Do Your Own Generations Project

Last week I talked about the BYUtv series called The Generations Project. Now I want to go into a little more depth in how to “Do your own Generations Project”. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, take time to watch it. It is worth your time.

Step One – Finding Your Why:

Think about what your biggest challenge is and what you would like to change in your life. Be willing to let this be a process. Your “why” might change as you journey through your generations project. Here are the questions that The Generations Projects asks those who want to appear on The Generations Project

  • What do you spend a lot of time thinking about?
  • What do you hope will happen to you in the next year or two?
  • Tell us a story about a life changing experience.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in your life now?

Step Two – Populate Your Tree:

Start close to home by checking with family members first to find information for your pedigree chart. The go to vital records to fill in the holes. This is the part where genealogist are experts. Think of it as a treasure hunt to find your ancestors.

Step Three – Mix It With History:

In this step you find the stories about your family member and then find out about the social history of the time. By doing this you really flesh out who that person was, they become real. One of the fun ways to mix it with history is to find a reenactment place. One that we went to several years ago was Plimoth Plantation. It is a working pilgrim village. For my generations project we are going to Martin’s Cove in Wyoming and doing a short handcart experience.

Step Four – Walk In Their Shoes:

Now you find a way to connect with your ancestor by doing something they did. It could be as extravagant as going to another country where they lived or as simple as eating the kinds of food that they ate. This step is about connecting with your family member.

Step Five – Share It & Watch It Ripple:

Last of all you want to share your experience with others. This often starts with writing down what happened to you on your generations project. Then it could be just sitting down and telling your family about what you learned and how you felt. It could be making a book, or painting a picture or writing a song. This is a very personal step and there is no wrong way to share your experience. After you share, you get to see how sharing your experience changes other people’s lives too.

My main purpose in doing this blog is to gather ways to share things like generations projects. I’m just getting started on this new focus for my blog so I’m still working through how to make this happen. If you have ways that you have shared a generations project I’d love to hear about it.

The Generations Project

Earlier this year I discovered “The Generations Project” on BYUtv. We don’t watch broadcast TV but I found it one day when I went the BYUtv website. They have all three seasons episodes available and I’ve now seen all of them. I love the concept of exploring your family history with a purpose in mind and the impact that makes on people’s lives. They even have an episode called “Do Your Own Generations Project” that helps in figuring out how to take the principles they use on the show and apply it to your own genealogy. I’ve decided to do my own generations project this summer and I’ll post about it along the way. Actually I think I’ll start tomorrow with a journal I’m working on as part of this generations project.

In each show they start with helping the person to find out why they want to learn about their ancestors, then they fill out their family tree, learn about the history of that time period and finally walk in that ancestors shoes. The last step is to share what you have learned with others and watch how it affects their lives. Most of the shows are about 30 minutes long so if you haven’t seen it, hop on over to BYUtv.

I’m sold on the concepts they teach in the show and dedicated to helping other share what they know about their families. What do you think about “The Generations Project”?