Thursday, October 14, 2010


It's time for the Second Great American Local Poem And Song
Genealogy Challenge! As you can see, I've added music to
this year's event.

In the mid to late 19th century every region of America boasted one
or more poets whose works reflected local history and folklore.
Chances are that our ancestors had read some of those poems during
the course of their lives.

It is also very likely they had heard or sung a song that dealt with
some aspect of their life, whether it was their job or something in the
area they lived in.

So, my challenge to my readers is this:

1. Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal.Or if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video
of someone performing the song.

2. Post the poem or song to your blog (remembering to cite the source
where you found it.)

3.Tell us how the subject of the poem or song relates to your ancestor's
home or life.

4.Submit your post's link here to me by November 18th and I'll publish
all the entries on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th!

Last year we had a good selection of poetry and I'm hoping this year's
edition will be just as great. I'd dedicating it to the memory of Terry
Thornton, a fellow lover of local poetry and folklore.So if you
have a humorous poem or song, that will be entered under the "Willy
Puckerbrush" division. (Willy was Terry's alias for some humorous
posts and comments).

If you aren't sure about poems or poets from your ancestor's area, try
searching for them on Google and Wikipedia using the name of the
area and "poems" or "poets" or "poetry" as search words. Also, if
your ancestors were immigrants, you may use poems or songs from
the land of their birth.

So there you have it. There's over a month until the deadline so there's
plenty of time for a Google search for poems and songs. I'm looking
forward to seeing what the geneablogging community comes up with
this year!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

I've been looking forward to this all year! The last one was back when I was a new blogger, and I had a lot of fun coming up with a post. Now, I have to find another good one in the family tree. Thanks for running the challenge!

Bill West said...

Ruth Coker Burks left me a link to
a moving poem she wrote over at her
blog last2cu. Somehow I managed to
reject the comment, so here's the

It's definitely something you should read!

My apologies to Ruth.

Dorene from Ohio said...

This is such a fun challenge! Here is a link to mine:


Thanks for hosting this challenge!

A rootdigger said...

Thats funny I did it three blogs ago. I did three ideas in one post.I only put a tiny bit of the song 'hot town tonight' for the chicago fire and how I was suppose to have lost relatives in the fire. But haven't found the relatives.

yours all should be a great read. I'm looking forward to it.

Jacky said...

I chose a poem that was written by my great-grandmother titled "Family Tree" is about her parents, herself, and her seven siblings. By far a real treasure to have for a genealogist such as myself! :)

My Genealogy Girl said...

Here is a poem written by my grandfather...


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

OK, I finally decided. You'll just have to run more of these challenges because I have more poetry in the back of my mind for posts!

TransylvanianDutch said...

My first submission this year: Texas, Our Texas.

Bill West said...

Thanks to everyone who's submitted a poem so far!

Unknown said...

Bill my entry is up, Thanks for hosting the challenge, I enjoyed it : )

Jean Hibben said...

OK, Bill, mine is up. It's my grandmother's poem about life on street cars in Chicago in 1899. I think it meets all the qualifications. It can be found at

Thanks for getting me going through some old papers!


Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

I've posted my article for this challenge at

Susan Clark said...

Great fun, Bill. I enjoyed the challenge enormously. Here's my contribution:

Becky Wiseman said...

Hey Bill, I missed this last year but here is my contribution for the current event:

Unknown said...

Here's a quaint poem I hope you'll enjoy.

Leah said...

Here is my submission:

Thanks for putting this together again!

Sean said...

My entry was posted today...

Jasia said...

I went with a poem last year so I'm going with a song this year... come rock out at Creative Gene!

Nancy said...

Hi, Bill. I hope I'm not too late to participate in this event. The link for my entry is here: Thanks for hosting this event.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Here's mine Bill, just under the wire!

So... This is Nebraska

In Black and White: Cross-Cultural Genealogy said...

This song lyric was written by my 5th great grandfather, Capt. Asaph Morse, and was just discovered this evening while preparing to write today's blog post, Letters From Aunt Helen, Part 5. While it was written in the 18th century, it seems to fit the other criteria. At any rate, I hope you enjoy its historical value, and hope I'm not too late.

Greta Koehl said...

And really, really close to the wire - here's mine at I selected a song that I learned about through my genealogical research - hope that meets the criteria sufficiently.

BeNotForgot said...

Doing the research for this one brought me some real treasures that I will be sharing at a later date . . . WAY too much info for this one . . . had to make myself quit following all the leads so I could concentrate on getting my blogpost ready . . . mine is located HERE . . . thanks for the challenge, Bill! You were too quick . . . you found mine while I was still tweaking on it! ;)

Randy Clark said...

Here's the link to mine if you don't have it.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hey, Bill,
I know I'm late, but thought I'd send this on anyway. You have a lot of neat poems already and if you can't use mine, I totally understand. Have a wonderful holiday.
This is a funny looking link:

TK said...

Oh, look, I'm even later than Judith, Bill. I've been waiting for the poem challenge since last year's--I really enjoyed that. Finally it's time for this year's, and I've been so busy trying to beat a deadline for my book that I've missed the deadline for the poem challenge! Sheesh! Here's my link anyhow. Maybe next year I'll make it in time!