Looking through my TV channels recently, I discovered BYUtv and a show called The Generations Project. Although it appears this show has been on the air for a number of years, until that moment, I did not know BYUtv existed. I programmed my DVR to record all episodes of this show and have been catching up on new and old episodes alike.
I describe The Generations Project as Who Do You Think You Are minus the celebrities. It is motivating to me to watch each person ask questions and discover the answers throughout their journey. However, the most recent episode I watched was a little different. Instead of following an individual through their story, the topic was how to do your own Generations Project.
At first, it seemed pretty simple--I did not see much of a difference between what the subject of the show was doing and what I do (except they have a team of researchers, a camera crew, and the ability to travel around the world in search of their answers). As I watched, though, I understood why what they do is more interesting to a larger audience than what I do.
The Generations Project encourages going a step beyond this and walking in your ancestors' shoes. This has inspired me to think of ways I can put together my research and its historical context with a way to experience a part of that ancestor's life. Perhaps I can make a recipe that they would have made, or I can try a tradition they may have had, or I could visit a historical site that would provide context to their life.
I encourage you to watch the program at the link below and try to think of ways to make your research significant to non-genealogists, or even to live a small part of it yourself. As genealogists, we already feel a connection with people we have never met...imagine forming a greater bond by experiencing part of their lives firsthand.
BYUtv - The Generations Project