Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Friday, May 25, 2018

Where Have All the Gen Bloggers Gone?

Do you remember that 1950s folk song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? by Pete Seeger (read the story here)?

This mournful song came to mind today as I tested the links on every one of the dozens of genealogy blogs I follow. Where have all the genealogy bloggers gone?

  • Nearly 3 dozen blogs haven't been updated in at least 6 months. Of these, at least 10 have been dormant since 2015. Most of the blogs had been active for a few years, on and off, and then activity dwindled to zero.
  • Several blogs have transitioned to websites (and are still functioning, so I changed my "follow list" to reflect the new address). These are keepers.
  • Inexplicably, 2 blogs are now "hidden" from view. Can't see what they are now, so I deleted them from my reading list.
Now I'm down to reading only 78 genealogy blogs. Since few bloggers post as often as, say, Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings, I can easily keep up with the blogs I like to follow.

But I really miss the meadow of genealogy blogs that once blossomed with information, education, and discoveries. I miss buzzing from blog to blog and enjoying the diverse voices and stories that these bloggers were kind enough to share.

Despite the shrinking population, I do not think that genealogy blogging is dead. Some bloggers have, I imagine, decided to focus on Twitter or Pinterest or both. Some are surely active on Facebook genealogy pages or Instagram. Most are probably busy living their lives and researching their trees. At least, I hope that's what happened. My 10th blogiversary is coming up in August, and I plan to keep blogging as I climb my family tree.

Let me thank all of you genealogy bloggers who are still posting, and encourage those of you who are new to add your voice and believe you have an audience. I look forward to seeing what you're doing, learning from your experiences and expertise, commiserating with you when an ancestor refuses to be found, and rejoicing with you when you smash a brick wall.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

RootsTech and the Value of a Research Log

RootsTech opens tomorrow, on Wednesday...300 sessions, many dozens of exhibitors, and lots of opportunities to learn from experts and fellow attendees. In fact, waiting on line for badge and bag (a LONG wait), I enjoyed genea-conversations with those in front and behind me. Tonight, I reviewed the RootsTech Conference Guide (session locations in print, for paper-loving people like me) and used the app to prep for Day One's meetings and appointments.

Today (which Randy Seaver calls "Day Zero" for RootsTech) was the day hubby and I pored over hard-to-find books and microfilms at the Family History Library. You can see my handsome guy at top, blinking into the sun as we left the FHL building after about 5 hours of intense concentration.
And now I have to confess: As much as I dislike research logs, they were absolutely essential to putting our limited time at the FHL to good use. Above, one of the 3 pages of catalog listings for my husband's Steiner and Rinehart ancestor hunt in Crawford county, OH and Berks county, PA. I spent several working days assembling this list of likely sources, reading the descriptions on FamilySearch and determining whether any of these could be accessed from home or only from the library. Why waste time at the library if we can research a source at home?

My goal was to give hubby call numbers and notes to focus his limited research time on the 2d and 3d floors of the library. As he worked through each entry, he checked off that resource or put an X if it turned out not to be applicable (or, in one case, unavailable). He was able to move down the list, item by item, and actually found a few good leads and clues (no breakthroughs yet). He also downloaded one set of files to his USB drive for us to examine more closely at home, rather than spend precious library time on this resource.

I had high hopes for two resources in particular: The book on Crawford County, Ohio, early history/pioneers and the microfilmed Crawford County Pioneers applications. The key to the history book was that there was a printed index, separate from the book, listing all names mentioned. We could quickly identify page numbers to look at, and then skim certain places and time periods for background. No breakthrough from that book, but worth the time.

The Crawford County Pioneers applications would be a treasure trove for anyone with ancestors who were in that spot in 1850 or earlier. To be named the descendant of a pioneer, applicants had to submit various types of proof, all included on this microfilm (such as pedigree charts, marriage certs, birth certs, etc). We checked the digitized index of names in the Pioneers applications and found 5 possible applications to review on microfilm (see above for the title page of one roll). Alas, not one panned out. Still, it was a productive day at the library and an excellent way to transition to RootsTech tomorrow.

Terrific lunch and dinner dates with blogging buddies Linda ("Empty Branches on the Family Tree" blog), Deborah ("Who we are and how we got that way" blog), Yvonne ("Yvonne's genealogy blog"), and friends/family. Bumped into blogger Caitlin Gow, who ran the contest in which I won my free RootsTech registration. And met many more folks who will now be familiar faces at sessions in the coming days. Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

IAJGS Day 3 - Blogging Breakfast and Much More

Day 3 began with a bloggers' breakfast, sharing ideas and chatting about the blogging experience. Lots of conversation and friendly tips. Thank you!

After breakfast, my first stop was Hal Bookbinder's "Why Would Our Ancestors Leave a Nice Place Like the Pale?" He reviewed the history of the Pale (including why it's called 'pale,' from the Latin 'palus,' a stake marking boundary). Why leave? Pogroms (into the 20th century), lack of opportunity, travel more possible, and other immigrants beckoned relatives and neighbors to the new world.

Mid-morning was my scheduled mentoring time, and I chatted with several attendees about their brick walls.

Then I scampered off to Emily Garber's "Beyond the Manifest." She took the audience along on a really interesting journey through the Genealogical Proof Standard and how she was able to determine (via research and up to proof standards) where her family came from. Lubin or Labun? I won't spoil the ending. Let me quote what she told the audience: "Trust no one! Records lie!"



Next, I visited with Sherlock Cohn, the Photo Genealogist, in the midst of the Exhibit Hall. Got a question about an old family photo? Sherlock can help! Although she didn't have a deerstalker hat or a pipe today, she did have ideas and suggestions for wringing as much info as possible from an old family photo. Her talk is tomorrow at 9:45 am.

And the day's not over yet! I admit, the Resource Room tempted me to spend time using all the databases that I don't have at home. Found a few records and newspaper articles.

And then it was time to see my distant cousin Mark Strauss's talk, "The DNA of Family: The Strauss Experience." He told the moving story of visiting ancestral towns in Slovakia, finding clues to possible Strauss relatives, and then a couple of years later, discovering the actual links via DNA matches.

One take-away: Check vital records in the surrounding towns, because sometimes births and other events were recorded in the next town, not the home town. A second key take-away: Never give up. Mark said that when he finds good DNA matches, he writes an email with specific details, requesting a response. If he doesn't hear from the match, he writes again in a couple of months. And persistence pays off.