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.”  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.
- Rhyme Schemes and Daydreams
- The Chronicles of Susan
- Christines Genealogy Musings
- Heartland Genealogy
- Talking Leaves
- Journeying with Jacque
- Helping History Come Alive
- Finding My Ancestors
- tales from my typewriter
- Gathering Leaves for My Family Tree
- Tell Me Your Family Story
- Annes Family History
- Musings of Lady Anna Kasper
- Rhos Helyg Family History Services
- Once Upon A Lifetime: Tales And Vignettes Of My Ancestors
- Sheilas Archive
- Ancestors Across the Ages
- My Ancestors and Me
- Ancestry Stories
- Adventures in Cemetery Hopping
- Dann M. Norton Genealogical Services
- Clio the History Muse
- Test Patterns
- Paths of our Life Story
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.”  But that was nearly all I did, and I’d like to change that.
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.  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!
- Webpage, AmyJohnsonCrow.com, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks; https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/
- Blog post, Family Finds, Brick Wall; https://barblafara.com/brick-wall/
- Webpage, AmyJohnsonCrow.com, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, 2022 Prompts; https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks-themes-2022/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.