2022: Y… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Your Mistakes Made… and Theirs!

YooHoo… I’m super excited to be back with everyone in the “7th” April A to Z Challenge… and my theme is “Time-Traveling” through my blog – “Everyone Has a Family Story to Tell“. If you have stumbled upon this post and wondering about the challenge… The Blogging A to Z April Challenge is one month of every-day blogging through the alphabet. 26 days, 26 letters, 26 posts! Daily blogging is Monday through Saturday… leaving Sunday to rest, read other blogs, and prepare for the following week! From the first day in 2016 when I happened upon this challenge… I”m still just as excited… and always eager to begin! Who doesn’t love a good time travel of events… so where would you travel to?

Grab a coffee… as you follow me down the rabbit hole… Hippity Hop!

Your Mistakes Made… and Theirs!

“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. 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! Don’t let it become your “mistake” by not writing your stories!


Life is full of mistakes, and you’ve been told all your life… “learn from your mistakes.” But do you? For the most part, I’d say yes I have. I’ve often told my children that you have to make mistakes to fully learn from them. So what have I learned through my mistakes?

Grab a coffee… as you follow me down the rabbit hole… Hippity Hop!

Your Mistakes Made…and theirs!

First Posted on September 9, 2019 

As a young child, you learn that when mama says wear your shoes… and you don’t, that you often are going to step on, or in something! You learn quickly that you don’t or shouldn’t ride your bike barefoot… if you value your toes, and those pedal bars certainly don’t feel good on bare feet.

Growing up in the South, I’ve always been a “barefoot” girl, for the most part. I think it’s just something about that part of the country where you go barefoot. My husband strongly disagrees on why anyone should go barefoot… as he believes it’s bad for your feet, giving you flat feet through the years. I think his biggest reason is… that there is too much to step on, like a piece of broken glass lurking, just waiting for you. He always says, that if it’s there I’ll walk right by it, but it always find his bare foot. He hardly ever goes without sneakers or slippers, and I can say with certainty that whenever he dares to walk somewhere in the house barefoot, either he stumps his toe, or finds that lurking piece of glass… just waiting for him! And then I hear the words, “see I told you, whenever I don’t wear my slippers, I step on something.” So that’s his “mistake.”

In looking back, I made many mistakes in school… not paying attention was my biggest! I fought strongly against learning… always saying how I couldn’t understand… but now I know that I made the mistake of actually just not wanting to understand; learned that mistake came way after school. I pushed my children to pay more attention in school and not allow them to squirm out of things as easily as I did… so maybe I did learn from my mistakes!

I can still hear my father telling me that I was making a “mistake” getting married so quickly… only knowing my husband for a short while… but I can definitely say that I made no mistake in marrying, as I’ve been happily married for 51 years… although he might not be so happy with me at times… as I can be slightly impatient, demanding  and can amass stacks of papers and books faster than a speeding bullet… but he never complains! I do try to learn from my mistakes on the impatience and demanding faults, but….

While my parents never showed any interest in family history when I was a child, after I married, my mother wrote down all the family names she knew and how they were connected to me; she made no mistakes! While I wasn’t interested at the time in researching… make no mistake about it… I filed those papers away in a drawer for safe keeping!

The one mistake my mother made was in not saving the love letters she and daddy wrote to each other while he was in the Navy, and even after they married. What I wouldn’t give to be able to read their thoughts to each other. I won’t make that same mistake… as I have the letters that hubby and I wrote to each other before we married and while he was stationed in Thailand after we married.

Mistakes come in all shapes throughout life!

In my many hobbies of knitting, genealogy, and numerous other crafts I’ve tackled over the years… there have been mistakes! Who doesn’t knit or crochet without making a mistake… but making them helps you to become a better knitter. No matter when I discover that I’ve made a mistake, I’m never satisfied until I’ve “frogged” (ripped out) it… and corrected that mistake! While some are content to let their “boo boo” go… it drives me crazy… and no matter how long I have to sit there diligently studying how to correct it… I will make that correction! It might not leave me in the greatest of moods as I sit there counting stitches and rows… as hubby will attest to! Nothing gets me more crazy when I’m counting… when he begins asking or telling me something… then I become loud in my counting to let him know… That I’m Counting!

There are so many examples of “mistakes” that I’ve found through the years in researching my family history… with census records being probably the first place… and there isn’t anyone who hasn’t found any. Probably the spelling of my ancestors surnames would be the biggest mistakes… but I can’t always blame the census enumerator, as they were only trying to spell the names as they heard them… and often people didn’t even know how to spell their own name… which certainly didn’t help!

Census Mistakes:

  • Name spellings
  • incorrect ages
  • parents born in wrong states
  • wrong info given; depending on who gave it to the census enumerator
  • families living in area, but never appearing on the census
  • census enumerators writing info incorrectly on census lines… logging family members in wrong families; check families next to whom you’re searching.

In my family, I’ve often had to play Nancy Drew in deciphering where my ancestors lived in a county, when they weren’t easily found. Often it was the spelling of the surname which stopped them from showing up easily enough. After learning from your early mistakes… you quickly learn how to search for them in a county by searching for their first names… or going page by page looking at all families… or searching for their neighbors, if known… as they just might be nearby.

One family really puzzled me as to where their children actually lived…as the parents had listed all their children, married or not, as living in their household. What tipped me off to that, was when I also had found their married children living in another state, and raising a family. That mistake took me awhile to finally figure out where they actually lived.

In my husband’s family, his grandfather’s Italian surname became changed over the years by his own mistake. I was surprised that it wasn’t changed at Ellis Island as so many were; the inspectors had a hard time spelling names, especially with the people themselves speaking no English… it certainly proved tough. Luckily though, his surname of Gambino survived its spelling there, but later it somehow transformed into Cambino. I’ve always felt that he wanted to lose the mafia stigma associated with his surname in America… and was happy to have a more American version of Gambino.

Another mistake I quickly learned to correct, was how I searched for married women on passenger ship lists as they sailed to America. Whether married or not, they traveled under their maiden names, as well as their children.

We all learn from our mistakes… at least we’re supposed to. A mistake is an error, a goof up… meaning you have researched something incorrectly, but mistakes have a lot of uses… as they actually are a teaching rule… as long as you pay attention and learn what went wrong!

Mistakes are good… they help… just be sure you learn from them! What’s your mistakes you’ve learned from?


Previous Years A to Z April Challenges…

2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
2021: A to Z of Mama in Photos... blogging on my mother through photos and memories.

To read more 2022: A to Z April Time Traveling… click HERE.

To read more Family Stories… click HERE.

© 2022, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2022: A to Z April Challenge... Time Traveling, Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 2022: Y… A to Z April Challenge: Time Traveling… Your Mistakes Made… and Theirs!

  1. Anne Young says:

    My Y post is about a mistake I made but it is now corrected . I was already to write about a wedding at Ysgeifiog but discovered that couple were not my 4th great grandparents. https://anneyoungau.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/y-not-y/
    I think the only issue is if you don’t learn from mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kristin says:

    I’ve made and come across so many of the same mistakes you mention. I’m still looking for my maternal grandfather in the 1900 census when he should have been 12 years old living with his family but isn’t. And so many name mistakes to search through for Cleage and for Mershell.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cassmob says:

    Mistakes, we share the issue. I found my mother’s Irish came into Oz as Sherry not McSherry. Turns out Mum knew…she just didn’t tell me 😦 I’ve had to search by first name not surname too…records can be tricky but learning from our mistakes is key!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dyannedillon says:

    This post is yet another reminder to me to make my dad list every place he lived growing up so I can write it down. My grandfather was a pilot, and they moved all over the place. He went to three different elementary schools one year!

    Liked by 1 person

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