I was reading Geneabloggers over the weekend and clicked on to some of the blogs Anniversaries. Oh! I must have started my blog Family Stories: Photographs and Memories about a year ago, I thought. Let’s check the date!! OMG, I missed my anniversary! My first blog was on the 4th April 2012, Gathering Information for Your Family Tree.
When I look back, I don’t think I was at all sure where my blogging would take me. I just knew that I enjoyed my family tree research and wanted to share some of the stories and photos that I had gathered along the way. I first became interested in blogging when I was studying an undergraduate degree in Adult Education. One of the subjects I studied was e-learning, which fascinated me. Part of our assessment in this course was to do an online course and write about the experience in a blog. I was hooked!
My first two attempts at writing blogs, were just travel blogs. The first was when I went to Nepal, Nepal- Climbing High. However, for a number of reasons I only managed to blog for part of the trip. I always intended to finish the story when I got home, but it didn’t happen. My second blog was when I went to Mexico for six months to complete a Masters in International Studies. This blog, Six Months in Mexico, was just aimed at keeping family and friends up-to-date with my adventures, and the ups and downs of studying in a foreign country. It is great to occasionally look back on this blog, to observe my growth through that quite intensive undertaking.
These experiences led me to start blogging about my genealogical experiences. What an interesting year! I think the part I enjoy the most is the opportunity it has provided me with to connect with other bloggers and family tree researchers. I have a lot to thank GeneaBloggers for. The day I discovered this site and joined up was quite a turning point. The sharing of information, ideas for blogs and connections with other bloggers has been very rewarding.
Some of the highlights for me have been finding some focus for the many stories that are swarming around in my head, for example, Sharing Memories” and the "Alphabet Challenge". I have also found the Follow Friday - an accumulation of my weekly research lists, a great way to record my research discoveries on the subject area that I have most recently been delving into. It is great to be able to share these lists with others, and to be able to refer to them at a later date. The story that I have enjoyed writing the most has been my recent blog on my great uncle Alexander Joseph McDonald who was killed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, ANZAC day.
My favourite project for the year has been the starting of a new blog “The other half of my family tree- stories of my female ancestors" . Family history often ignores the women in family trees, not so much by intention, but because of the lack of information on our female ancestors. So I decided to take up the challenge of delving into the stories of the women in my family tree. This project has been very rewarding, though I have found it takes me a lot longer to put these stories together.
Regrets: I have a few regrets, mainly that I don’t have the time to write and research more stories. Also, I would like to be able to spend a little more time reading other peoples blogs and to comment on them. I know when someone comments on one of my blogs it gives me a buzz, to think that someone has taken the time to read something I have written.
Future: A New Blog!! Yes here I am complaining about the lack of time and then I announce a New Blog! For me this is exciting. I am in the lucky position that my 10 years long service is due this year. I am going to use some of this leave to travel to Lancashire, UK and spend a month researching the Taylor/Rushworth Family, in particular Elizabeth Taylor (nee Rushworth) (1841-1927). My new blog, "Visiting Family Links - a genealogical journey" will be a combination of Travel/Family Tree discovery journal, that shares my experiences, research and hopefully leads to some further connections/advice for my research.