"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Digging Into Your Own Family's Roots

One of the favorite assignments my "Beyond the Grave" students undertake is to research one of the own ancestors. The relative must be a distant one, a great-grandparent or older- cannot be anyone living.

This, after all, is a class about cemeteries!

Kristina Broome's Great-Grandfather
I see the project as a good one that can help the young people in the class learn more about their own heritage and connections with the past. The task involves talking with parents and/or grandparents to see who might be a good subject for this project. Other research can involve digging into old family albums and other documents, going to local libraries, historical societies and cemeteries, perhaps.
Online resources such as ancestry.com and findagrave can also be tapped.

The students will present their findings to the class, which is another fine element to the assignment, I feel.

Bri Ingram's Great Great Grandmother
I have been very impressed with some of the memorable reports students have given and written about their ancestors.  They have included a Union Civil War general, an FBI agent who hunted down gangsters in the 1930s, a "Calamity Jane" type American Wild West woman, an immigrant who began a successful chain of pizza restaurants, and a member of the ill-fated Titanic crew.

To give current students an idea what I'm looking for with this project, I am attaching links to a few recent ancestor blog posts.

Kristina Broome, Spring 2018
Bri Ingram, Spring 2017
Caitey Ronan, Spring 2018
Rei Maloy, Spring 2018

Each of these students received an A for their ancestor research blog posts and presentations. So current students can look at these stories for guidance and maybe some inspiration.

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