Amy Johnson Crow of NoStoryTooSmall has issued a challenge to family history bloggers to post about an ancestor a week during 2014. I read about the challenge on the Ancestry blog and thought I would participate.
The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.
The whole idea appeals to me for several reasons. First there is the motivation to stay on top of my blog and post consistently. [I'm hopeful!] I also think that focusing specifically on an ancestor a week will give me direction in cleaning up my files and reorganizing them — one of my goals for 2014. Finally, while much has been researched and written about my mother’s side of the family, on my father’s side of the family there is next to nothing. Well, that’s probably not quite true… it’s just that in comparison, it seems like very little.
My mother’s paternal ancestors were famous shipbuilders from Scotland who settled in Quebec, Canada. There is a point on a bay with a lighthouse named after them, their original settlement still stands, there are histories, stories, songs, photos and even paintings supposedly done by a princess about members of this family. On my mother’s maternal line, there are cousins that are family historians who are the keepers of the stories and the photos.
[I was hoping to find my box of photos today that are in storage to add in some pictures of my brothers and me with our Canadian cousins but I cannot find the box. I will update this when I come across it.]
In the summer before I turned thirteen, my family took a vacation to visit my mother’s parents in Canada. Family crawled out the woodwork up there. There was a grandmother AND a grandfather, aunts and uncles and cousins galore! Back home in New York, there was my grandmother, my aunt [my father's mother and his sister] and her husband — that was all. There were no other aunts and uncles, no great aunts and uncles and definitely no cousins. I wanted to know why. What happened to everyone? And wanting to know is what started my obsession with genealogy.
In stepping up to the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, I hope to add a little life to the people I’ve found in my father’s lines. I might even share a little about my mother’s ancestors as well.