprised to learn that Valentine was a "boy's name.") How about an ancestor that you wish you could exchange valentines… Continue reading Valentines

My Favorite Photo

On left, Norma Ethel Lewis Laney and her daughter-in-law Ann Williamson Laney, holding her son--my father. 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 4: Favorite Photo PROMPT: Tell the story of a favorite photo -- who is in it, when and where was it taken, and why was it taken. Remember, it doesn't have to… Continue reading My Favorite Photo

Good Books

A small polyglot Bible passed down to the author. Last week, the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., was the site of the Inaugural ceremony for the incoming President and Vice President. Those leaders of the Executive branch then in turn swore in new members of the Legislative branch. When taking an oath, it… Continue reading Good Books

Designated by Denomination

Renwick Cargill Smith (1840-1903) 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 3: Namesake Renwick Cargill "Ren" Smith in his Union Army uniform. PROMPT: Are you named for one of your ancestors? Do you have an ancestor who was named for someone else (either in the family or a well-known person?) Renwick Cargill Smith came by… Continue reading Designated by Denomination

Lin-Manuel Miranda Forgot Someone.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 2: Family Legend Prompt: Is there a tale that's been passed down in your family? Have you proven (or maybe disproven) it? Perhaps you have an ancestor who was legendary (or should have been.) Le Marquis de Lafayette in portrait and as portrayed by Daveed Diggs in the… Continue reading Lin-Manuel Miranda Forgot Someone.

Beginnings

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge: Week 1 PROMPT: Who inspired your first search? Who is at the beginning of one of your ancestral lines? Who are you beginning to research this year?  Anna Young Williamson The genesis of my interest in researching my family tree was my daughter who would invariably ask me prior… Continue reading Beginnings