I’m a little late in starting but I’ve decided I’m going to partake in Amy Johnson Crow’s family history writing exercise “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks”. Seeing as writing about my ancestors always seems so daunting, I hope that doing it weekly on a different member of my family that maybe, just maybe, I’ll feel more comfortable.
Week 1’s topic is “A Fresh Start”. I’m going to be super generic and talk about myself – I’m going through a fresh start in my genealogical journey as I am going through all my people and making sure they belong and that I have the documents I need for them, and that I have the full information for each ancestor.
For example on New Year’s Eve, I discovered in my Legacy software all the people who I have just a year down for their birth date or death date – all their reminders came up on December 31. And it wasn’t just a few I had, it was for 134 dates!
In some ways I stand by the dates, something is better than nothing, so when I see a child who shows up on a Census or two and all I have is that random year of birth that’s given, I use it with a hope of someday finding additional information such as a month or an actual day to go with it.
I also ran a potential problem report and was fortunate it was only a page in length. I’ve fixed most of these mistakes as one person had a death date before their birth date (I typed 1930 for their birth instead of 1830 – an easily fixed typographical error, but an error nonetheless).
Going more in-depth and trying to find out what I don’t know is going to make me a better family historian. We all deserve a fresh start every now and then – and mine has begun, even with this challenge, as it will allow me to get to know my ancestors even better.
If you are interested in doing your own writing journey, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is where you can sign up and see the listing of all the prompts for this year’s challenge.