Pick a day in your ancestor’s life. Try and answer the following questions as of that date:

  • Where was my ancestor living?
  • Who was in his (her) household?
  • What was the ancestor’s occupation?
  • What was the ancestor’s age?
  • What was going on nationally on this date (at this point in time)?
  • What was going on locally/regionally?
  • Were my ancestor’s parents alive?
  • Were my ancestor’s siblings alive?
  • Where would he (she) have gone to church the previous Sunday?
  • Who were my ancestor’s neighbors?

You get the idea. Focusing one just one day may be enough to cause you to learn about other days in the process.



5 Responses

    • It is a good jumpstart to writing. I also suggest, if the time period is right, that people think what their ancestor’s 1890 census enumeration would have looked like.

  1. This is an excellent prompt. I keep a file of genealogy writing prompts and this will be added to it. I’m currently doing a weekly post but intend to increase the frequency eventually.

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