Monday, 25 June 2018

#52Ancestors - Mid-way - The Journey So Far

Half way through the #52 Ancestors journey for 2018 it is perhaps time to look at what has been achieved in the first six months and reflect on why I do this challenge.

I undertook the first 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge in 2014. Each week we wrote about an ancestor and this exercise proved to be a great way to see how much information I had collected over the years about a particular ancestor, to begin to piece together their story and to work out further research required.

In 2015 Amy Johnson Crow issued a new challenge, this time with a prompt for us to consider when writing the weekly post. I completed 7 posts and then 'life intervened' and that was that.

Now in 2018, when this new challenge was offered, I decided to try again and have now completed the first 26 posts based on a weekly prompt in the #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

The prompts for the first 26 posts have been Start, Favourite Photo, Longevity, Invite to Dinner, Census, Favourite Name, Valentine, Heirloom, Where There's a Will, Strong Woman, Lucky, Misfortune, Homestead, Maiden Aunt, Taxes, Storms, Cemetery, Up Close, Mothers Day, Another Language, Military, So Far, Going to the Chapel, Fathers Day, Same Name and Black Sheep.

Some of the posts have allowed me to write about family members who I grew up with including my parents, my great aunt and my grandmothers as well as the ancestors I am getting to know through research. Places have also featured including family homesteads, Rosemount, Cooring Yering, The Troffs and Metavale and churches such as St Philip's Church in Sydney which has a number of links to my family story, plus the cemetery of St Mary's Church, Todmorden (England) where many family members are buried.

This challenge has also encouraged encouraged lateral thinking. Sometimes I look at a prompt and go blank but so far I have been able to think of a family story that relates to the prompt - Up Close is an example where I recalled a family story about my great, great grandfather encountering an elephant in India. Prompts such as Black Sheep and Another Language provided the opportunity to explore shared connections and possible experiences of a group of ancestors.

I find that challenges such as #52Ancestors provide me with ideas to expand my search for stories about my family. It will be interesting to explore the next twenty-six prompts that Amy Johnson Crow has in store for us.

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