52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 1 Recap

52ancestors-2015Welcome to a new year of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks! For those of you who are new to the Challenge this year, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did last year! To the veterans of the Challenge, I hope you continue to find it rewarding.

This year, we’re shaking it up a bit with optional weekly themes. This week’s theme was “Fresh Start.” I enjoyed seeing everyone’s take on it. Some focused on ancestors who made a fresh start. Ms. Genealogy wrote about her ancestor Hugh Brawley, who left Scotland to make a fresh start in Pennsylvania. Cheri Hudson Passey’s great-great-grandfather may or may not have had a fresh start somewhere. Julia Dumas’s 3rd-great-great-grandfather Pierre Jacques Caire is her most recent immigrant to the U.S.

Other bloggers opted to look at ancestors who they wanted a fresh start with their researching. That’s what Eileen Souza decided to do with her 3rd-great-grandfather Peter Strausser.

I used a little bit of both. Stephen Amos Hibbs made a fresh start in Iowa after being a Confederate sympathizer in West Virginia. He’s also the brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother, rather than an actual ancestor of mine. It’s part of my fresh start this year on the collaterals in my family tree.

Who did you write about for Week 1? Leave a comment below with a link. We’d love to read it!

week1-twitterUpcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 2 (Jan 8-14) – King
  • Week 3 (Jan 15-21) – Tough woman
  • Week 4 (Jan 22 – 28) – Closest to your birthday
  • Week 5 (Jan 29 – Feb 4) – Plowing through


134 thoughts on “52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 1 Recap

    1. labwriter

      Your blog is colorful and 1970s. Nice job. Having lived through the decade of 1970s orange, I honestly didn’t think I could ever do orange again. But I’ve found that I can. Ha.

    1. labwriter

      Cathy, I like (your post, of course), but I also like the annotations in your screenshots. One of the good things about a challenge like this, and reading other blogs on a like subject, is picking up new ideas. Fascinating reading!

      1. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

        Thank you. In this post I didn’t have any annotations so you probably mean in the one for Week #2. I didn’t want to do a complete transcription and translation. I thought it might be more interesting for people to be able to look at the records and have the more important info pointed out.

  1. Elizabeth Wilson Ballard

    I would be honored of you would read the following story of my mother, who made a lifetime of fresh starts, and touched everyone around her.

    Margaret Ellen Wilson
    Whence She Came – http://wp.me/p4fybm-9X
    Without Her Mother – http://wp.me/p4fybm-am
    Walking Away – http://wp.me/p4fybm-aX
    Her Babies – http://wp.me/p4fybm-br
    Redefining Herself – http://wp.me/p4fybm-bH
    North Carolina and Onward – http://wp.me/p4fybm-cW
    Going Home – http://wp.me/p4fybm-ej

  2. Cheryl Biermann Hartley

    GAA – Having successfully finished the 2014 challenge, I don’t seem to be able to give it up. My husband is quite distraught over thins. I began the year with a guest blogger, since the story is very personal. It is a tale about how a DNA match and I learned that we were indeed cousins, although it wasn’t obvious at first.

    “A Fresh Start for Betty – 52 Ancestors 2015 #1” http://wp.me/p4ioO6-90

  3. Pingback: 52 Ancestors week 1- Fresh Start | rosneath

  4. pen4hire

    I can’t promise to follow the themes, because I have my own agenda, which is trying to trace my father’s lines back to their arrival in North America. Last year I did mostly my mother’s line, so I guess you could call my moving over to father’s line a “fresh start.” As for this week’s post–my great-grandfather got a fresh start of sorts by re-joining the Union Army in a different state.

    Henry Allen BUTTS–Henry Allen Butts Goes to War Twice.


    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      No worries about not following the themes! They’re there for you to use or not! BTW, I just left a comment regarding Henry Butts on your blog :)

  5. emptybranches

    Hi Amy, I know some are going to say, please no Feb. themes yet, but for those of us who will be on the road to SLC in February, will you be posting the Feb. topics soon (I hope?)

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Yes, I will post the February themes next Friday (Jan 16). My plan is to post the themes for the next month around the 15th. (I would post February’s on Jan 15, but that’s the same day as the Week 2 recap and I don’t want to confuse things.)

      1. onlyarethusa

        That is so nice of you to say! Thank you. :) Hopefully you got to read it before I made the stupid mistake of updating the theme of my blog and making a huge mess of things that I still haven’t gotten cleaned up.

  6. Wendy Negley

    I did my father, I meant to do him last year but got confused and found I’d run out of numbers! So he is first this year. His birthday is 6 Jan so it was appropriate anyway.

  7. Wanda

    My first post for the 2015 52 Ancestors challenge is about my paternal grandfather, Peter Ernest Arnold — http://tidbitsandtreasures2011.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/52-ancestors-1-peter-ernest-arnold/

    In addition to linking here, I will be posting a link to each week’s post on the Arnold family Facebook page so family members there can read about some of our family history. I’ve already been encouraged by a fairly hearty response to the first profile, and I’m hoping they will offer comments, suggestions, questions, and criticism as well–all in the interest of making these profiles more interesting, accurate, and complete.

  8. Denise Murphy

    I feel like I’ve missed a recap post so am posting my last two blogs so I’ll be in synch:

    HOBBS, Caroline B. – #16 (she was my last post of 2014)


    CLOSE Sr., John W. – #17 (he was my first post of 2015 and he was a fresh start!)

    I started late last year so am now working on #18. Maybe I should say #18-2 :-)

  9. Amy Kelly

    Hi Amy – Would you please share the best way to go about possibly getting one’s post “highlighted” your weekly recaps, as those by Ms. Genealogy, Cheri Hudson Passey, and Julia Dumas’ were in the Week 1 “Fresh Start” Recap? I know we can post our links in the comments under a Weekly Recap; however, how do we let you know about them in time for them to possibly be mentioned the recap itself? (I hope that makes sense!) Thank you, in advance, for your guidance.

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      I see various posts throughout the week (people posting links on Facebook, Twitter, and what I see in Feedly). I don’t have time to read all of them — unfortunately! I highlight a few that stuck with me for some reason.

    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      Hi, Teresa! Yes, the links to your posts should be on the weekly recap post like this one. Each week’s recap will be published on Thursdays; you can add your link for Week 2 then. I hope this helps!

  10. Colleen Greene

    A Fresh Start for Immigrant Great Grandfather Jose Robledo (1875-1937)

    Although Joe died — according to family — never recovering from losing everything in revolution-torn Mexico and having to juggle poor sporadic work, he provided his family with a successful fresh start. Joe just didn’t live long enough to witness most of these successes.

  11. Teresa

    Feel free to just delete my two posts on the earlier thread then. I’d do it myself, but I don’t see a way to edit.

  12. Dawn meehan

    I’ve never done blogging before but this sounds like a great deal of fun. Where do you feel is a great place to blog genealogically speaking.

  13. robertajestes

    Amy – last year you asked us to post the surname in caps and the name of the person following- it makes it a lot easier to see the relevant names when skimming to see if one’s lines are represented. Maybe you could cover that again this year. Great thing is we have a lot of new people participating!

  14. Claudia Boorman

    I’m new to your 52 ancestor challenge this year – great idea! My first post was on time, but I’m slow on the uptake as to your process (link first posted elsewhere) as well as below ….

    ANDREW, Charles S
    My great great grandfather made a fresh start in 1842 when he married in Stratton Cornwall and emigrated to PEI Canada with a new bride and child.


  15. Charity Johnson

    In 2014 I saw recurring themes of the early settlers: geography, farms & religion. They were very intertwined. In 2015 I will post only once a month but about a family (or families) within a particular geographical area. Research will be the same, but the writing up will be shorter!
    TYSON, Reiner / Reyneir – Arrived 1683 on the Concord. With the help of German professional resources, I untangle the Mennonite/Quaker affiliation.


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