Friday, June 2, 2017

Thoughts on reaching 400 blog posts

"Margaret Catherine Dunham Aldridge', my last blog post, was post number 400.  That was kind of a big deal for me, because when I started I had no idea how many posts I'd be able to write.  I still have no idea.  For one thing, God could call a halt to them at any moment.  For another, I've already run out of people I can write about in the Harshbarger line.  The Beeks line is getting pretty thin, too, as far as new ancestors.  I still have quite a few Allen ancestors and a lot of Holbrook ancestors to write about, at least in theory.

I like to say that I'm writing these posts so family members will know their history and of course that is one reason.  But let's face it.  The truth is that I'm writing these posts because I enjoy it and because it is something I feel compelled to do.  I love learning who my ancestors are, and figuring out their stories.  I love the thrill of the hunt and the excitement when I uncover something, or someone, new to me and perhaps new to the world.  I love reading books, both non-fiction and fiction, that help me understand the world of my ancestors and how that world would have affected them.  I love that my family never stayed in one place more than one or two generations (OK, three generations in a couple of cases). 

Some of these things are the same things I don't care for, about family history.  I don't care for having to research in 34 states and two provinces and I don't know how many counties, just to track these people down.  I know the best thing to do is to go to county courthouses, but time and budget just won't allow me very many trips, so I have to choose carefully.  I don't like knowing that the ancestors I still need to find are the ones who seem to have been dropped by alien spaceships, because I can't find them prior to their marriage or even their death,   I don't like budget restraints.  I don't like it when experienced genealogists tell me there will always be people I can't find.  I also don't like it when I post about someone and then learn that was not the correct ancestor.  I have at least three blog posts about "former" ancestors that I've chosen to leave up (they are identified by "Updates" at the bottom of the page but I wish I had been accurate in the first place. 

Writing 400 blog posts has been an unexpected pleasure and I hope to continue as long as the Lord allows and I have people to write about.  I have loved "meeting" cousins via this blog post and I always encourage, in fact, I beg readers to share with me when they know things I haven't learned yet.  It's fun to work together on some of the "unfound" and I hope these collaborations continue. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning almost four years ago, I thank you and if you've just found it, I welcome you.  Let's see what we find out together as we head toward (maybe) blog post 500!