There are five Mondays in September and as the GSQ blog post is every Monday they needed a guest blogger. I am flattered to have been asked but was a little unnerved to find that I could write about anything I wanted. Totally open.
Now some might think that is easier than having a defined topic but I find it is quite the opposite. I actually like blogging prompts and it is why I set myself a personal genealogy blogging challenge in 2014 – 52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014. Each week (apart from some delays through travel, illness and other work commitments) I have been blogging stories on my own families.
I like to think that others read my stories but the main point of my blogging is to actually look at my own research and write about it using examples from my own families. Quite a few of my family blogs over the last five years of blogging have led to connections with direct relatives and also to collateral line relatives so it has definitely been worthwhile from a research point of view. Read some of my weekly 2014 challenge blogs at SHHE Genie Rambles.
So how do you share your family stories? Do you blog? Setting up a blog using free Google Blogger is quite easy and you can refine it as you go along and become more experienced. The most difficult decision is possibly choosing a name for your blog, while the fantastic part of blogging your family stories is that once online (assuming you have chosen to make your blog public) is that the post is searchable by Google so by adding relevant tags to your post, others can find you.
I use Google blogger for Diary of an Australian Genealogist which usually does not have family information but I do have a link on that blog called My Families which is a brief list on my website of all my main families and where they are from with links to my family stories in SHHE Genie Rambles. This page is also searchable by Google and you can easily add a page like this to your own blog.
One of my most successful family posts was for one of my Irish families which I tagged with the family name and the town they came from in Ireland. It reunited me with descendants from my great great grandmother’s siblings, some of whom went to America as well as Australia. Read about it here and remember to look at the comments to see how excited people were to find me.
If you did set up a personal blog, how would you keep the momentum going? This is where blogging prompts are really useful and there are lots of prompts and personal challenges you can join or follow. I am a member of Geneabloggers and here you can see daily blogging prompts, a blog roll of people blogging from just about everywhere in the world, some resources that might be useful and you can even search for a blog.
Daily blogging prompts does not mean you have to write every day – you can just do Mondays, or Fridays or Sundays or whatever.
I try to do at least one post weekly, others do daily posts while some people may only do a post once a month or when they have something to share. It is totally an individual choice.
A popular blogging prompt in Australia is Trove Tuesday, an initiative of Branches Leaves & Pollen and this is where a number of people blog about something they have found in Trove that relates to their own family history. If you do a Google search for ‘Trove Tuesday’ it will return a number of blog posts that have used that blogging tag or you can see the directory of blogs using that tag at the Trove Tuesday link.
If you are reading this blog post, then perhaps you are already a blogging devotee and have your own genealogy blog. If not, why not give it a go and once you have set the blog up and have posted a story or two, let me or GSQ know your blog name. Then the next time there are five Mondays in a month, I will not have to think of a topic, I will continue with this challenge of prompting readers to blog their own family stories. Just let us know those success stories and good luck!