Thursday, August 21, 2008


Part of the Genea-Blogger Games category called "Write,
Write, Write!" is a summary of what my blog is about. I'm
not too sure I can do a coherent job of it but I'll give it a shot.

The heading below the blog title includes the line:

"A blog about genealogy and thoughts about the various
roots and
branches of my family tree as well as the times
in which my ancestors

I wrote that the day I began "West in New England" and while
it's a fairly succinct description of what this blog was intended
to be, it's become a bit more since then. My goal was to
preserve and share what I know or discover my family's
genealogy but that now has expanded to include my memories
of my immediate family, of growing up and living, and of some
of the things that I like or dislike.(Such as the previous "Tunes"
post inspired by Tim Abbott's meme.) Now as I grow older,
I want to leave stories that my niece and nephews can have
about myself and my parents, because I have come to realize
how little I know about my mother's parents and their side of
the family and wish that I knew more.

When I share what I find out about my ancestors, I try to put
it in the context of the times they lived in, and to put into
words my thoughts on how events might have affected them,
such as when I posted about my grandfather's service at
Camp Devens during the Great Spanish Influenza Outbreak of
1918, or about the diptheria outbreak in Maine in 1861 which
claimed the lives of six West children and of Orpha Reynolds
West, first wife of my ancestor Jonathan Phelps West. I try to
blend genealogy with family history because my ancestors were
not just names and dates but living, breathing people with
hopes and dreams and stories to tell and I want to pass some
of that on to others.

This blog has also become a way to reach out to those who
might share some of my ancestry and exchange information
with them. I've made contacts with distant cousins I didn't
know I had, some of whom are numbered among my fellow
genealogy bloggers.

And finally, it's become a way to socialize with an expanding
community of genealogy bloggers and learn more about their
research and their families, as well as to have fun with them
in the various carnivals or challenges. I'd never have had to
come up with all those genealogically related (sorta) uses for
flutaphones, for example, if I hadn't met Janice Brown (one
of those cousins I mentioned) via her blog!

So that's what this blog has become in the year and a half and
the 360 posts since I've been at it. It's been a lot of fun and
I hope my readers have had fun reading it!

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