I started my first genealogy blog – indeed, my first blog at all – in 2005 after a friend of mine convinced me to give blogging a try. She had recently started a blog to chronicle her journey to Lauren Elizabeth … the daughter she sought (and later succeeded) to adopt from China. My first reaction was, yeah, like who’s going to want to read about anything I have to offer? She persisted, though, and before long, my genealogical endeavors started appearing at my blog, The Oracle of OMcHodoy.
I had only one hope in that blog: that others may learn the basics of research, the thrill of the hunt, and the joys of the genealogical journey. In that spirit, I decided to chronicle my research – successes and failures alike – in a format that anyone could see. I did worry that in the end I’d make a fool of myself and show my “newbie-ness” for all the world to laugh at. But in the end, I decided that we tend to learn more from the processes than by the answers, and from our mistakes more than our bulls-eyes.
Judging by comments made on the blog over the years, I’m guessing that I met my goal of teaching by sharing my process. An additional bonus of my first blog were the connections I’d made with cousins never before known that continue to enrich my life today, 7 years later.
If any readers of the In-Depth Genealogist blog are pondering a blog of their own, I would say “Go for it and do not be afraid. You never know where your posts will lead you if you do not try”.
The above is a lump of coal. A cousin of mine had found my blog, and over time would leave a comment. Sometimes she corrected my information (LOVE IT!), and sometimes she’d just comment to let me know she was still reading. After reading a post I’d written on Anthracite Coal Mining in Northeastern Pennsylvania (where she lives and where my paternal ancestors lived and worked as miners), she’d gone down to a real mine, hand picked the above lump of coal, and mailed it to me in Arizona. Charlie Brown may have considered a lump of coal an omen, but to me it was among the best gifts I’ve ever received! To this day it serves as an integral part of the décor in my den.