This blog floundered around for a while trying to figure out what it wanted to be or if it really even wanted to exist (that process continues). Looking back, it seems only natural that at some point I would decide to write about my family history and genealogy quest. That endeavor, an interest in genealogy, pre-dated any blogging on my part by many years. I would soon discover, however, that maintaining a written history of my family would be something that would grow and multiply as more information became available and new connections were made. My “report” format had its limitations (it required constant updating and very few people ever saw it).
I wrote the first post about genealogy on this blog back in June of 2010 and in September of that same year, added a genealogy page. There was really no rhyme or reason behind my approach to this subject. At the time, I thought that the genealogy information would evolve as a separate part of this blog. The new page had links to the family report, some photos, a few resource links and a small amount of narrative. At the same time, the report still required continual updates as I was finding more and more information and expanding the depth of coverage of the family. I could showcase a small amount of family history on the Genealogy Page but it soon dawned-on-me that I might want to abandon the report (or updated it less frequently) and devote my time to creating an entirely separate genealogy website. I decided right away that it would be a blog format. I also took the opportunity to explore a different platform and created the new site in blogger with the added advantage that it is free. There were some limitations in going in this direction but overall, it has worked out just fine.
A blogging platform appealed to me as I was not interested in creating the typical genealogy site one finds on the Internet. That is one where there is an index of names and clicking on a name will lead to detail information on the individual and their family usually in the form of family charts, pedigree charts, footnotes of sources, etc. Not that I find anything wrong with those types of sites. I actually like them a lot and have found them to be very useful. Still, I had another idea. I wanted to lay-out the genealogy of my family in a narrative format that tells a story. It may be about one individual, essentially a biography of an ancestor or it may follow a family over multiple generations. In the case of the latter, the story is broken into two or three posts that are linked. The blog platform would also let me stray off the family subject and post about more general genealogy topics and still give me the freedom to add static pages.
So, less than a month after creating a genealogy page on this blog, I changed direction and was launching a new family history blog. Even then, I wasn’t sure exactly what would come of it. The first three months saw a few posts that were about more general topics and it wasn’t until February of 2011 that I finally started talking about the family and that first article, on the Goldner family of Chicago, was a hybrid of sorts. It was mainly about my quest to find out about the Goldners and less about the details of the family, itself. A couple of other articles followed and then in May of 2011, I finally wrote a detailed post on one my ancestral lines, the David Hermann Family. It was around that time, that a conscious decision was made to start putting articles about individual families on the site. It was also decided that smaller “vignettes” about individuals, called the Short Biographies would be created to compliment the longer, full family, sagas.
Since that time, most of the writing has been about family lines with less about general genealogy topics. I have explored six families in multi-part reports (15 articles) and written an equal number of the short biographies. With the new site off and running, it soon also became clear that I might want to limit the amount of genealogical information found on this site. So I reformatted the original genealogy page, eliminated most of the information and provided a series of links to the new blog.
Blogging about family history has been a boon to my genealogy research. Each new post allows me to go back and check my research, correct errors and look for new information. My own knowledge and understanding of the family increases as I write about them. Most importantly, others have found the site and contacted me. This has lead to vast amounts of new information that prior to this, may not have been forthcoming. The genealogy blog started as a single page on this site but with limited potential for expansion. I then created a new website that could, more fully showcase the family history and provide a platform that could grow and evolve. It has turned into a very fruitful enterprise. The blog not only lets me tell stories about my ancestors but it also delivers distant cousins and new information back to me.
Nest month, will mark the 2nd aniversary of my genealogy and family history blog. The first post was published on September 30, 2010. Below are Links to all of the pages at My Other Blog at Blogger: