Sunday, July 12, 2015

Desperately Seeking Surnames Is Six

I'm Starting A Blog!

Six years ago today I sat at my kitchen table on my laptop figuring out Blogger. I remember my husband walking in the room and I said "I'm starting a blog!" His reaction was something to the effect of "oh, what are you going to do with it?" Of course I had no answer to that, I was moving forward full throttle just to get the blog set up. After that, you know, I would figure it out.

I have figured some of it out. I've figured out that blogging is a hobby for me and only a hobby. I do like the format. I do like having my own place to voice my opinions and share my genealogy related research, trials and tribulations. I also like that I no longer feel stressed or guilty that I haven't posted in a while. This is my outlet, not my job.

This Is My Deal I Can Do What I Want

It's taken me a long time to figure out what where I want to go with this blog and what my purpose is. I've decided my goal is to get my surnames out there. "Hey Google, Index Me!" I've spent a bit of time working on my Surnames I Seek page and then promoting those surnames with dedicated posts. I have more work to do, stay tuned.

I need to take the time (yeah, I have so much extra time) to dedicate more research to my surnames and focus on finding the origins and as many details on each that I can about each surname. I will say that what I have found so far has been very interesting. There is a wealth of surname information available, how accurate that information is, well that's up to you to decide.

Six years is a long time and a lot has happened. I've attended a couple of national genealogy conferences, a few state and local conferences and I've made some great GeneaBFFs that are now real life BFFs! I started documenting everything that has happened in the last six years that is related to my blog and genealogy research. Wow, I've come a long way.

What An Amazing World This Blog Has Opened Up For Me

I've met two distant cousins, through this blog and/or my online genealogy "presence," in real life, multiple times! I correspond with 3 more via email several times a year. I spent several years collaborating with a cousin by marriage who lives in Germany and was able to translate documents for me! It's craziness. I live in the Midwest and I have regular contact with family researchers in the South, Pacific Northwest, East Coast and Germany as needed.

Would all of this have happened without Desperately Seeking Surnames? Maybe. I feel (and this is the marketer in me talking for those of you know know me IRL) this blog gives me a platform and legitimacy. When I reach out to a cousin and say "hey I think we are related, check out the blog post I did on this family," that seems to give folks a feeling of comfort, this person is real and not some crazy stalker.

This Is Mine And I Am Proud Of It

I had one, previously unknown, cousin email me and said "I sat reading your blog posts with tears streaming down my face as I realized this was my family too." That's when it hit me, I don't have to reach a huge audience. I don't have to be first in Google search rankings, I don't have to make the top 10, 20 or any list, I just have to get my surnames out there, make the connections then welcome and embrace my entire extended family as I find them and enjoy the journey.

I hope you enjoy the journey as well. I appreciate each and every one of you that read, comment and share my posts. Now, let's all keep on #seekingsurnames! 

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