It has been amazing how many descendants of the people I have posted about have contacted me. Most are cousins of mine, while some are only related through marriage. Through these contacts I have received new and interesting information on the people in my family tree and, sometimes, even photos. I have often ended a post wishing for more information on my subject and, amazingly, I have often received it.
For those of you who have been wanting to start a family history blog to chronicle and share your genealogy research - JUST DO IT! It is well worth the time and effort. I love having a place where I can record all I know about a specific ancestor and use it as a reference later to either remind myself of easily forgotten details or to send to someone who is inquiring about a particular ancestral line for their research or DNA matching purposes. There is a certain satisfaction to weaving the hard-won facts, family stories and almost forgotten tidbits, personal theories and, best of all, photos into a "living" online profile of a long-gone family member that will be (God and Google willing) a permanent record of their lives. It is so much more meaningful than names and dates in a software program and isn't that what we all strive for in our family history research?
I have to say that my favorite part of writing "My Tangled Vine" this year is the connection that it encourages with my living family. It has brought long-lost cousins (and photos!) out of the woodwork, encouraged communication with closer family and even helped to inspire some to write their own stories. What could be even better than that? As a side effect of my blogging, my six year old son knows who his maternal eight great great grandparents are and is fascinated by them! He knows what they looked like, he can show you on the map where they were born and he refers to their names as if he knows them. Not only their DNA, but their memory, lives on through him.
|My reason for writing and, sometimes, my reason for NOT writing|