Last night I realised that this blog would be one year old today, I knew it was coming up but forgot to let Geneabloggers know. So happy birthday The Wandering Genealogist.
Given I have just spent the last three days up at Olympia it is quite ironic that my first post, on the 1st March 2009, was about Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009. I can see how my blog has changed over the year, and I am sure it will continue to change, evolve and perhaps expand over the forthcoming years.
When I started I decided that I would try and publish at least one post a day, and I am pleased to say that I did, my count for the last 12 months is 484 posts. I wouldn’t say it has always been easy, sometimes the words just kept flowing, but other times it was a real struggle and was glad that I have a postcard collection to fall-back on!
I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog, especially to those of you who have left comments or emailed me, and if you haven’t there is still plenty of time left to do so!
Special mention should go to Alex at the Winging It blog, whose comments in the early days of my blog reassured me that people were reading my blog and inspired me to keep blogging (although I don’t think I have ever seriously thought about giving up).
I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have been finding it harder and harder to blog. It is not that I don’t have the time, it is just that the ideas don’t seem to come so easy and writing posts is more of an effort.
Perhaps after six months of daily posting the novelty and excitement of being a genealogy blogger is wearing off, or maybe it is just fatigue. However, it struck me today that there could be another reason. It occurred to me that this blogging “slump” has coincided with my switch from mainly researching to mainly organising.
Theoretically I can see that my creativity might be greater whilst I am actually researching and my brain is firing on all cylinders, rather than during the mundane tasks of sorting, scanning and filing, but could this actually be the reason?
I think I need to hurry up and get this filing sorted out, just in case my brain seizes up altogether!
I wrote a post over three months ago about the up coming release of the Enumerator’s Summary Books for the 1911 census and how I wanted to view the page for my 2x great grandmother Mary Ann GASSON to try and pin-point exactly where Gorewood Green was in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex.
Well, finally the summary books have arrived at the 1911 census website, along with all the other remaining records, and the 1911 census blog claims that the 1911 census is now complete and who am I to argue. I must admit that I started to lose interest after the Sussex data had been uploaded and explored, because by 1911 pretty much all of my ancestors had arrived in Sussex!
Now I need to go back and see what else can be learnt from these summary books and I have already made a start with the one relating to Mary Ann GASSON. From the neighbouring properties (the Sportsman Inn, Huntsmoor, Shalfords, Gate House and the Isolation Hospital) I now have a pretty good idea of where to look for Gorewood Green, and it looks more and more like Gorewood Green is actually a varient of Goddards’ Green, the current name for the area. I think I will have to have a close look at some maps when I next visit the West Sussex Record Office.
If you have spent any time recently looking at genealogy blogs you will have come across Mark Tucker’s A Better Way to Cite Online Sources video on his ThinkGenealogy blog. Mark Tucker is starting a crusade to get online providers to provide a better system for genealogists to cite information from their databases.
Whilst I agree in principle that citing sources is an essential part of family history, that everyone should cite their sources (regardless of their professional or non-professional status), that it should be made as easy as possible to cite a source and there should be a standard for citing sources, I do however have some reservations about his suggestions.
What I see as the real issue here is that genealogists need guidelines and instruction on how to cite sources, regardless of where that source is found. It is all well and good giving someone a button to press to cite an online source, but what happens when the source is not online?
Genealogists need the knowledge to be able to construct the source citations themselves, so rather than taking it out of their hands, we should be encouraging them to learn to do it themselves.
In my opinion the key reason why genealogists find citing sources so problematic is that there are very few clear and concise guidelines on how to do it properly. I don’t want to knock Evidence Explained but at 885 pages it is probably too complicated and inaccessible for many people (and virtually impossible to find outside of the United States, in hard copy at least).
Now I am not an expert, and my sources are certainly not perfect, but personally I would rather see the online providers spending their time and money (or rather our money) on digitizing and indexing new content and leaving me to deal with how and where I am going to put that information into my family tree.
Whilst browsing The British Postal Museum & Archive website today I noticed that they had a (relatively) new blog. I am not sure why I was so interested in postal history, but I have been a regular visitor to their website for several years now, and a receiver of their newsletter, but until recently I didn’t realise that I had any Royal Mail employees amongst my ancestors. I think my interest stems from the fact that the Post Office has always been an integral part of English village life.
Their blog is not only appealing to look at (it contains some wonderful images of 1950s posters), but it covers quite a diverse range of subjects from historical to the latest Royal Mail stamp issue.
Personally the most interesting post for me was the one concerning an attack on a mail coach by a lioness, there was I thinking all my 4x great grandfather had to worry about was robbers and freezing to death whilst guarding the mail coach! It doesn’t say who the unfortunate mail guard was on the night, but I don’t suppose it was my 4x great grandfather, that would be too good to be true!