Saturday, January 5, 2019

What Happened in 2018

To say that 2018 was difficult feels like an understatement. I have not written a post since early February 2018 and one of the reasons for this is because I lost my Dad on 23 February 2018. It was totally unexpected and devastating not only to me but my entire family. My Dad died as our family was heading to Florida for another beloved member of our family, my Uncle Jim who had lost his short and valiant fight with ALS 11 days earlier.

My Dad on the right and my Uncle Jim on the left. 

Since my Dad's death I have had writer's block. I can't even bring myself to enter my Dad's death in my genealogy database. I expected to have problems writing in the immediate aftermath of my Dad's death and funeral services. First it was a month and then two and now here it is nearly 11 months later and I am still at a loss for words. 

Since I could not write about my family I turned to working DNA matches. First for my cousin Ben who has been my closest match since 2013. We connect through my maternal line of Baugh. Turns out my grandfather and his father were brothers, making us 2nd cousins. This past spring, Ben had a close family match and they were able to help Ben even further.

By early summer I still couldn't write. So I started working my Dad's matches at FamilyTreeDNA and so far he has no matches closer than third cousins and none of them help with my brick wall of my third great grandfather, William H. Williams. He is definitely driving me crazy with no records after 17 June 1880 which is the 1880 census. 

Fall arrived and still I couldn't write. Now it's January 2019 and I am still having trouble writing. I have written and deleted this post at 10 times since I started writing it on New Year's Day. I am not going to make any promise's or goals for 2019 genealogy wise. I will be happy if I can just manage one post a month to help me get back into writing. Maybe I just need to set aside my Dad's line for awhile and work on my Mom's especially now that my Uncle has done a DNA test! The one thing I do know is that I really need to learn some of the new third party tools that I am hearing about. 

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Take care,


© 2019, copyright Dawn M. Kogutkiewicz. All rights reserved.


  1. This post is the beginning of overcoming your writer's block. So sorry for your loss. All the best for 2019.

  2. I hear ya. Took me years to enter my mom's DOD. I didn't touch my genealogy for years after that. 2018 wasn't a banner year for me. I barely touched my blog. Just couldn't find the motivation after a couple of cousins died within the last year. But like Cathy said, you have started to bounce back with this post. Maybe after I clean my place I'll get motivated myself to follow in my your footsteps :) <>

  3. I, too, stopped blogging the year I lost my first and only grandchild. My daughter in law was taking chemo for cancer and the baby, a boy, died in utero at five months. She died two years later. I helped care for her for those two years. After their deaths I simply could not find any words. I have the title for my next blog but can’t seem to write it. Maybe this is a normal seems several people are experiencing similar reactions. Thank you for putting it into words....I will look for your return! May you be blessed.....

  4. Sorry for your loss. Just take baby steps and it will come back.

  5. Dawn, I'm sorry for your lost. Be kind and patient with yourself. Your writing will return.

  6. Events in our life affect us all in different ways... but you will work it out. This is your beginning. I’m sure Dad is smiling!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. You’ve been missed, Dawn. Looking forward to reading more from you. One post at a time.

  8. It's so difficult. Be kind to your self, Dawn. You'll know when the time is right.