|"On my way", personal photo|
Five years ago I nervously pushed the "Publish" button on Blogger and quickly saw my first post appear on this blog. I wasn't exactly sure what I expected to come from blogging, but 244 posts later, I am glad I decided to start writing this blog. Here are a few of my reasons.
- COUSINS: I've made contacts with distant cousins whom I had previously not even known of. And I mean, literally, distant cousins, like a cousin who lives in Norway, 4200 miles away. Just this past week my Norwegian cousin and I exchanged some family photos and family information. With other cousins, I've discovered we share a fascination with a shared relative or realize that we both shake our heads at the surprising actions of an ancestor. My posts have not intentionally been written as "cousin bait", but it has been an extra benefit to be able to connect with other family members.
- RESOURCES AND TECHNIQUES: Blogging has encouraged me to explore new resources and research techniques and to share some of my experiences with others. Several years ago I participated in the first wave of the Genealogy Do-Over, and like others I posted about my experiences. I also gained more insights as I read posts from others who were blogging about their new techniques and organizational strategies. In January, 2017 I started a Genealogy Bullet Journal. Later I wrote about my experiences in a few posts. To my surprise these three posts have had over 2600 views as well as some likes and comments. And I continue to learn from others as they share how they use bullet journals in their genealogy research.
- CONNECTIONS: My writing is helping me be part of the larger genealogy community. Admittedly, much of what I do is done alone. I might be at my computer or at a research library or courthouse, perhaps reading books, or studying records. Whether it is as a member of the GeneaBloggers Tribe on Facebook or through communications with others through this blog, there are now ways to not seem so isolated in my search to learn more about my ancestors. These connections have also helped in small ways such as sending an old photo to a direct descendant. It has also been gratifying to have the opportunity to help others, sometimes family or friends, other times strangers who are now friends.
- ADVENTURES: Recently I saw a quote stating that "Retirement is a means to a new adventure". Blogging has truly been a part of my retirement adventure. I still enjoy the process of gathering information, using new resources, and then feeling that urge that now it is time to put it all together, to write, rewrite, and publish. My last post about Bridget Richardson Fletcher, a poet and hymn writer, was a year in the making because I continued to have questions for which I wanted to find answers. After using a variety of resources and visiting a new (for me) university library, I finally saw the story I wanted to share. Blogging gives me a way to share some of these adventures.
So today I celebrate my fifth Blogiversary. And I'll continue my research and plan for more posts for the future. See you later.