It’s exactly one year ago that I launched this blog! Hip hip hooray!
Tremendous thanks to all those behind the 3,988 clicks thus far! I don’t know who you are, but I do know that you are from the US, England, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Canada, Belgium, and a number of other places. At the time I started this, I was asking myself whether I really thought I could steadily come up with things to talk about. Well, here I am with 101 posts behind me, and, for some family lines anyway, I honestly don’t feel as if I have touched the tip of the iceberg. Granted I started out full of enthusiasm to do three posts weekly. That eventually moved to two, and, at times, just one. But I never missed a week, so a small pat on the back for me.
Through this blog, I have been blessed to meet distant cousins from England, Denmark, California, Kansas, and numerous states in the US Northeast. That alone has made this venture worth it. My immediate family, to whom I unveiled the blog during Christmas 2011, has found all of this very illuminating, especially the younger ones who had not previously considered just how many great grandparents one really has. You have your last name, with which you identify yourself, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of surnames that come before that one, and you carry a piece of each and every one of them. Genealogy is addicting, to be sure; it’s like peeling a six-ton onion that always seems to have one more layer.
My lessons over the past year? Be prepared for the unexpected. Search for variations of names when doing your research even if they seem far-fetched. Don’t discount information that at first glance appears irrelevant. Don’t expect the family stories handed down to you over generations to be accurate–it’s more like the game “telephone,” where by the time the piece of “news” gets to the last person in the chain, it has been altered considerably, if not completely. Let’s face it, if we were to pass down information about ourselves, we’d probably focus on the positives and try to put a good spin on the negatives (or omit them entirely!). With today’s social media, etc., I have a feeling our descendants will know much more about us than we will ever know about those who came before us. That’s a good thing… or is it? I guess we’d all better be on our best behavior!!!