52 Ancestors

– Military –


Week 21 features Thomas Kuznicki, Sr., a carpenter’s mate in the U.S. Navy during World War II who took up boxing to pass the time. This week’s post was included on Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors favorites list!

– So Far Away –

Week 22 tells the story of “The Scamps”–Uncle Bud, Aunt Iva and Aunt Blanche–who traveled “so far away” as a result of their father’s profession. Follow along with their journey from Iowa to Nebraska to South Dakota to Montana to Washington to California to New York.

– Going to the Chapel –

Week 23 is all about my maternal great-grandparents, Stanley Zielinski and Hattie Marczynski. Found out how they met, where they married and what she wore on their wedding day.

– Father’s Day –

Week 24 is a tribute to my maternal grandfather, Thomas Kuznicki, Jr. We don’t say it enough, but we love you infinity and beyond (as Laci would say).

– Same Name –


I descend from a long line of Maria’s and Mary’s and Marie’s, and week 25 tells my five ancestors’ stories. This week’s post was featured on Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors favorites list!

– Black Sheep –

The Kuznicki’s are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, but this week’s post takes a different turn, focusing on the shadier side of the family’s business dealings.

– Independence –

This year’s Independence Day post features Nathaniel Merrill, a Revolutionary War veteran from Killingly, Connecticut who trekked 332 miles on foot to clear his name.

– Travel –

Week 28 features a collection of photos from a Kuznicki cousin’s trip to the Sanok Open-Air Museum in Eastern Poland; our ancestors would likely have lived in villages similar to this recreation, and it’s made my family history research come alive.

– Music –

Week 29 takes an unusual turn: instead of sharing an ancestor’s story, I’ve decided to highlight a famous landmark in my Dad’s hometown: the Wurlitzer theater organ and jukebox factory. One genealogist called it “quite unusual…but great background info,” and I couldn’t agree more.

– Colorful –

Week 30 highlights the colorful teacups that my great-grandfather brought home from every country he visited during World War II–all to remind my great-grandmother of his love.

– Oldest –

Week 31 features my Aunt Rita, the oldest living member of the Kuznicki clan. She’s sarcastic and witty and just plain cool, and I’m sure you’ll love her just as much as we do.

– Youngest –

Week 32 features my cousin Mathias, the youngest member in the Kuznicki family tree. Matt and his siblings visited us over the summer, and I got the chance to snap a few photos before they left for home.

– Family Legend –

Some relatives claim that my great-grandfather, John Gates, was adopted; others, that he grew up in Kentucky and changed the family surname later in life. In this week’s post, I finally start to unravel the truth.

– Non-Population –

Week 34 features the story of William Nation, a Civil War veteran and Nebraskan farmer who joined his local vigilance committee to fight bandits, horse thieves and lawbreakers in the wild west.

– Back to School –

Week 35 is all about my maternal grandmother, Janice Zielinski. Read about her hilarious–and mischievous–adventures during her Catholic school days.

– Work –

Week 36 is a tribute to my Mom’s favorite cousin who was dedicated to her life’s work. Susie was a talented researcher and conservationist, but she was also a “good friend.”

– Closest to Your Birthday –

Week 37 features my grandmother’s Uncle Louis, the only member of the family tree who shares a birthday with me. If I have one ounce of his kindness and courage one day, I’ll be in pretty good shape.

– Unusual Source –

Week 38 features a mundane diary from 1948 that holds many clues to an ancestor’s past. The message? There are clues in the mundane, and there’s always a story that deserves to be told.

– On the Farm –

Week 39 is a call for information about a missing wagon from Wayne County, Indiana: a wagon built in the early 1800s by my 5th great-grandfather, Nathan Hawkins. Please send any leads to the Wayne County Historical Museum; they could really use your help.

– Ten –

Week 40 features the ten Marczynski siblings–Joseph, Theresa, Lawrence, Theodore, Ignatius, Julia, Charles, Walter, Dorothy and Isabelle–and details the very different paths each of their lives took, all within the Fourth Ward of Dunkirk, New York.

– Sports –

Week 41 returns to my great-grandfather’s story: local sports columnists and game announcers referred to him as Tommy “Bug” Kuznicki, and one even described him as “nothing short of sensational.”

– Conflict –

Brothers Leon and Nelson Horey got into a car accident on their way home from Niagara Falls in 1938; after Leon’s death, his wife brought a $20,000 suit against his brother for “negligence while driving.”

– Cause of Death –


This week’s post is a series of musings on trains, accidental deaths, dementia and Tolstoy: a tribute to two members of the Witkowski family tree who died much too soon. It was also featured on Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors list of favorites!

– Frightening –

My grandmother swears that she saw her grandfather’s ghost through the backyard window on the night of his untimely demise, and I’m inclined to believe her. The story makes a great Halloween post, but are you convinced?

– Bearded –


With a prompt like “Bearded,” I had to feature the bearded Bonds: five Quaker brothers whose beards were as much a fashion statement as they were a religious choice. This week’s post was featured on Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors list of favorites!

– Random Fact –

A random fact about me: I majored in political science and public policy in college. Another random fact? It turns out that my 5th great-grandfather was interested in politics, too.

– Thankful –

Week 47 is a tribute to PFC Robert Merrill Campbell; although we’re not related, his story of service and sacrifice for our country has always stayed with me.

– Next to Last –

This week, I picked one of my great-great-grandparents’ names out of a hat and wrote about their next-to-last sibling. The winner? Milton Cook’s younger sister, Florence Ellen Monette.

– Winter –

“Winter” immediately reminded me of a photo I received from a Bond family cousin years ago, entitled “Team are Ready to Pick Corn on the Farm.” Read more about the farm and the young couple who owned it; the farm remains in the family’s hands to this day.

– Naughty –

This post absolutely, without-a-doubt, had to be about my grandmother and her cousin Joyce. Follow along with their daring adventures and hilarious exploits–these were my favorite stories growing up!

– Nice –

Week 51 features one of the nicest members of my family tree, Eddie Marczynski. He was a kind, caring and resilient man who put his friend’s and family’s needs and welfare before his own, and I really wish I could have known him.

– Resolutions –

I’m ending 2018 with a look back on my year in posts (plus a few resolutions going forward). It’s been a pretty great year.