Monday, September 22, 2014

Southern Studies Showcase–Ask Granny

I had a great time in Edgefield at the Southern Studies Showcase as I knew I would.  I am going to do a post for each class I took and tell you what specifically I learned from that class (just a short synopsis).


Session One – Ask Granny

I had heard of Ask Granny and I am friends with Judy Russell, the co-creator of the Ask Granny project, on Facebook but I had no clue what great things this organization does.  Judy’s partner is Greg Crane and the two of them started the Ask Granny project in 2009.   In a nutshell, Judy and Greg go out to any place that caters to seniors and teaches a class on how to fill out a 4 generation pedigree chart.  The pedigree chart is a legacy left to the senior’s family.  The senior keeps the chart along with a letter explaining the purpose.

Not only do Judy and Greg travel and conduct these sessions themselves, they will equip YOU to lead these sessions.  They will give you the tools you need completely free of charge.  The only thing they ask is that you don’t charge the seniors anything for the session and you leave the completed letters and charts with the seniors themselves so that they can be passed down in their families.  Each senior receives a notebook with everything in it.  The cost to put these notebooks together is approximately $1.00.  This would be a great project for any genealogical or historical society.  Judy will send you the directions on how to put the notebooks together as well as the printable pdf files you will need.  She will also send you pdfs for promotional materials to draw people to your classes. 

In 2011 Ask Granny was the winner of the Georgia Genealogical Society’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Genealogy” award and in July 2014, they received the national “Seton Shields Grant” from the Honoring our Ancestors Foundation of Megan Smolenyak.  They have personally presented this program more than 50 times to over 800 senior citizens and have sent the free materials to organization groups in 47 states, five Canadian provinces, four cities in Australia and four UK counties.

Can you imagine where your genealogy research would be if your grandparents or great-grandparents had completed one of these packets?   I encourage you to contact Judith (Judy) Friedman Russell at to get more information about how your genealogical or historical society can get involved in presenting this program to a seniors group in your community. 

Ask Granny logo copyright © 2014, Judith F. Russell and Greg Crane, used with permission


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis



  1. I enjoyed meeting you, Michelle, at the Southern Studies Conference in Edgefield. Look forward to following your blog.

  2. You gave a great presentation and I was very happy to meet you in person too :)

  3. Michele, Thank you for this. I've contacted Judy and I hope to use this program in my retirement village.