52 Ancestors Week 1: First

+37 votes
953 views

Ready for another year of the 52 Ancestors challenge?

First off, a BIG, BIG thank you to Robynne Lozier for not only bringing the idea to do this challenge in 2018 but also for keeping it going the whole year so people could participate. She did such a great job and participants seemed to enjoy it so we've decided to continue it in 2019!

This will work the same as last year. Each week there will be a prompt for which you'll find an ancestor or relative who matches that prompt and post about them in that week's thread. For examples, check out last year's challenge. See more details for 2019 here and check out the new sister challenge: 52 Photos.

Ready for the week one prompt?

It's ... FIRST.  

Maybe the first born in a family? Or the first one in the family to graduate from college? The first to move to a new country? Or the first to have a business? The first black sheep you found?

Share below!

asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Chris Whitten
If you participated in last year and fell behind a lot because of real life roared it ugly head can you pick up with that and finish that and get a badge for last year and also start with this year and get a badge for this year. Will we get a badge for this year if we do all 52 weeks for the year.
Hi Linda, you'll have to ask Robynne about last year's challenge as she ran that one.
That’s a good question Linda. I don’t even remember how many I missed. Yikes. I better double up or even triple up on my weeks.
In response to Linda's original question, I am sorry, but the judges decision is final. Any new prompts being added to the 2018 challenge that are dated in January 2019 will NOT be counted.

The deadline was 31 December 2018 and that was announced right at the beginning and several times during the year. If you were unable to complete the challenge within that time, then you were unable to complete the challenge.

2018 is the 'first' year I was able to find the names of my birth parents, hoping that the names on my original BC are correct.

I know I am not the 'first' child of my birth mother based on the original birth certificate, but maybe I am the first to search for her and my siblings. Thanks for organizing the threads so I can follow others through the year, this will push me to be more active in my research.

Thank you, Robynne, for your persistence in this project.smiley

Thank you to Robynne for her leadership on this last year! Here is a new help page with more details on the new challenge, and one for the new photo sharing challenge inspired by it:

Regarding the badges, we're doing them a bit differently now. It's up to Robynne to decide who earned the "52 IN 52" badges for last year. But if you participated last year and want to continue participating, you could still earn the 52 in 52 badge, and/or the easier-to-obtain 13 in 13 and 26 in 26 badges. The way we are doing them now, they just have to be 13, 26, or 52 consecutive weeks. They don't have to match the calendar year. Therefore, if you started in, say, March 2018, you can earn the 52 in 52 badge in February 2019 if you haven't missed any weeks.

75 Answers

+22 votes
This is the first connection I found  to another family on WikiTree, and it was for my son’s paternal side.

Knight-11882
answered by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (139k points)
Very cool!
+23 votes

My mother's family did not come to America  until the 1900's. My mothers father Osik-3 was the first non English speaking  relative that learned to read, write and speak English.

My Mother Osik-4 and all of her siblings  born in the United States, first language was Polish and they had to learn to speak English before they went to school. My generation is the first generation from my mother's side of the family to have English as the first and main language.

The first sentence  my grandmother Tanski-9 ever taught me in Polish was "Babci daj mi buziak."

This answer was edited to include links to the people involved.

answered by Jerry Dolman G2G6 Pilot (116k points)
edited by Jerry Dolman
What does it mean Jerry?
I hope I spell everything right here. Babci daj mi buziak means "Grandma give me a kiss.
I love your translation. My father, who immigrated to the US. at four years old, came speaking German only. The US kids probably ridiculed him for it. But he stuck it out, and easily lost his first language altogether, long before I was born.
Aw, that's beautiful, I love that!
That is so sweet!
Thank you.  You people are so kind. Roberta, I cannot find when my grandmother came to the USA.. I wish I knew. It would be so much easier to find out about this part of my family. Unfortunately my mother and all of her siblings have all passed which makes it a little tougher to find information.
+21 votes

I had an interesting "first" in my family that dawned upon me earlier in the fall.

I live in Etna, a town just north of Pittsburgh, PA, which celebrated its 150th anniversary this year.  I was born in Etna in 1970 and my Dad was born in Etna in 1938.

Interestingly enough, through my research, I found that my Jones great-great-grandfather, Amariah B. Jones (1836-1902), was the first member of our Jones family to live in the town of Etna.  This City of Pittsburgh directory entry from 1875 (Etna was first incorporated in 1868) shows Amariah with an address in Etna Boro:

"Jones Amariah B., cooper, n Pine Creek bridge, Etna bor

In 2019, I still live in Etna and drive over the Pine Creek bridge several times a week..  Amariah B. Jones was first here in 1875. 

answered by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
What a neat discovery! And something to think about whenever you go over that bridge. :)
+21 votes
My cousin (still living) is the first one in my Serbian family to have graduated. She's a civil engineer, specialised in wastewater.
answered by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Mach 7 (70.1k points)
Good for her! That's a great accomplishment.
+20 votes
My g-g-g-grandfather, Reuben Underwood, was the first Baptist preacher to cross the Catawba River in North Carolina, ca. 1795. Strange because of his Quaker ancestry of several generations.
answered by Pip Sheppard G2G6 Pilot (831k points)
Do you know why he became a Baptist?
Grandpa never knew. He didn't even know about his Quaker ancestry. Things like that get lost over time.
Unfortunately true.
+21 votes

My great-great-grandfather, Modesto Borquez, established the first trade route between Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and Tucson, Pima, Arizona Territory, United States. He was also the first mayor of Nogales, Mexico. He and his family moved permanently from Sonora, Mexico to Arizona Territory, United States in the 1870s. His sister-in-law (my great-great-grandmother's sister) married the first sheriff of Phoenix, Arizona Territory.

answered by Deb Durham G2G6 Pilot (592k points)
Great firsts Deb
Ditto what Anne said.
+18 votes

This is the first profile I worked on in 2019  John Corey (1582-1621), and he's actually an ancestor, a first known in the line. I'm still collaboratively working on disconnecting a wife and parents that don't belong.

answered by Anne B G2G6 Pilot (981k points)
It's looking great, Anne!
I admire how you get all the sources for that one, Anne.
+21 votes
the first-born son of my grandparents was a brither my mother never knew: He died in an accident with a threshing machine in 1937 when my grandmother was pregnant of/with(?) my mother.

The family story goes grandma knew something was going to happen to him and gave him extra attention that last week.

Klabbers-10
answered by Eef van Hout G2G6 Mach 2 (22.2k points)
Oh wow, what a sad story. Sweet though that they seemed to know and gave him some extra love.
+18 votes
I would like to participate in the 2019 Ancestors for 52 Weeks challenge.

The first of my mother's ancestors to arrive in Oregon was my 3x great grandfather Heman Chapin Buckingham  (Buckingham-987) who arrived in Oregon in December of 1846.
answered by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Mach 6 (67.6k points)
Bravo, him!!
Where did he come from?
New York to Ohio to Iowa to Oregon!  That guy just had to keep going west!
+19 votes

Here's my first - my great uncle Maurice. I never knew him, but I was given a fountain pen of his (the prictur on his profile) and was intrigued that his middle name was his mother's maiden name; I'd not heard of that before. That's what got me delving into family trees, and I've not looked back.

Frankland-29

answered by Alison Wilkins G2G6 Mach 2 (20.5k points)
What a cool way to get into family history!
+19 votes

My answer to "Start" the first prompt in last year's challenge was the story of how finding information about my great-great grandfather Oscar Perry during a centennial celebration way back in the 1971 was a real beginning of my family history interest. 

Ironically, the "First" thing I've been doing this year is working on improving the profiles of Oscar's sister and many (10 or 11) brothers using the skills I learned through the 2018 challenge.

So I think George B. Perry should be my "First" ancestor for the 2019 challenge. I spent a lot of New Year's day trying to find primary sources for his life and especially his U.S. Civil War era military service for which I had only a reference in a biographical sketch from 1895.

George is still a work in progress as all WikiTree profiles are.  I found some new sources for Pennsylvania, a state I was not very familiar with, to follow up on in the future.  And as I work through more of his siblings' profiles I expect to have some new insights, too.

answered by Jill Perry G2G6 Mach 1 (15.3k points)
It's really coming along nicely!
+21 votes
I have one ancestor that was born on January 1st (Balthazar Schmidt-January 1, 1839), one ancestor that was married on January 1st (William McLaughlin-January 1, 1861), and one ancestor that died on January 1st (Anders Andersson-January 1, 1839).
answered by K. Anonymous G2G6 Mach 2 (28k points)
You hit the trifecta there K. The only way you could beat it would be if all 3 events happened in the same year too.
That really would have been something!
So close!
+20 votes

For me, this challenge would be about my first (documented) immigrant ancestor, and one of the first settlers of the small community where I live and grew up, Joseph Volcik. Joseph was born in Moravia and immigrated to Texas during the Reconstruction era. His family of 3 (wife and two children) immigrated to the United States in 1870, and later having two more kids, the family moved around parts of Texas until they settled in the expanding rail town that was originally a land grant from one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred.

answered by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (135k points)
Amazing gravestone for his profile, Steven.
Yes! So much detail.
+19 votes

Over in Amy Johnson Crow's Facebook group for her podcast, Generations Cafe, I talked about the first Ferraiolos who came to America. That would be my grandfather, his sister and their parents. They came to America in 1929 from San Pietro a Maida, Italy. 

Vincenzo had been to America a few times before he went back to Italy to get married. He did so and came back in 1929 with his family in tow. We actually have a picture of the boat they came on. It was called the Roma. It docked in New York in March of that year and the family eventually settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

On the profiles I linked, you can see a picture from shortly after they arrived.

answered by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
That's a really neat picture!
+19 votes
First close relative I discovered through DNA testing: my grandfather (Sinnett-364).  This got me started on genealogy in general, and eventually led me to WikiTree as the best place to house all of my work.
answered by Lisa Hazard G2G6 Mach 1 (19.6k points)
We're glad you found us! :)
+18 votes

The first WikiTree profile I worked on for 2019 was Gilchrist-1234, Seth Ambrose Gilchrist, a great-uncle, and the first child of his parents. The reason I chose him was because he was supposedly born January 1st. Unfortunately, he died shortly after his birth and there is not much documentation for his short life.

answered by Nelda Spires G2G3 (3.4k points)
Good first choice!
+20 votes

My 4-G grandfather Daniel Wilson was an Anglican minister and the first Metropolitan Bishop of India and Ceylon.  Today is the 160th anniversary of the day that he died (as well as being my birthday!).

https://www.croftongenealogyblog.com/2019/01/52-ancestors-week-1-first.html

answered by Geoffrey Crofton G2G1 (1.7k points)
Nice choice!  Happy Birthday (2 days ago)!!
+20 votes

My husband's paternal grandfather was the first one in his family born in the United States and the first one in the family born with the surname of Holmberg. Rudolph Holmberg was born on May 7, 1894 in Middletown, Connecticut. 

His father was born Sven Johan Gustafson in  Kronoberg, Sweden and immigrated to the United States where he changed his name to John Sven Holmberg. His mother, Anna Christina Johansdotter, was born in Veddige, Hallands, Sweden. Her first husband emigrated a week before their daughter, Emma, was born. Anna and Emma later left for the United States where they used the last name of Johnson. John and Anna both settled in the Middletown, Connecticut area where they married and raised their family. 

Rudolph would work as a packer at an electric factory, a plumber, a gardener, a handyman, and a manager of a chain store. He married Rose Lawless, whose parents had immigrated from England. 

answered by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Mach 1 (18.6k points)
This is also my first time participating in this challenge. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep it up.
A great first, Emily!
I'm always a fan of anyone born in May!
+20 votes

My first is Samuel "the Immigrant" Gentry (Gentry-158), who was the first Gentry in America, arriving in colonial Virginia in 1674. He was my eighth great grandfather's brother. The first evidence of his immigration is found in Court Order Book One of Middlesex County Court, VIrgina, British America, in an entry dated 7 Sep 1674:

"Certificate is graunted this day to Nicholas Cocke upon his Oath according to Act for transportation of Seven persons (Vizt) Richard Anderson, Samm Salmon, Daniell Allpool, Jane Ward, Robert Reppett, Clemcent de Loppo, Sam'l Gentry."

This entry was only recently discovered, invalidating decades of speculation that Samuel came to America as a British soldier to put down the Bacon Rebellion in 1877. This entry clearly shows him in Virginia three years earlier as an indentured servant. His current WikiTree profile has the old assumptions, so I have some work to do on it.

Reference: http://www.gentryjournal.org/archives/jgg06b.htm

answered by Jeff Gentry G2G4 (4.2k points)
Very cool find Jeff - I've had a ball smashing some of the old urban rumors about some of my ancestors - when you find the paper, it really just ends all speculation.
Yes, what a great find for clarification!
+17 votes
First ancestor I added when I joined WikiTree.  First ancestor I added when I joined WikiTree, my great grandmother: Woodhouse-872
answered by Sydney Burnside G2G3 (3.9k points)
A nice first to have, Sidney. Did you happen to know her?
I like the picture with the beehive hair!

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