Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Sense of Community

This morning, as I was checking Facebook, I noticed a post by one of my favorite bloggers and promptly clicked on it to read. It was a follow-up story about an award she had received and I was surprised to see my name listed as one of the blogs she was recognizing. My first award! 
I am coming up on my one year anniversary of blogging and it has been the best thing I've ever done in the realm of genealogy.  I love genealogy and like most I am self-taught. I'd been plugging away on gathering names and dates without focus or clear purpose for almost 10 years. Blogging has given me a community of like-minded people who are interesting, fun, and most of all helpful! I learn research techniques which greatly enhance my skill level. I'm inspired and get ideas that take the names and dates to the next level. I now study my ancestors in the context of history and find out the stories of their lives. Most of all, I've made new friends who are as passionate about genealogy and history as I am. They are supportive and incredibly helpful. If you love working on genealogy, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to start blogging. I was so worried that I couldn't do it...I'd run out of ideas....I didn't have the time...No one would want to read what I wrote...
But once you start, it will just blossom. Come join the community! 

Apparently, there is a bit of controversy right now regarding the chain letter aspect of a blog award and the new Google algorithms, including the possibility of negative consequences when linking blogs together. All of this is covered in the links on Heather's post. However, everyone acknowledges the excitement and sincere appreciation felt when your blog is promoted. It is in this spirit that I nominate the following blogs - with the hope they appreciate the recognition and feel no obligation to participate. 

1. Bill West's - West in New England - Bill is my inspiration. He is a cousin I met through the Ellingwood Reunion Facebook group and the Maine Genealogy Network. We were fortunate to meet in person at the reunion in 2011. His support and encouragement got me started and he continues to lead in sharing my posts on social networks. 

2. Heather Wilkinson Rojo's - Nutfield Genalogy - Heather is another cousin and we keep finding more connections as we write about our ancestors. Her blog is a favorite because her posts are so varied - from Weathervane Wednesdays and upcoming genealogy events to the connections of her New England ancestors to Hawaii. She frequently comments on my posts and has been very generous and helpful - most recently sharing a letter, written to Queen Liliuokalani, that I can use in my classroom when teaching about Hawaiian annexation. 

3. Pam Seavey Schaffner's - Digging Down East - Pam is a new friend who has similar research interests in Maine. She makes great use of pictures on her posts and I like the way her posts describe her research so I can learn how she found out about the topic. I am especially grateful for her 'Where I Dig' page that lists wonderful resources. 

4. Chris Dunham's - The Genealogue and Maine Genealogy Network - Chris has been a great help to me on several occasions this year. He doesn't blog often but I really enjoy his wit. His 2012 posts on using DNA were great reads. He invests a lot of time and energy on the Maine Genealogy Network. It is an important site for those with Maine ancestry. 

5. Cindy Freed's - Genealogy Circle - Cindy is another one who makes great use of visuals with descriptions of her research. Her site has fresh, clean look and her posts are interesting and easy to read. She is a contributing author to the In-Depth Genealogist, a twice-monthly publication that is invaluable to genealogists of all skill levels. 

6. Jill Ball's - Geniaus - I haven't discovered any common relatives with Jill but that doesn't make her Australian genealogy blog any less interesting. She writes about doing genealogy and much of it applies to everyone. I am most grateful for stumbling across her New Year's post about accentuating the positive. I took her challenge and sent her a link to my post. She sent a very nice reply that exemplifies the sense of community and the warm welcome to the world of blogging that I spoke of at the start of this post. 

If my beneficiaries choose to participate, here are the rules and a link to the original post.
The originator of the award and the rules
1. Select the blogs you think deserve the Blog of the Year 2012 Award
2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blogs you have chosen - no minimum or maximum number
3. Please include a link back to this page at and include the rules in your post (please don't alter the rules or the badges!)
4. Let the blogs you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the rules with them.
5. You can now join the Facebook group - click 'like' on this page 'Blog of the Year 2012' Award Facebook group and you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6. As a winner of the award - please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award - and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar - and start collecting stars.


  1. Thank you so much, Pam.
    Getting recognition from across the seas is very sweet. I am thrilled to accept your nomination and will post a response shortly.
    I've been reading about the controversy and, as I'm not much worried about search engine placement, will be happy to pass on the award.

    1. Pam ~ Thank you so much for nominating my blog for the 2012 Blog of the Year! That is such an honor! I too have felt that surely no one would want to read what I write! So this is really special. Thank you so much!
      You have a wonderful blog as well and such fun to read your wonderful posts!
      Thank you so much and my very best wishes to you!
      Cindy - Genealogy Circle