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

A Look Back at 2021

Before I look to the future, I’d like to take a look back at 2021. First, and foremost, I managed to write a post for each of the 52 prompts for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge, “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” [1] In addition to writing every week, I also challenged myself to read the posts of other participants. I read, and left comments, for at least 5 other posts every week. It got tougher towards the end of the year as participants dropped out! With the aid of the WordPress and Blogger readers I was able to keep up with over 30 other genealogy bloggers. A benefit I had not anticipated was learning new methods and resources these other bloggers highlighted. Below is my list of favorite and most read blogs.


Some week’s, the prompts led me to ancestors who needed additional research, and that was great. Other weeks I wrote about my immediate family or ancestors for whom I have a lot of information. In looking back, I realize I did not do as much new research during 2021 because some of my posts did not require any, or very little. As a result, I did not make any headway on my genealogical brick walls. I did write about my brick walls for the week 15 prompt, “Brick Wall.” [2] But that was nearly all I did, and I’d like to change that.

Future Goals

For 2022 I plan on doing more research, specifically focusing on my 4th great-grandparents who are brick walls. I still plan to participate in Amy’s challenge, but I will document my brick wall research for many of the weekly prompts. [3] Even if they do not precisely match the prompt. Perhaps other researchers will find my posts and be able to provide information about my ancestors, or I will be able to help them. I will continue reading the posts of others, too. Not only to get research tips, but to improve my own writing. And, I keep hoping someone will write about a common ancestor for whom we can collaborate.


There are a few other genealogy related items I’d like to do more of in 2022. Cleaning up some of the design elements on my website, is one. Another is to scan and document more old photos and documents. (I’d really like to get a quality slide and photo scanner, anyone have a nice used one for sale?) Looking back, I enjoyed doing the weekly prompts during 2021, it helped me develop a regimen of regularly writing. Looking to the future, I need to get back to doing more research and breaking down those brick walls!


  1. Webpage, AmyJohnsonCrow.com,  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/
  2. Blog post, Family Finds, Brick Wall; https://barblafara.com/brick-wall/
  3. Webpage, AmyJohnsonCrow.com,  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, 2022 Prompts; https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-themes-2022/


  1. Patti Alden

    I have enjoyed your comments on my Blog this year! Thank you for your wonderful comments and insights. This has been a terrific experience as well as a productive year for me with the 52 Ancestors challenge. I have learned so much from you (I love your design elements on your blog, by the way) as well as others whose blogs I followed this year. But most of all, my family has gotten so much from each story I have written down. These stories have been floating around for years with no where to go and were in danger of being lost forever. They are so grateful which makes this project worth every minute I spend on it. And now on to 2022! I have so many new goals. I may not be participating in the challenge this year, as I have very specific research goals in mind for the coming months (it looks like you do, too). I did sign up, but mainly to be able to read others’ blogs. As a former teacher I know the value of learning from others, and I so appreciate it.
    Wishing you and yours a joyous and happy New Year! Happy researching!
    Patti A.

    • Barb LaFara

      Patti, Thank you for your kind comments. I have really enjoyed reading what others have shared. In many cases, it’s like getting a small history lesson. Here’s to us all achieving our goals for 2022! Barb L.

  2. Deb

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs & posts, and appreciate the comments you have added to mine. Was fantastic to discover we are 11th cousins after you realized we were SOMEHOW RELATED.

    • Barb LaFara

      Deb, Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you did because I SOMEHOW left your blog off my reading list above… I fixed that, and also found a problem with my code, so a double thank-you!

  3. Marian Wood

    Barb, I agree with Patti–your design elements are inspiring and engaging! How did you create that fun surname word cloud? Best wishes for a bright 2022 ahead!

    • Barb LaFara

      Thank you, Marian! Check out WordClouds .com, I used my own tree shape, but they have lots of shapes to choose from. Import your surname list, choose your colors and fonts, and voila! And, it’s free… donations accepted.

  4. Susan Blakley

    Barb, you have done excellent work on your blogging and documenting your family connections. It’s so amazing! Keep up the journey and inspire others to keep searching. God bless you in 2022! We have challenges before us. Thanks for commenting on my blogs.

    In 2022, I plan to slow down. I am re-viewing my Dade Family Connections then working my way through and working on other branches. It’s a task in the doing. I have a lot of people to add to my tree.

    • Barb LaFara

      Susan, thank you for your kind words. You are a truly positive and inspiring voice, I really enjoy reading your posts.

    • Tonya Ferguson

      You have been so kind leaving comments on my blog. Unlike you, I have not posted every week. My goal this year is to do that even when the subject doesn’t “move” me.

  5. Eilene Lyon

    Thanks for visiting my blog this past year, Barb. I don’t use Blogger at all, but I will try to remember to stop by your site more often this year.

    • Eilene Lyon

      Aha, I did find you in WordPress reader. Hopefully you will show up in my feed now.

  6. Tonya Ferguson

    I’m late to reading this post. I admire that you created a post for every week of 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks. I have to admit that some of the topics were a big challenge for me and so I didn’t write anything. My children also gave me Storyworth for my birthday so I write a post for them as well. Sometimes it’s a challenge to write two blog posts for the week, but I’m working on it. Thanks for your encouraging words.


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Remember Me and I Will Live

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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.

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Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

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Luella Pressell: Surprise!

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Rumple Family Photo 1895

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Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

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In The Paper

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Genealogy Brick Walls

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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

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So Far Away

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Same Name

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