You have probably read one of my earlier blogs about 52 weeks of Genealogy. It is here if you want to read it again… https://humblegenealogy.com/2016/02/23/continuing-52-weeks-of-genealogy/
(The original site here: http://www.tmgenealogy.com/2014/01/52-weeks-of-genealogy-week-2-what-toys.html )
I see on Amazon.com there is a published book of 52 weeks of Genealogy … https://www.amazon.com/52-Weeks-Genealogy-Projects-Every-ebook/dp/B071K137K4
So why would I think that you would want another chore of another 52 weeks of Genealogy? Do I think you need something to do every year? No! Do I think you don’t have great ideas on your own? No, you have amazing ideas!
This 52 weeks of Genealogy is a different way of thinking.
(and it only takes 12 weeks, once each month, you can start anytime you want to)
It is a personal journey of your own for the questions you, have or the answers you seek, or the things that you want to share with your family but not just yet-you need to organize them or make sure they are correct or you still have more research on them that you want to do.
So let’s go through this together.
Searching family history is never a one person job.
The historians, librarians, city clerks, archivists, web designers, bloggers, genealogists, families sharing their information on their family line for others to see all help us follow the correct path to
how we got to be where we are right here and right now.
1. Week one – Who What Why How week, what is the one thing or who is the one person that you keep coming back to and can’t seem to get any further in your research, and why do you think this is.
2. Week two – Where do you keep all of this stuff week, Do you have a website or software program that you keep all of your Pedigree line in? Do you include photos when available? Do you add the source of all information? A storage locker, a safe, the closet?
3. Week three – Geography week, Where are the places your ancestors lived? To make it consistent, start with births, and start with where you were born, then your siblings, then your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents and so on. This can be fun to map it out by dates, or just color in a world map or have your kids or grandkids or nieces and nephews color it with you.
4. Week four – Perhaps week, Perhaps you don’t have any of this information. Perhaps you are an only child and have been adopted then what? Don’t give up, take a DNA test, there are a few out there. Family Tree DNA gives you a wide variety of choices, Ancestry.com helps you connect right away with distant cousins or even closer if there are matches. 23andme has genetic medical info in theirs. Research them all to see what best fits for you.
Already have taken a test? See what more information you can find out with your results. If it has been awhile you might have some new surprises, or not. Or perhaps it is time to take a different test to search for other possibilities
5. Week five – Why week, This might be a tough one, or it might be the easiest one. Why do want to know about your family tree? Was it one event that sparked your interest? Was it family stories that you wanted to know more about or find out if they were even true? Could it have been a letter, or newspaper article, or document that you discovered? Possibly you have been told you act or look just like a distant relative and you just wanted to find out more about them? Did someone say something and it gripped you or made you think, wait?, what was that? Whatever the reason might be, write it down. Tell your story of why you are researching your family. Start with what you can remember about the first time you thought about finding our more about your family’s history.
6. Week six – For others, Who do you want to pass this information to. Who do you want to tell your story to? People you know, or family, or donate to a library or other institution? Now is the time to talk with them and to find out the best method currently for preserving what you do have. Remember that video or audio tapes have magnetic lifetimes that are running out of time. Digitize those asap.
7. Week seven – Digital week, This would be a good time to archive and preserve any and all of those items that are paper, photographs, tapes, and so on. Here are some suggestions:
~Go to your local historical society and ask them how to preserve what you have-Don’t take what you have until they ask you too.
~Look online or in your art store or at your office supply store for Archival paper, folders, holders and so on. Let them know what you have, make sure it is Archival quality, not just regular every day use
8. Week eight – Take a break week, You have been working on your own family’s history/genealogy/pedigree and now you may need to just step back and say, whew! What do some of the other family members want to know? What are questions that friends have been asking about their own family lines? Maybe there is a book or a website or a place you have been wanting to read or find out more about or go visit. Take the time to do this. It is good to breathe and step back and rejuvenate yourself.
9. Week nine- Now that that is done, where do you really want to go week, Have you made progress on your family tree? Is there something specific you want to search out? Are you just trudging along and adding things without really doing your research? It is important to make sure your line is just that, your line, and not someone else’s. It can happen and all that work you have gone to – it is not wasted! Really! If you can, put it in a different folder or file or on the software – under a different name. Someone else may be hitting some brick walls -aka- can’t find any information and you may have just what they need to find their family.
10. Week ten – Photo week, You might be asking, “Why have a week just for this, especially after archiving the photos that I just did in the previous week?” Excellent question!
Maybe, you don’t have much room in your house, that is okay. Maybe, you have many empty walls that need photographs displayed on them, that is okay. Maybe, you have a dresser, or buffet, or table, or other piece of furniture that just has to have photos displayed on it, that is okay, too. Whatever your situation, This would be a good week to make a chart of photos of your family lines. If you stated this in January, this is October and Halloween, so if you don’t have photos, perhaps you have a photo of the headstone of the person? It is a visual connection to that person for those looking at it. Perhaps a census record, marriage record or so on.
11. Week eleven – Connect with other humans week, It’s time to call relatives and talk, let them know what you have been doing, ask questions you have been wanting to ask, but keep it gentle, accept that there may be those who don’t want to talk or who can’t talk at the moment but will be able to talk later and set a date and time to talk. Keep it brief, set a timer if you need to. Talk to many relatives, write letters, see them in person if you are close enough, take a little day trip to those who are close but still further away. Most of all, listen. Listen to them talk. Maybe they have questions for you, things that you might have discovered and didn’t realize they were wanting to know about too. They might tell about family medical issues that they or another member had/have. They might talk about a family member that you knew little about. Maybe they just have a story about something that happened when they were kids or that their parents told them about life. You can learn so much from each other.
12. Week twelve – Write a book/story week, Wait! Don’t Panic! It’s not a book you are going to publish, you can take it to the local office supply store or printers. If you have a copy machine in your home or office that you can use, print it there. You have just complete an amazing amount of family history, put it together in a book for you, or for others if you wish. Many of the software programs have the capability to create a story. Perhaps just a few short stories, one at a time, of your findings, or stories you have uncovered.
Bonus week! – Get Creative week, Create a calendar, put all the birthdates of all of your ancestors
• keep it simple – this helps to stay more accurate
• again, start with you, then your siblings and so on
• use MS Excel or another program you are familiar with, perhaps your ancestry software program already can do this for you.
• You can be a little creative – have a first name only with the month and date
• If you want the year they were born, perhaps a first name and the year in the month and on the day
• Okay, you can see how this could get very complicated
• Perhaps use color coding for if they are on your fathers line, or on your mothers line
Send me an email or write in the comments area, and let me know how it is going. Is this something you like to do? If you took this journey, what did you discover?
Thank to these websites for use of their photos:
http://oddstuffmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/creativerest06.jpg, http://artnectar.com/wp-content/uploads/HLIC/acb0ff5f1eb95588662f4754cf052bc3.jpg,http://webneel.com/daily/sites/default/files/images/daily/06-2017/creative-photography-ideas-by-chiok-jun%20-jie.preview.jpg, http://www.awesomeinventions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/amazing-home-ideas.jpg