I can’t believe this project is in my lap again. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting at the dining room table with my then 7 year old son trying to create an ancestor doll, calling up grandparents asking them for ideas. I could go so many ways on this post. How different the homework approach is 10 years later or how a simple internet search replaced a phone call. We decided to do both. First up an interview with my mom, who also happens to come from a family where genealogy is her mother’s passion. Turns out I could make an extended tree for my daughter but since they are only calling for a few branches we leave it at that. Ava can now see on paper how her and her brother carry on family surnames, they both have one, representing both sides of the family.
Next up we need to dress a paper doll in traditional garb from our ancestors. We chose Scotland, from my side of the family this time. I’m pretty sure with a name like Lydon Patrick Garrett, we represented the Irish back in 2003. I have been told that I have lineage that connects my mother’s side of the family to Mayflower passengers, as well as the Ellice brothers, furriers who immigrated from England that were part of the Hudson Bay Trading Company. There’s also my other half who is directly related and shares the name of the infamous Sheriff Pat Garrett. Can you see why I decided to join ancestry.com after this project?
When we searched for images we tried something new and used Bing’s Smart Search .
Search: Scottish Clothing
click to enlarge
We had good idea of the key pieces, a skirt. sash, a sporran (satchel) and a Scottish Tam (hat) all in tartan plaid of course. Off to the fabric store we went. We found a nutcracker there and snapped a quick photo for inspiration on the sporran.
Next up we had to find, Scottish Flag …. quick Bing search… done.
We then had the final challenge of not only finding a Scottish dish, but making the dish and bringing it for other second graders to sample at the annual Ancestor Feast. As hard as I tried I could not convince my daughter to make haggus (kidding) so we settled on Scotch Shortbread from her dad’s 1975, 6th edition of The Joy of Cooking.
2 cups Flour
1 cup Butter, creamed
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Sift together dry ingredients, combine with creamed butter, kneading together. The dough is crumbly so you need to really work it with your hands to get to a dough like consistency. Press dough evenly into a square pan (I used 8×8)
Press fork into dough at 1/2 in. intervals
Bake at 325° F for 35-40 minutes. the deeper the shortbread the longer the baking time. Cut with knife to check that they are cooked all the way through. Ours took a full 45 almost 50 minutes before the center was not raw. Adapted from Joy of Cooking.
The shortbread was not the easiest dough to work with and I did receive 2nd degree burns while gluing the outfit on our doll but all in all the Ancestor Project was really fun to do together even the second time around.
And then just for fun we decided to Bing our family. We came up with no photos for Ava (which is what I had hoped for) same goes for the teen, and my husband. well when you have the same name as a famous lawman of the Wild West chances are you are not going to see a photo of yourself, and he is FINE with that. Of course I typed in my name and *POOF* I saw a lot more than expected. Whoa.
What was cool about the BING results was that you can hover over each photo to see where the photo lives. I found several sites that were using my photos, mainly the one of Weebee that appeared once on Mashable. You could use this like TinEye, a reverse image search to help locate photos used without permission I suppose too. Either way I think us bloggers like to know that we have a presence out there in internet land. Its why we blog, to get our ideas circulating through the vast reaches of the web.
Do you ever do a search for images of yourself or your kids online?
I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.