Category Archives: A to Z Challenge 2020

Recap and Reflections on Endwell: My Elementary Years #AtoZChallenge

Recap and Reflections on Endwell: My Elementary Years — Including all twenty-six posts in the April 2020 Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Thanks for joining me on the journey and leaving so many supportive comments along the way!

When the April 2020 Blogging From A to Z Challenge ended on April 30, I was happy to be among the survivors who completed the online marathon — for the third time!

After generating twenty-six posts in just one month, I am craving a return to the more leisurely pace of weekly blogging as I continue to explore my ancestors’ lives and the research techniques I used to find them.

In 2008, I made a nostalgic visit to my second childhood home. At right is a silver birch tree that my dad planted. “Endwell: My Elementary Years” was my theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge — adding memoir to my family history blog to leave a digital diary like we genealogists wish our ancestors had left for us. Photo by former classmate Mike McQueen

Yet I thoroughly enjoyed taking a deep dive into my childhood this year and writing about my elementary years in Endwell, N.Y. — particularly as a positive creative outlet during the coronavirus quarantine.

Stay tuned, as I may follow up with a sequel about my early adolescence next year! Meanwhile, please read on for my RECAP and REFLECTIONS on this year’s A to Z Challenge.


Below are links to all A to Z posts about Endwell: My Elementary Years…where my genealogy journey germinated. Please check out any you may have missed. Comments are still open on the later posts — and I love hearing from readers!

2020: Malverne Road and Shady Drive in Endwell, N.Y., the crossroads of my elementary years. Photo: Amy L. Williamson


Excellent participant list. Overall, I found this A to Z to be less hectic than in the past — in part because the participant list identified genealogy and family history bloggers to help me focus my visits/comments. I’m glad the organizers listened to our requests for this!

Quality over quantity. I mainly visited/revisited A to Z bloggers who made thoughtful comments on my blog — and in turn, I gave their posts my attention. I also visited/revisited bloggers I met during past challenges. I learned so much from all the blog posts I read and commented on — and from the comments I received. These connections were particularly meaningful as we collectively sheltered at home during the rollout of the COVID-19 quarantine.

1957: My family’s move to Endwell, N.Y. made the paper during my elementary years. The “three children” in the last sentence are my younger brothers and me. (Village Notes, Altamont Enterprise, 19 July 1957, p. 5). Source: NYS Historic Newspapers

Embracing memoir. My blog focuses on ancestral research — exploring my forebears’ lives and placing them in historical context.

But it’s also important to include ourselves in the mix — to leave behind an online diary like the ones we wish our ancestors had left.

So I followed up the early childhood theme from my last A to Z Challenge with blogs this year about my elementary years. And I was again gratified by the positive feedback and parallel childhood experiences that visiting bloggers shared.

Many thanks to everyone who visited, subscribed, followed and commented on Molly’s Canopy. You  made my third A to Z Challenge so rewarding. And I hope you will stay with me throughout the year as my genealogy journey continues!

Up next: After a brief break, regular blogging resumes at Molly’s Canopy. Please stop back!

 © 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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