But on 1 January 2013 I made one resolution and that was Dad's 20+ years of genealogy research would not die and would continue and be shared with others.
I'd always been intrigued by family history from the first time I sat with Dad in his home office helping him with data entry into his Family Tree Maker database and listening to his stories. Since he was working on his and Mom's family, I would work on my husbands'. His grandparents all emigrated from eastern Europe and progress was slow to nonexistent. I would stop for years at a time, start again, find a tidbit, and hit another brick wall.
|Trakai, Lithuania, where my husbands' paternal grandfather was born. It|
took 10 years to locate the name of this city; photograph courtesy of
But in 2012, I brought back all Dad's genealogy files and software because his health did not permit him to continue and became obsessed!
One night I realized I was making interesting discovery after interesting discovery and without much thought started blogging about them. Who wouldn't want to tell people that Charles Dickens' Bleak House was written about their family? Or that the 1st Lord Howe had to forcibly toss someone out of the window to enforce his claim to a Jennens inheritance? Or about the quack doctor who likely killed Jonathan Hiller's first wife?
However, I quickly ran out of steam. I was writing all the time and no longer researching. Soon I had no more material about which to blog. After a month, the blog almost died. I stopped thinking about it and started researching in earnest again. And, of course, started finding interesting stories. After five months I resumed blogging and learned to pace myself. I don't have to post every day. I came up with a schedule that works for me -- usually three or four posts a week -- if it's less, that is okay, too. When I have an idea I made a placeholder post, schedule it and include the link to the person in my tree and a brief description of what I want to write about. I've got ideas through 2018 now!
On 1 January 2014 I made another New Year's resolution, I would write a book about Dad's one immigrant line from Scotland -- his mother's paternal Muir line. He didn't know much about his Muir ancestors because when he was researching he had no access to Scottish records. Using ScotlandsPeople, I do.
|East Kilbride, Scotland, Parish Church, built in 1774, where my great great|
aunt, Martha Muir married John Riddell in 1852; photograph courtesy of
After several false start starts, I started writing the book as a blog in October of 2014. When completed, it will encompass eight volumes -- one for every child of my Muir three times great grandparents who lived to adulthood and had children. When I finish the descendants of one child, I make an electronic book and post a link, making it available for download to anyone who is interested. After the second volume was completed I skipped ahead to my two times great grandfather, James Muir. And hit a wall when I got to my own grandmother. I found it very difficult to write about people I actually knew.
So I am making another New Year's resolution in 2016 -- I will start writing this book again, darn it!
This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional theme Resolution.
Writing a Family History
Hello from the Old Dominion