Friday, February 12, 2016

Why I blog

There are many reasons to blog about your family history. I'd like to share my top five reasons why I do this blog.

5. Blogging about my research helps me track where I've looked, what I've found, and what I still need to look for. With so many ancestors in my tree, and so much data in my files, there's no way to remember every search I've made and every nugget I've found. Keeping up this blog helps me recall my biggest (and sometimes smallest) discoveries and when I made them.

4. The writing process helps me think about and analyze my findings. When you're in the middle of the research, you sometimes overlook an important clue, or forget to look for a certain record. Writing out the story of an ancestor or documenting my research on a specific topic helps me take a bird's eye view to the subject. I can then see where I still need to fill some gaps, look for more data, or wrap up that particular search and move on to the next one.

3. Blogging is basically laying cousin bait, as Lisa Louise Cooke puts it. Writing a blog puts my family history information out on Google for everyone in the world to see. Someone researching the same family lines or geographic locations can find my blog, and get in touch with me. This has happened lots of times. I've been contacted by people with information on Montana orphanages, talked to a relative of my great-great-grandfather Samuel Joseph's third wife Julianna Kublick, and connected with a descendant of my great-grandfather Jim Harris's last wife Ruth Young. I never would have found them, nor they me, without my blog.

2. Writing a blog is a fun and (hopefully) entertaining way to share my family's history with my non-genealogist family. A cousin of mine once told me he read a blog post I posted a link to on Facebook, and ended up spending the afternoon reading more of my old posts about our ancestors. Not everyone gets to (or wants to) play Sherlock Holmes, but everyone loves a good story.

1. The number one reason I blog is simple - everyone's story deserves to be told. When I was a missionary in Japan back in 1997, my greatest desire was to help someone in a way that would be worth remembering. As I got into genealogy, I learned that everyone in our family, past and present, has a story, and they are all worth remembering - even (and I'd say especially) those ancestors who were the farmers and day laborers that didn't get noticed by society much. Through my blog, I can share their stories and help them be remembered. Their lives weren't perfect; some were pretty rough characters, some had lives filled with heartache and loss, and others I just simply don't have a clue as to who they really were. But their stories are part of my story, and maybe through telling their stories, I will weave a story of my own worth remembering.

1 comment:

Joan Bos said...

The most important reason for blogging for me is, as you put it "The writing process helps me think about and analyze my findings."