In March 2010, I launched a series of 31 blogging prompts for celebrating and honoring the “fearless females” in our family trees. Many bloggers participated and I was asked if I planned on running them again. So, to mark National Women’s History Month (beginning Friday, March 1), I’m listing the 31 prompts below. You can choose to do some of them, or all of them–there’s no pressure–it’s meant to be a fun exercise to focus on the women and make sure their stories are told!
Also, watch this space for other ideas, prompts, and tips to learn about your female ancestors.
Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month
[Group of young womenreading in library of normal school, Washington, D.C.]Library of Congress, (Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer.); REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-100288 (b&w film copy neg.) DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3c00288 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c00288
March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.
March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?
March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.
March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?
March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)
March 7 — Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.
March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.
March 9 — Take a family document (baptismal certificate, passenger list, naturalization petition, etc.) and write a brief narrative using the information.
March 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?
March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?
March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.
March 13 — Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.
March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?
March 15 — Write a six-word memoir tribute to one of your female ancestors.
March 16 — If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?
March 17 — Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.
March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.
March 19 — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?
March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.
March 21 — Describe a tender moment one of your female ancestors shared with you or another family member.
March 22 — If a famous director wanted to make a movie about one of your female ancestors who would it be? What actress would you cast in the role and why?
March 23 — Create a timeline for a female ancestor using your favorite software program or an online timeline generator such as OurTimelines.Post an image of it or link.
March 24 — Do you share any physical resemblance or personality trait with one of your female ancestors? Who? What is it?
March 25 — Tell how a female ancestor interacted with her children. Was she loving or supportive? A disciplinarian? A bit of both?
March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.
March 27 — Do you know the immigration story of one or more female ancestors? Do you have any passenger lists, passports, or other documentation? Interesting family stories?
March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?
March 30 — Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?
March 31 — Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).
BONUS: Take all of your postings and turn them into a memory or tribute booklet for future generations.
Post an entry on your Blog when you have created your tribute. Tell us how you did it (what format, how you printed it or digitized it, etc.).
Copyright, 2010-13, Lisa A. Alzo