52 Ancestors Week 1: First

+37 votes

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

+6 votes
I'm interested in this!

Here is my grandmothers aunt, Carrie Herring, the first female doctor in our family.


This is my first week posting.
answered by Alex Stronach G2G6 Mach 3 (33.1k points)
+6 votes
Through a DNA match, I discovered a 1st cousin; who'd been adopted at birth and didn't know that my uncle was his father.  My uncle had met his mother just before he shipped out to Europe in WW2. He was seriously wounded and never found out about his son.  I was able to help him identify his father and then shared stories, pictures, and information about his half siblings.  Then through another DNA match, I discovered a 1st cousin once removed.  She had been adopted at birth and only knew where she was born.  I helped her find her father, who is my first cousin; he took a DNA test and confirmed their relationship.
answered by John Ellis G2G Crew (380 points)
+6 votes

I decided to make a profile for my First ancestor to come to Australia, Mary Gillen.  I am still not 100% certain, but believe she came in 1839 to South Australia from Ireland.  I knew very little else about her, so I also did up a detailed biography for her husband John Amor who arrived in Australia 3 years later.

answered by Susie O'Neil G2G1 (1.1k points)
+4 votes

I would love to take part in this challenge and would like to try to do it weekly! This is my first week (looks like I'm a week behind). 

My first brick wall smashed down. William B. Bender's parentage has been a brick wall in our family from before the time I was born. My second cousin has down the family history for our family and her and I have been working on it together for over 10 years now. Until two years ago, William was a brick wall for us. After exhaustive online research yielded no proof, I contacted a genealogist in Albany County, New York to do some leg work since I live in Ohio. She was able to proof the missing link to what had become a strong gut feeling. William was related to Sgt. Christian Bender of Bethlehem, NY through William's father, Christian's son, William K.. Below, is the link to my no longer a brick wall, William B. Bender.

William B. Bender

answered ago by Cory Fulmer G2G4 (4.5k points)
edited ago by Cory Fulmer
+4 votes

First Born pattern!

Amos Gideon McDaniel started a tradition with his first born son, which as continued on through today.  The first born son of the McDaniel line gets the alternating initial letter of A & G for the first and middle name.

Amos Gideon McDaniel

George Arthur McDaniel

Arthur Glenn McDaniel


The subsequent generations are still living but they have continued to go AGM & GAM for 4 more generations.
answered ago by Eric McDaniel G2G6 (8.3k points)
+3 votes
My mother's Jewish grandfather was the first of her direct Jewish line to immigrate to the United States. He arrived in NYC in the late 1800s.
answered ago by Robin Grantham G2G Crew (800 points)
+3 votes
The first ancestor I found who owed a business was Joel Moorehead.  http//www.wikitree.com/moorehead-277

He opened a blacksmith's shop in Senecaville, Ohio passing it down to his sons when he retired.
answered ago by Sue Eshelman G2G3 (3.5k points)
+3 votes

Hi, this is the first time I've participated in one of these so hope I do it correctly. I guess I can't do me - I'm a first born and married a first born,Weggelaar-1. Actually both my husbands were first born children.

Anyway, on to ancestors. My grandmother [[Cook-19256|Thelma Cook]] was the first born daughter and was expected to look after the babies as they came along. She had to milk the cows in the morning and at night (no bath) she had to wash her brothers and sisters from a bowl. On the weekends, she had to wash floors and do housework and look after siblings if her mother went out. Imagine what our daughters today would say if we asked them to do this!

answered ago by Judy Weggelaar G2G1 (1.2k points)
+2 votes
Colin Joseph Devlin, from Scotland, was the first in his family to become interested in genealogy. While Colin isn't a follower on here because it is far too daunting, he continues to try to draw and interest his family into their history by sharing information about their family. As he continues to study, ask questions and learn he posts and shares in other sites and has several families that accepted profiles to help him manage it. This has led to a growing family fascinated by their ancestry and how much wider their family has actually grown and expanded into the world.
answered ago by Tess Obenauf G2G1 (1.8k points)
+2 votes

First on my father's side (the Mahoneys)  to come to the US from Ireland is my Great Great Grandmother.


I know she is the mother of my Great Grandfather

Peter Mahoney,  but I do not yet know her maiden name.

answered ago by Sally Mahoney G2G2 (2.1k points)
+1 vote
I'm excited to be doing this challenge.  I've caught up to week 2 now.  The scan-a-thon was a great motivator for me also.  Thanks to all the coordinators and behind the scenes work.
answered ago by Randall Gardner G2G3 (3k points)
0 votes
My G7 grandmother [https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Percox-1 Elizabeth (Percox) White] is the first Percox in WikiTree.
answered ago by Ray Hawkes G2G2 (2.3k points)
0 votes

Wow! Miss a couple of days in WikiTree... I started the 52 Ancestors Challenge and featured my grandmother and Great Aunts.  Firsts - the Elkin Sisters, Telephonic Pioneers

Respectively, they are: Elkin-322 - Edna Rose Elkin Martin, Elkin-375 - Nellie Cleveland Elkin and Thelma Maurine Elkin Fisher .

answered ago by Lynda McCann G2G2 (2.8k points)
0 votes
The first blank sheep i found was my 2x great grandfather  [[Holland-5589|William James Holland]]. He he is also one of my biggest brick walls. He was disowned by the family after the Civil War. I hope for DNA one day to help me solve the mystery.
answered ago by Zoiya Tate G2G6 Mach 2 (26.4k points)
0 votes

First born to parents John Paul and Tempest Margaret Hughes and the first of the family to emigrate from England to the Colony of New South Wales, my 3X great-grandfather George William Paul (the elder .. he named his youngest son George William).

answered ago by Melanie Paul G2G6 Mach 5 (50.5k points)

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