I was asked to write a couple of paragraphs about how genealogy blogging has helped me find distant cousins, find more information about my ancestors, etc. for our local Family History Center's wiki page on FamilySearch.org. Of course I said yes to this request. I also thought this would be a great topic for a blog post.
Just what are the benefits of writing a genealogy blog? Before I talk about those benefits, here's a little background on how I began my genealogy blog.
In February of 2012 I watched Lisa Louise Cooke's live streamed RootsTech presentation called Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101. I had never heard of genealogy blogs before and the thought of blogging about my ancestors had never even occurred to me before that time. I decided to be brave and jump into the genealogy blog pool and here I am today, almost three years later. I'm grateful to Lisa for her presentation and to RootsTech for live streaming it.
Am I glad I began my genealogy blog? Absolutely! Here are some of the benefits I've discovered from writing my genealogy blog:
- My blog acts as cousin bait, which means that if a relative of mine searches for one of our common ancestors on the internet, they may find my blog and contact me. I've had this happen several times. I wrote about a recent and very exciting cousin connection in a previous blog post. This newly discovered cousin lives in Brazil. Blogs have a global reach. They can be read by people all over the world, which is amazing.
- Writing about my ancestors helps me to better analyze the research I have about them.
- Writing about my ancestors helps me to get to know them better. It's fascinating to learn about them. It also helps me to appreciate them and what they experienced during their lives.
- My immediate and extended family members near and far can learn about their ancestors by reading my blog. And hopefully my future descendants will read my blog and enjoy learning about their ancestors too.
- Even if distant cousins don't contact me when and if they find my blog, the information, stories, and photos I share may be helpful and interesting to them. They may see a photo of an ancestor that they'd never seen before. I know how exciting that can be.
- Each person in my family tree deserves to be remembered. And writing about them in a genealogy blog is a great way to remember them.
- I've made lots of genealogy blogging friends online. These friends are from all over the world. There's an active online genealogy blogging community and its members are very kind and helpful. One of the major online communities is GeneaBloggers. If you already have a genealogy blog and haven't joined the fun at GeneaBloggers, I encourage you to do so.
- Blogging about ancestors is fun!
Can you think of other benefits of genealogy blogging? Feel free to add those in the comments below.
Update: I presented a class in which I shared the benefits of genealogy blogging and social media at our local Family Discovery Day on May 16, 2015. If you'd like to see my blog post about my presentation, click the link below. I've also been asked to teach this class at the Merced Family Discovery Day on October 24, 2015.
My "Family History Blogs and Social Media" Class
Thanks for reading!