Tag Archives: blog

Some lunacy in June 2012 edition of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

18 May

I was a little surprised when my “cousin” Mike let me know that my blog was featured in the June 2012 issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. I wondered what I had done this time to get myself mentioned in the magazine.

I had to rush out and get a copy, well OK if I am honest I forgot all about it and it was a couple of days before I finally remembered to pick up a copy one morning on the way into work.

I was a little shocked and very flattered to find my blog listed as one of the best websites for researching asylums and mental health records. Of course this is because of my series of blog posts about the search for my 2x great-grandfather George Thomas Gasson.

It has been a couple of years since I wrote those blog posts and on a couple of occasions I have wondered about updating them, or whether there is a need for any updates. I came to the conclusion that it probably wasn’t worth the effort, but maybe I need to re-visit them again.

So thank you WDYTYA Magazine and Jonathan Scott (the article’s author) for spotlighting the story of my lunatic ancestor and the research of mental health and asylums in general. Although I am still surprised that my little blog was included with the likes of The National Archives and The Wellcome Library.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Where do you think you are?

15 Mar

I don’t take a lot of notice of my stats for this blog, sure I check them most days to make sure that people are still reading what I write, but I haven’t really been making any attempts to increase my readership. If more people find my blog then good, but I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

I have however become quite addicted to the latest addition to the WordPress.com stats page, the ability to view which country the visitors to my blog come from.

My plans for World domination were progressing well ....

As you can see people are finding their way to my blog from all over the world, whether this is by accident and whether they find what they are looking for are both different questions.

The numbers themselves are not particularly exciting, but the distribution of visitors is quite interesting. The most popular country of origin is the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in that order.

Next up after that are Germany and France, which surprised me. I’m not sure why or how they found their way to my blog, but I hope they found what they were looking for.

Most interesting is the long tail, the likes of Azerbaijan, Albania, Georgia, Latvia, Senegal, Slovakia, Pakistan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Jordan, Japan, Lithuania, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, Colombia and Chile. There are only one or two visitors from each, but it is good to see a stream steady trickle of international visitors coming to see me.

Wherever you call home you are more than welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy your visit.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Still here after three years!

1 Mar

I can’t believe I nearly forgot my blogiversary.

Three years ago today I started writing about my adventures in family history, hopefully along the way I have amused/entertained/informed/educated you.

Last year wasn’t a good year and my blogging output almost dwindled away to nothing, but this year I have got back into my stride again.

I must admit it isn’t always easy finding something to write about or rather it isn’t always easy to put into words what I want to write about.

I still have big plans for this blog (and others) but a lack of free time prevents me from acting on them at the moment.

So thank you for sticking with me, and here’s to another year!

Back to blogging

25 Jul

I have decided that it is about time to get back to some blogging because I am starting to feel rather lazy now for not having blogged regularly for so long.

When my father passed away I had no time or energy to blog and to be honest time had been an issue for quite a while before that but I insisted on continuing with my daily posting schedule even though it was a struggle. Having taken a break I now don’t feel quite so bad about not posting every day, so I probably won’t be. After all it is my blog so I make up the rules.

The other problem had been a lack of things to write about. Again time was an issue here and I hadn’t really been doing much family history, so as a genealogy blogger it was sometimes a struggle to come up with things to write about or to find time to research the things I wanted to write about.

I have started to do a bit of family history again, although I am getting a little frustrated by frequently running into dead-ends where a visit to an archive or record office is needed before I can continue. The problem of course is that I don’t have the time to actually visit an archive or record office at the moment, but I do know that time will come.

I should probably give my blog a bit of a makeover, I think the design is looking a little tired now although I am sure that the majority of you are reading this through a feed reader of some description and will never see my blog on the web for months on end.

As for content, I have lots of ideas about what I want to write about, but in general I want to focus more on Sussex. It is where I live, where the majority of my ancestors and relations lived and where my expertise (such as it is) lies, so it seems natural to me that I should concentrate on Sussex. I know I will sometime stray over the county boundary and occasionally leave these shores, but I would like the focus to be on Sussex.

Whether this actually happens is different matter, but watch this space…

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Happy blogiversary to me

1 Mar

Can it really be two years ago that I started writing this blog, it seems like only yesterday. As I am not really one for parties what better time for a bit of reflection and perhaps a look forward to the future as well?

My life was full of challenges last year, beginning with unemployment in January. Although this gave me time to pursue a lot of the things I wanted to, there was always the worry that my dwindling pot of redundancy money would run out before I found work. Back in employment in the middle of the year it was suddenly all changed, from plenty of time to very little spare time at all. Money was still a problem as my travel costs increased along with the cost of doing genealogy, but at least I have some job security.

Still that shortage of time is a problem, I have tried to keep up my daily blogging schedule (and succeeded), but often this has often been at the expense of other things, such as actual family history research. Blogging is too much of a part of my life now to give up, but a delicate balance has to be found. I haven’t quite found that balance yet but things are improving. It is like anything in life, if you really want to do it you will find a way.

So what of the future? I have lots of idea for this and other blogs, but I know that I would be stretching myself too thin if I was to try to pursue them now. Their time will come in the future but for now I need to concentrate on this blog and improving my communication. I wrote a while ago that I was particularly bad at replying to emails and comments and commenting myself, hopefully things have improved slightly, but I feel there is plenty of room for further improvement.

One thing I really want to do is improve the appearance of this blog, I want a more professional appearance, which may mean moving away from a free wordpress.com blog to paid for wordpress.org hosting. Also I am getting bored with the photo of me at the top of the right-hand column and I would like to replace this with a logo of some sort.

I also have an idea for a series of guest posts with a difference, I am not sure if it will work out (I haven’t asked the guest poster yet) but it would be a win-win situation for me if it does happen.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has made this such a wonderful experience, I wouldn’t have got this far without you. Whether it is by commenting, emailing, providing ideas and inspiration in your writing or by just proving that I am not alone. Thank you all.

Introducing “My Ancestors” page

16 Jan

Those of you who are reading my blog posts through Google Reader or some other feed reader my have missed the fact that I have added a new page to my blog.

This new static page is entitled My Ancestors and can be accessed from the link at the top of my blog. It list the names of 120 of my direct ancestors, those of my great-grandparents, my 2x great-grandparents, my 3x great-grandparents and my 4x great-grandparents.

I have been meaning to put up this page for a while (admittedly it has been available for several weeks already), partly to get the names of all my direct ancestors out on the internet, but also to act as an index to my various Ancestral Profile posts.

You will notice that the majority of my ancestors don’t have dates associated with them yet and that is my next job, to add some more detailed information to each person, at least dates but hopefully also places.

I am fortunate that many of the surnames in my family tree are quite unusual and most of them are from Sussex, but it still needs a little more detail to make it easier to find out if we are related.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 43

24 Oct

I didn’t really get a great deal achieved last week. Of course there was the trip down to Chichester yesterday, but I spent most of my free time thinking about this blog and the way forward, essentially trying to streamline things and make more time for actual family history research.

I have scanned my latest batch of postcards, like I was planning to, but I never got around to scanning the four wills, let alone start transcribing them. I must at least get them scanned this week and try to make a start on transcribing them. I also need to scan the two newspaper articles that I copied down at Chichester, and transcribe them as well.

I have done more work on the BOXALLs of West Dean, Sussex and I think I have achieved my original goal of identifying the six BOXALLs on the war memorial at West Dean. I am still a little unsure about one of the men, and there may also be one other who is not recorded on the memorial. This week I need to start pulling everything together, but also there is so much more work that I could be doing on the BOXALLs, there are so many of them that I could keep going for ages.

So this week is going to be mostly organising and sorting out, a bit of scanning and possibly some transcribing. I will be really interested to see if my blogging plans actually help free up my time for family history. Also I need to try and decide what I am going to do with the bundle of maps that I bought yesterday.

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