Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fearless Females Blogging Prompts: Returning for Another Year to Celebrate Women's History Month

It's that time again...the special month for you to honor your female ancestors!

Fearless Females Badge courtesy of Denise Levenick
[Want to learn how to make this cool badge or a photo collage of your female ancestors? Then keep reading....]

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. I'm happy to say that this series is still going strong and is back for another year.

So, to mark National Women's History Month (beginning Tuesday, 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!  

The theme for National Women's History Month 2016 is "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government”  so it is a perfect time to start writing about those female ancestors who have informed, influenced, or inspired you!


Also, watch this blog for other ideas, prompts, and tips to learn about your female ancestors, as well as special coupons for discounts on products or courses related to researching your female lines.

For example, want to learn how to make the cool badge above, or a Fearless Females photo collage for your blog or Facebook page? My colleague, Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, is teaching a week-long Photo Editing Workshop for Family Tree University starting TOMORROW 29 February 2016.  Click here to learn more or register (use discount code ARCHIVE20 to save 20% on your registration fee]. 


Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month

[Group of young women reading 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]

Blogging Prompts

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 to it.

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 29 — Create a free Fold3 Memorial Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your female ancestor. Tell us about who you've selected and why and then post a link to what you've created.

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, 2010-16, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How Will You Remember Her? Finding Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp 5 March 2016 and Fearless Females Blogging Series 2016

March is right around the corner and that means it is time to celebrate National Women's History Month

How will you remember and honor the female ancestors in your family tree? 

Here at the Accidental Genealogist we will once again run the popular Fearless Females Blogging Prompts Series starting on 1 March 2016. [You can learn about the 2015 Fearless Females Blogging Prompts here].

In addition, if you are just starting your genealogy research or have brick walls that include missing maiden names, or female ancestors that are difficult to find, join me for a special mini boot camp that I will be presenting with my colleague, Thomas MacEntee on Saturday 5 March 2016. This 90-minute mini boot camp will offer tips, resources, handouts and more and all for a bargain price. Here is the information from HackGenealogy.

Don't is limited!


Ladies First: Finding Your Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp – Saturday, March 5, 2016
It’s no secret that following the female lines in your family tree can often be a frustrating process. Most historical records were created for or about men. Men controlled the government and ran most businesses. Property was listed under a man’s name, and it was the male’s surname that carried to the next generation. But while looking for the ladies can be challenging, it’s not impossible. There’s no shortage of available resources to help trace your maternal ancestry—you just need to know where to look!
Here’s what you will get in Ladies First: Finding Your Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp:
  • Learn about solid and successful strategies for finding females in your family tree.
  • Get practical tips for teasing out maiden names in online and offline resources.
  • Discover how underused sources such as oral histories, family traditions, diaries, letters and more can help you understand the daily lives of your female ancestors.
  • Learn brick wall strategies and creative solutions for solving special research problems.
  • Find the best way to tell “her” story in blogs, profiles, or in a book through bonus writing tips.
Bonus Handout: In addition to the webinar handout, attendees will receive a free resource checklist and another exclusive offer available to only to those who register for the live webinar!
Sign Up for the Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp Today!
With the Female Ancestors Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for aspecial low price of $7.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar!
Click HERE to register!
Register by Wednesday, 2 March 2016, and receive $2 off the registration price for a low $5.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handout, the freebie and access to the recording!
Saturday 5 March 2016
Duration: 1.5 hours
  • 11:00 am EST /10:00 am CST
    Ladies First: Finding Your Female Ancestors
    Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
  • Presenter/Moderator Bios
    Lisa Alzo – Presenter
    Lisa A. Alzo
    Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer, and writing coach with over 26 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of ten books, including: The Family Tree Polish, Czech, and Slovak Genealogy Guide, Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree MagazineFamily Chronicle/Your Genealogy TodayInternet GenealogyAPG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist”, where she has hosted the popular “Fearless Females Blogging Prompt” series each March since 2010. For more information see
    Thomas MacEntee – Moderator
    What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more.
    Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started building his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He’s also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”
    How To Register
    Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:
    • Click HERE to register. Once you register you will need to make payment via Paypal. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
    • IMPORTANT: If you use a different email address for Paypal than your normal email address PLEASE LET US KNOW! We need a valid working email to send you reminders and the follow up materials after the webinar! Email us at
    • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive a link to access the webinar on Saturday, March 5th.
    • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
    • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the links to the handout and freebie so you can review them before we start.
    • After the webinar, all registrants will have access to the recording for personal use. The recording will be hosted on Vimeo and a password will be required to access the video pages.
    Questions? Email us at
    Terms and Conditions
    Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.
  • ©2016, Thomas MacEntee and Lisa A. Alzo. All rights reserved.

    [Disclosure: I have been hired as a freelance presenter for this boot camp by HackGenealogy, and I will be paid an instructor's fee].