Anywho. My daughter said, "Mom, you should, like, give this thing its own site, make it a 48 hour challenge, and get everybody to work on it together. And you could call it The 48 Hour Ephemera Challenge."
This. This is why I had children. So I don't have to come up with all the brilliant ideas. <grin>
I know a lot of you are like me. You like a good mystery. You like things our ancestors left behind. And you love a good story.
Voila! Here's the forum: http://48hourephemerachallenge.lefora.com/
It's not perfect. And I'll be fixing it up as we go. But I wanted to start as quickly as possible. I've a stack of people's dreams, hopes, fears, and stories. And they're fading fast. Can you identify them?
So. Welcome, to The 48-Hour Ephemera Challenge Forum, where a new ephemera piece is posted every Friday night, and you have 48 hours to work with others in a forum atmosphere to figure out the story behind the piece using clues from the piece and online resources.
- All people of all levels of experience are welcome to watch and/or participate. That's the beauty of it. We'll be learning from each other. We'll build each other up while coming together to try to solve an ephemera mystery.
- This is a public forum. All may watch or lurk. However, to participate you must register. It's FREE.
- To start out, I'll be posting pieces from my collection. However, in the future, pieces from your collection that have identifiers on them [name, location, etc.], may be accepted for use in a particular week's challenge. That's right. Have a bunch of genealogists take a look at your family ephemera conundrum and see if they can figure it out.
- All searching will be done using online resources. BUT our goal is to take the research to the point of offline researching and identify the specific places we would need to look if we were to take the research offline.
- This public forum is fully searchable by Google. So, if a piece from my collection [that I acquire from antique stores] is found by someone searching for their ancestor, then arrangements will be made to return the piece to the family. And if it's a piece that's from your family's collection, then we'll get y'all connected. Cuz BINGO! You're related.
- A form of a citation [basically where we got the info from] will be posted with each clue/document found. This will be explained a little bit more further down below.
That's it in a nutshell. It's a game. We're gonna have hands on learning with using online resources. It's a game. We're gonna meet a cousin or two hopefully. It's a game. We're gonna solve ephemera mysteries. It's a game. We're gonna learn from each other. It's a game. We're gonna learn how to take our online research and get it to the point of offline research. It's a game. We're gonna hopefully reunite descendants with their ancestors' ephemera. It's a game. We're gonna find family stories. It's a game.
But most importantly? We're gonna have fun. Genealogy-style.
Sometime on late Friday afternoons, I will blog a post announcing the new ephemera piece here on 4YourFamilyStory.com. You can either follow the link on my blog [there's a tab for it now on the menu], or you can check the 48 Hour Ephemera Challenge Forum on Friday's. When you see it, get started.
The following will be the instructions posted with every piece:
- Transcribe the handwritten message.
- List all identifying information that can be gleaned from the handwritten message.
- List any information that can be gleaned from the photo.
Then, we can start looking up information on the internet. When you do find something on the internet include the following in your post to the forum:
- A link to where you found the information.
- Name of website or database.
- A transcription of all or part of the information from document or site that is pertinent.
- If possible, how you think the information fits into the puzzle. [This is optional. You may not know, and that's okay. Other members may be lurking, and they may see where the piece fits into the puzzle.]
- If possible, what you think is the next logical step. Another online site? Or is offline research the next step? And where would that be?
- Attach of copy of document, if applicable.
Note: We aren't going to research offline, but I want us to get to that point and figure out where we might look if we were to go offline. Archives, library, courthouse, etc.
Y'all ready to find some family stories? You've been challenged. ;)