52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 1:
Family Finds Charter Oak

The Beginning of My Genealogy Adventure

I have been interested in family history since my paternal grandmother, Pearl Osborne LaFara, shared her research with me when I was a child. I still have the family group sheets she created during the 1930’s. My grandmother’s primary interest was joining the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR.) The focus of her research was her paternal Osborne lineage back to her 2nd great grandfather John Baldwin Osborn who fought for the 1st New Jersey Militia during the American Revolution. She spent a lot of time writing letters to individuals and libraries. Her work did pay off and she was able to establish her lineage and join the DAR. [1]


I began my family research about 25 years ago when I bought the Family Tree Maker software program. Initially I entered my grandmother’s family group sheets into the program, about 500 individuals. Then, I was ready to grow a tree of my own. I bought many of the add on data disks for the program and extended the Osborn lineage my grandmother had researched, but I also added several associated lines. As more records and information became available online I started using those sources, particularly the DAR ancestor database, states’ archives and digitized history books. My research quickly led me to discover my grandmother had 5 additional ancestors who were veterans of the American Revolution, she would have been thrilled.

Pearl Osborne LaFara 1938

Pearl Osborne LaFara, 1938

Osborn Family Group Sheet p1

Osborn Family Group Sheet p1

How to Grow a Tree

In 2004 I subscribed to the Ancestry.com website and began to fill out a branch of my family tree for my paternal grandfather. About 2008 I began to seriously work on my maternal grandmother’s lineage, and in 2012 I began working on my maternal grandfather’s line. Over time, I added subscriptions and memberships to other genealogy websites and groups, plus historical websites, groups and newspapers. Now, I have more than 9000 people in my tree, although, only about 1500 of those are direct ancestors. [2] It’s amazing how much family research information can be found on the internet if you know where and how to look. I wish I could share all this information with my grandmother, but she passed long before the age of the internet.

Osborn Family Group Sheet p4

Osborn Family Group Sheet p4

This is how I like to remember my grandmother, always willing to have me on her lap for a story. Use the slider to view the colorized version.

Family Finds


I previously wrote about my paternal grandmother. Read about her wedding with my grandfather in last years post Close to Home. Then, check out her high school senior photo from 1913

You are reading this post on my genealogy website where I share stories about my ancestors and tips for conducting your own online family history research. Genealogy is a great past time, join me on the journey to uncover and document the lives of our ancestors.

Visit my other website where I post my favorite photos, hobby projects, and blog about travel and other subjects, LaFara.com. Be sure to check out my comparison of old school photos.



1. John Baldwin Osborn, DAR ancestor number: A084491. Pearl Osborne LaFara, DAR member number: 390233.

2. Osborn family tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/13493206/


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Remember Me and I Will Live

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!