Sunday, August 11, 2013

Serious Thoughts To Quit Blogging

I remember feeling this way not to long ago, should I stop blogging?

The genealogy blogging world has grown immensely since I first started.

GeneaBloggers is over 3,000 bloggers, and I was here when this group came to fruition, thanks to Thomas MacEntee. 

One of my readers brought to my attention the phrase "cousin bait." Those words made me stop and think. Why have I been blogging? Was it to have my posts read by all GeneaBloggers? Was it to be popular? Was it to get known? Was it to find cousins? Why did I start blogging?

I have never had the desire to be a professional genealogist. I do enjoy webinars, conferences, classes and doing whatever it takes to keep abreast in the field. I feel there is always something new to learn, and honestly, there are times I feel overwhelmed and tired of learning. Always "learning something" takes time away from working on my family tree.

Because this field has grown so much in the last few years, the blogging market has changed. I find it difficult to read all of the blogs I once read, let alone add new ones to the list. Most GeneaBloggers probably feel the same way. 

It was difficult for me to accept that it was OK if I didn't read everyone's posts, every day. sure makes me feel disloyal! The interaction online, leaving comments on blogs has really diminished. I am just as guilty as anyone, not leaving comments as I used to.

Which brings me back to why? Why am I blogging? Why did I want to quit blogging?

I miss the genealogy community of a few years ago. I do realize growth is a great thing, so why would I want to quit? In all honesty, I didn't have the time to write blog posts for awhile. I believe I lost a lot of my following because of the lack of posts. So of course I felt like I should quit blogging. 

And...what about cousin bait? Well, that gave me something more to think about.

When I started blogging, I did it to document my thoughts, notes, research and data which I felt would help me to see my families lives better. I wanted to share my experiences, especially what I was learning along the way. I don't believe I ever expected to meet cousins though when I first started this venture.

The cousins who have found me, mostly found me through this blog. Sure, a couple I have connected with on Facebook, but most have been through my blog. I am now keeping a log of the cousins that have found me, with their important information, which line they descend from and of course how we are related. I have a solid 35 cousins now on this list. Two others I need a bit more information though to be certain if they really are my cousins. I have personally met a few of these cousins and have intentions of meeting many more of them.

I can not give up blogging!

I do it for fun, organization, even challenges. I gain information from the new cousins who find me. I am told they are grateful for the information I have and share. They are just as happy they found me as I am that they found me. 

Ecstasy...that is what it is to connect with new cousins. 

Whether I blog every day or once a month, it doesn't matter. Whether my posts are perfect in every way, is not important to me. What matters is getting my ancestors names out there, so my posts are found in Google and cousin connections can be made. Treasure awaits with every new cousin found. 

Thanks to my newest cousin who found me a couple of days ago, through two posts on my blog. She is a second cousin, a much closer connection than most. She has a container full of family paperwork (treasures) that has been given to her, and she lives within about a hour drive from me. She has not been involved in genealogy, and is just getting started. She made a couple comments on my blog, (thank you so much for making contact) I gave her an email address, we wrote a couple of times, and I called her today.

I look forward to meeting her, helping her organize her documents and perhaps watching her get the genealogy bug. If genealogy doesn't grab her as it has me, that is ok too, I have another cousin! 

We have made plans when her mother comes to visit her a little later in the year. I will take them both to visit my father. He is very excited about meeting this cousin and seeing her mother again. I already warned all, the tape recorder will be there, I can just hear the stories flowing!

Give up blogging? I think not!

Blogs = Cousin Bait? 


Why are you blogging?

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2013 Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Updating My Tree ~ Duplicates

I have been working as much as possible on my "new" Family Tree. I am proud to say that I have accomplished more in the last couple months than I did during 6 months of last year. I still have a long way to go, but feel confident I could be caught up by the end of the year! Can't get lead astray though...

I am finding problems now though at this stage of my project. I have noticed duplicate entries and have fixed five of them. Because I am re-entering from different sources, I am sure this was inevitable. Those duplicates that I have fixed were fairly easy to determine as duplicates. The names were exactly the same and they were married to the same person, had the same siblings, etc.

I have run the "duplicate people" report in Family Tree Maker 2 several times. Some of the duplicates that come up, aren't even close to being duplicates. Others, as in those that I fixed, made sense. The issue now for me? I have found what looks like duplicates in my tree, but did not show up in the report. Confuses me!

My best guess is that these same name people have different birth and or death dates, as well as other varying information, so they didn't show up on the report. One name in my tree is actually listed 5 times, Ole Olson. I believe two of those to be duplicates, so there should only be four in my tree, at this point and time anyway. Some Norwegian names are spelled a bit different in various records, so I feel there are a couple more duplicates from that.

As I have said, I fixed a few duplicates that were rather easy to spot. Some became so complicated though, that I decided to make a list and look more closely at them when I finish entering the report I am currently working with. 

The list I have thus far has 19 individuals, and if you add the 5 I already fixed, that totals 24 potential errors. This tree is suppose to be my so called "perfect tree." I will never have a perfect tree, this I know. I am attempting to make it a "more perfect" tree than I had. I have learned to be more precise and consistent with my entries and source everything I enter. 

I am not happy that I have at least 19 entries to re-verify already. I suppose I thought I would catch these things as I entered them, but as the tree gets bigger and bigger I find that is almost impossible.

Oh well, this is why I am redoing my tree, to fix all errors! I am glad I ran the duplicate people report so I can fix those errors now! I think after I work the next line in my family tree I will again run this report, it is actually a great tool.

Do you ever run your "duplicate people" report? Do you find you have the same people entered twice? I am curious to see how many of these 19 duplicate names are really duplicates!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2013 Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved