And just who might they be? ( 52 Ancestors #00)

The last completely-filled-out column on my six generation chart is the fifth column representing my great-great grandparents. And for one of my great-great grandmothers, I have two distinct possibilities.

All of these ancestors of mine seem to have been born in the first half of the 19th Century, and almost half of them lived into the 20th Century. Many knew their grandchildren, but none saw a great grandchild born (so far as I can tell).

Since I am planning to investigate each of these ancestors this year in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, it occurred to me that if I listed them here and now, some gentle soul might recognize a name, contact me with some information, and keep me from making as big a fool of myself as I might otherwise do. Because it helps me, I have included the ahnentafel numbers next to these ancestors. So, here goes.

On my father’s side, these are his father’s grandparents… Continue reading


What In The World Am I Going To Do? My great-great-grandparents, and a bit more (52 Ancestors #0)

Week 0: What in the World am I Going to Do?

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge appeared last year, and is continuing this year. This is my 0th post in what I hope will be at least 53 posts this year.

Yes, I know that New Years has come and gone, and so has the first week of the year and most of the second week; so it may appear a bit odd that I am still on week number zero – except, of course, for those of you who know I’m always running a day late and a dollar short. However, this thing called life has a way of intervening: it usually does, especially around the holidays. And I am getting my act in gear now.

We learn so much as amateur genealogists, about history and modern assumptions and what-not, that I think it only reasonable to use some of that knowledge in coming up with an excuse explanation to solve our difficulty. For you see, by the Julian calendar, today is actually New Years Eve. And, as people who poke around in history and historical documents, we have the delight of discovering that different calendars were and are used in various countries at different times. In fact, most non-Catholic countries didn’t really like the fact that Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Boncompagni) proclaimed this new calendar, so they didn’t adopt it until things had gotten a bit out of kilter: so we find it as early as 1582 in most Roman Catholic countries, but much later in Protestant and Orthodox countries. Greece adopted it in 1923. Quite a spread, 341 years.

All that to say that I think it quite appropriate to start the challenge today, the 13th of January, which happens also to be the 31st of December.

So, let me share some of my thoughts and plans, knowing that they are libel to change.

We all have sixteen great-great-grandparents, though that doesn’t necessarily require sixteen different people. In my case, it does. And spending a week on each of them will take about a third of the weeks of a year. (Actually, a little less than a third 16/52 = 4/13 ≈ 3.‾076923 if you want to be downright pedantic about it.) I’d like to focus on each of them, though probably not just one after the other. That will leave plenty of time for other explorations of things that might be suggested by something uncovered while looking at them.

I hope you will enjoy this journey I will be taking into the history of my family. Perhaps you will choose to accept the same challenge. And hopefully, we may just find we are related and didn’t even know it.

Bryan, a.k.a. Zim