52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 5 Recap

52ancestors-2015-05I’d like to clarify something right from the start. No, I’m not psychic. When I set the Week 5 theme as “Plowing Through” and added “We will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time,” I was merely playing the odds. If I were really psychic, I would have been better prepared for attending the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Chicago last weekend — when Chicago had 19.2″ of snow and an honest-to-goodness blizzard. (Note to self: rethink going to a conference in Chicago in late January/early February.)

Participants took “plowing through” in several different ways. Schalene Dagutis from Tangled Roots and Trees shared how someone literally plowed through with her grandfather’s new tractor. Amy Kelly at Shaking the Family Tree focused on her 4th-great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Poteet, Jr., “because it seems he plowed through life.” I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Colleen Greene of Colleen & Jeff’s Roots. She shared the story of George Walter Harless, who operated a snow plow in Yosemite in the 1940s.

My story in Week 5 involved plowing through the research and not slowing down to see all of the clues. When I did take a moment, I formulated a theory of what killed my 32-year-old 4th-great-grandmother Mary Vaughn McKitrick.

Leave a comment below with the name of your ancestor and a link to the post you did this past week. While you’re snowed in, take a look at the posts from Week 4!

week5-twitterUpcoming Optional Themes:

  • Week 6 (Feb. 5-11) – So Far Away
  • Week 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love
  • Week 8 (Feb 19-25) – Good Deeds
  • Week 9 (Feb 26-Mar 4) – Close to Home

Stumped on how to approach these themes? I have some suggestions.


82 thoughts on “52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 5 Recap

  1. onlyarethusa

    It all started as a personal challenge: Why can’t I find her? I plowed through records and found the answer of where and when Cynthia Thomas Phelps Jones Jurden died, but it wasn’t until after I’d finished writing the post that I figured it out! http://lemon-knapp.org/wp/?p=604

  2. Mary

    #47–Gertrude Richards–That is a lot of Snow
    We have had a lot of snow lately so this entry is about plowing though all the snow of the Blizzard of 88

  3. labwriter

    Plowing through my research for an ancestor who, quite frankly, doesn’t interest me all that much, George Harvey Denton (1870-1918), my maternal great grandfather. The theme also seems to apply to his life, in the sense that he seemed to be plowing through from one state to another–Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas, Colorado–until he finally took root, or maybe just stopped.


    1. labwriter

      I like your post, Amy. Blogger wants me to sign in, prove who I am, give them my account number–good grief. So I’ll just “Like” it here. Nice job with the sources!

  4. Patti Di Loreto

    Week 5 on my “52 Ancestors” Pinterest board – pins relating to my maternal grandfather, Clifton Leonard Brashier/James Bradford Harris – Clifton went missing for 26 years, then showed up as James (complete with a new wife and 3 more daughters). Whenever I do start a blog – I’ll be able to tell more of his story, for now it’s the short version through Pinterest pins!


  5. Elizabeth Wilson Ballard

    Although I am sure there were a few “snow storms” in the North Carolina Piedmont during the life of my ancestor Anderson JOHNSON, this is not why I wrote about him this week. Anderson was a Quaker who, like so many others, was persecuted for his beliefs and actions, definitely by the law, and I would guess by his neighbors, too. I thought of him and the topic “plowing through” because he remained devout until his death, even after losses and struggles.


  6. oldbonesgenealogy

    MEISBERGER – 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #5 Will the Real Theobald Casper Meisberger (1837 – 1900) Please Stand Up? by Eileen A Souza at Old Bones Genealogy.

    Over the past year, I have been collecting Pennsylvania death certificates from Ancestry.com for my ancestors. So far, I have accumulated one-hundred and twenty-six (126) certificates. In doing so, I have uncovered a huge puzzle concerning my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Casper Meisberger, as reflected in his children’s death certificates.



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