2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2 (Jan. 8-14) Challenge

2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 2 (Jan. 8-14) Challenge

“first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.

If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!

Week 2 (Jan. 8-14) Challenge

One of my biggest brickwall “challenges” has been my 4th great grandfather… plain John Bryan and wife Nancy (unk surname). I’ve found a John Bryan, with wife Nancy, in Franklin Co., Georgia as early as 1788 and even later still listed there along with sons James (my line) and Tarrance Bryan. My Bryan line descended into Georgia from somewhere, but where? Several working on the John Bryan line feel he’s from Rowan Co., N.C…. and it’s very logical as most Georgians worked their way down from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and finally into the Carolina’s and further on into Georgia as land opened up… and I’m hoping his father’s name isn’t John! His son James (born 1791) named his first son Marion Callaway Bryan… I’ve always hoped to find a marriage license with Nancy’s maiden name as possibly Callaway or it could be John’s mother’s maiden name. I’ve searched several Bryan lines… always hoping… but finding nothing; as new records are digitized and released online… it gives me hope. I know he didn’t hatch from an egg… or did he?


My next “challenge” is on my mother’s maiden name of McKinley… Robert (Circa 1710-1775) and William McKinley (1743-1815) have been traced back to Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., N.C., and buried at Steele Creek Church… but that’s the end! I’m sure they traveled there with many others, but as of yet…. no one has found those records! There have been a few paid researchers on my McKinley lines… but they bombed out! I’ve always hoped that this would be the line in proving my link across the ocean to Scotland or Ireland… I’m still hoping! This line, like my Bryan family also descended into Georgia.


Steele Creek Church Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, N.C.



One of the biggest “challenges” in family research is Time! Even though I’m retired now, I’ve found that I can’t or don’t want to sit now and research 24-7. Sometimes you might want to, but life is short and I can’t let my life pass me by being obsessed with researching the dead! I remember all the vacations to visit my mother in Georgia… and dragging my children through cemeteries while there. They used to laugh and tell their friends that they were going on vacation to walk through cemeteries. Now they laugh and tell me they actually didn’t mind it… too bad I didn’t know that then, I would have dragged them to even more! But I often think of all the other things we could have done!


Ask any genealogist about the “challenge” involved in organizing their research… how to keep it organized is a feat in itself. You want to, but you’re busy… and then before you know it, it’s out of control… and now you’re overwhelmed! I’ve often thought about how I’d like to organized it… and started projects, but I’ve never achieved a complete organization… and I’m still left with my paper chase!


My many binders of photos containing files associated with families

What I worry about in not having it completely organized is… what will my family do with it when I’m gone? We all hear the horror stories of it being boxed and pushed to the back of the garage, or shuffled up to spend it’s last days in a hot and humid attic… I shudder! I think I need to write a letter, to those concerned… as to what they should do with it. Hopefully one of the granddaughters will take up the “challenge” of family history one day… the ball has to be passed to someone. Will they be excited to dig through the boxes or overwhelmed at all I’ve left? I think the next real challenge is to begin going through my files now and making definite saves and possible not needed anymore files! That will be my biggest “challenge”… if I so choose to take it! I should be able to toss all the printed group sheets by saving file booklets with all that info included on the computer. Even saving digital files, has its drawbacks… you need backups for backups to ensure it’s not lost… its just a vicious circle of saving it one way or another! Sometimes I think… Why did I ever start?


I’ve also “challenged” myself with the clothes in my closet… everytime I open the doors, I tell myself… You must do something with this mess! I’ve now made a pledge to myself that I will purge one thing everytime I open those doors… it’s helping! Maybe one day hubby will be able to have his clothes back in our closet. Between all mine, that I never seem to wear, and the books on the top shelf… I have slowly pushed him out! Once I shove something into the closet, it somehow seems to fall down the rabbit hole of lost forever, until I dig… deep. I’m always amazed at what I find when I manage to clean out the deep abyss bottom of the closet… things I’ve long forgotten seem to surface… and now can no longer even use… toys that are now outgrown, and clothes that are many years late too to wear! It’s always like going down memory lane when I take that plunge!

What’s hiding in your closet?


Stay tuned for Week 3: Unusual Name

week 1

Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!

To read more Family Stories… click HERE.


© 2019, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved






About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.