Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Tonight when I got home I found I’d received an email from a newfound
Barker cousin.(Well, she wasn’t lost, she knew exactly where she was
but you know what I mean.) She included a wonderful story about one
of her ancestors that made me grin, and I’ve emailed her back.

Recently, fellow geneablogger Heather Wikinson Rojo and I have been
messaging back and forth on Facebook detailing the myriad different
ways she and I are connected.

Now what these two things have in common is that they were FUN. FUN
is the reason why I “do” genealogy and blog about it.

It’s come to my attention over the past few weeks that there are some
folks out there contacting some geneabloggers about the “correct” way
to cite their sources and such. Now when I blog about something and
use a quote, I include the information. If I quote records, I provide the
source. But I’m not going to go crazy making sure that the form I use to
cite my sources is always classically correct. If somebody wants more
information than what I provide in the blogpost, they can email me and
I’ll be glad to share what I have.

It strikes me that those who have nothing better to do than spend time
critiquing other peoples’ genealogical correctness may be among those
who now bemoan the spread of the new internet genealogy community.
I would not be surprised if they are also among those who refuse to share
their research because it’s their research.

To those who’ve heard from these folks, don’t let it discourage you from
continuing to blog. Do try to keep your research as complete as possible
for your own benefit. You’ll be glad you did later.

The most important thing about blogging, about ANYTHING, not just
genealogy, is to do it about something that you enjoy and that is fun for
you to write about. Because when you do that, it shows in what you do
write and that in turn makes it fun for us to read your blog.

Now go out there and have fun, dangit!


GrannyPam said...

I think this is a great commentary on the subject. I write a blog because I like to write, and want to share the interesting things I have learned. It is not a dry history, but some of the posts are pretty dry. If my sources are incomplete or incorrect, or don't exist, I hope everyone will remember I am not writing a scholarly journal; I am writing a personal diary which includes tidbits of my family history. If my punctuation is screwed up, oh well.

dee-burris said...

I agree with you - family history research and writing about what you find should be fun. I guess if you were going to make it into the next best non-fiction bestseller, you'd need to be scrupulous with citations, but I'm not in it for that.

And I suspect you aren't either.

Myrt said...

Amen to that! We must give credit where credit is due, as you clearly do. But there is no point is frightening potential bloggers into silence.

I once transcribed the compiled genealogy of a beginning researcher, only because I had a better computer program for laying out a book. What came through loud and clear were his comments about his mom. On his 9-pin printer, he had printed her pages in yellow, her favorite color. Though it took little work with the local printing service, we got his mom's pages printed in yellow before the library binding was done.

It's all about telling the story of our ancestors as we see it.

As our research (and writing) progresses, hopefully we improve. But at least we are in the conversation, putting things out there. This makes it easier to run into cousins we didn't know like you have who can also share their genealogy gleanings.

Isn't technology great?!

Claudia's Genealogy Blog said...

I also agree...I blog because I like to do it and I read others because they have good ideas and tips that may help me.

I do not want people to criticize what I do because it is not a thesis for grad school.

I keep my information and if a cousins finds me I can share where I got the information with family.

If I were a professional genealogist I would be citing every minutiae of my findings but I won't for my blog because when it becomes a requirement I am not interested because it will no longer be fun.