May I Introduce To You . . . Craig Manson

Craig Manson

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Craig Manson and his blog, GeneaBlogie. Craig describes his blog as, “ . . . Eclectic. Genealogy; Personal family history; research tips; genealogical products & services reviews; genealogical news; genealogy and the law.”

Craig also writes for the award-winning and wonderful online magazine Shades of the Departed edited by footnoteMaven.

How Craig Got Started in Genealogy

Craig started his genealogy journey about eight years ago. His parents had always talked about their families, “Because my dad was in the Army, we lived many places mostly far away from our relatives. But the tipping point came one Christmas when my aunt sent out what she called family calendars. There were names of ancestors I had never heard of. I just had to know who they were and where they came from!”

Craig’s Family and His Blog

What does Craig’s family think of his genealogy blog? “They apparently like it.” Craig gets requests from older relatives to send them “hard copies” of his posts so they can share them with the “less-computer savvy” among them.

Quite a number of family members follow Craig’s blog. “And honestly, I am constantly surprised about who follows it. I got a call from my wife’s 88-year-old aunt once who said that she had enjoyed a recent post and could I please write a follow-up so she could know more of the story! I didn’t know she even knew how to get online!”

How Craig Follows the Rest of Us

Craig uses Google Reader, Bloglines and his email to keep up with his blog reading. Craig also relies on NetworkedBlogs via Facebook. “There are so many great blogs out there that it’s tough to keep up. I used to get to 10 or 15 a day, but now I’m lucky if I can hit 5 a day.”

Craig’s Thoughts on Blogging

Craig had no hesitations when it came to starting his blog, “Perhaps foolishly, I went into this fearless. Since then, however, I’ve developed a sensibility about what should be written about and what shouldn’t. My libertarian streak cuts both ways: bloggers should be free to write about anything they want; but other people have a right to be left alone and not be dragged into the public spotlight against their will.”

Before the blog, Craig had a family newsletter called “Our Lifetimes [on the now-defunct Yahoo Geocities services – it can still be found cached via Google]. It was meant as a way to keep family and friends updated about my research discoveries. In the early days, some of my conclusions were drastically off track! But the newsletter was fun; although the layout and design every month were time-consuming. Then I heard about blogs and saw that that’s what I really needed. Again, the purpose was to keep family and friends updated on the last research.”

The last 18 months has been difficult for Craig and GeneaBlogie, “ . . . as we’ve dealt with personal medical issues, elder care for parents, etc. We haven’t posted as much as we wanted to nor with the quality we want. Although I conceived of the blog as something personal to me, once an audience developed I felt an obligation to keep them interested and entertained. There’s a bit of ham in every lawyer and law professor (and I’ve been in the legal profession for 30 years now!). So this year, I’m steering a middle course-reinventing and refurbishing the blog to do what I think is fun and I’m doing it on a timetable that’s comfortable for me. I greatly respect and genuinely appreciate those in and outside of the genealogical community who continue to check in on GeneaBlogie every so often. GeneaBlogie has a motto: ‘Learn, Share, Enjoy, Appreciate’ which reflects my philosophy that all though all history is personal, history happens to us all.”

How did Craig’s blog title come about? “I was looking for a play on words, like ‘genealogy + blog’ and also thought it should sound vaguely evocative French.”

What Craig Loves the Most About Genealogy

“I love the fact that I’m helping to preserve history, so that future generations will remember how they got where they are. I love meeting fellow researchers and discovering new family members. I especially love the fact that genealogy has taught me more about history, geography, psychology, and political science than any class I took in all my formal education.”

Craig’s Time Capsule Message

“I would tell them that the technology of our present era presented the best chance of world peace since the beginning of recorded history and they have the chance to take it to the ultimate level. But they have to remember the road trod to get there. If you don’t know where you’ve been, then you can’t really know where you are.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Craig’s blog. Leave a comment letting him know you stopped by. Welcome Craig, it’s great to have you here!

© 2011, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!

Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

Memorial Day 2011

decoration day

Here in the United States, today is Memorial Day also known as Decoration Day (that’s what I grew up calling it).  It is a day set aside to honor those men and women who died while in the military service.

Many members of GeneaBloggers have posted moving and heart-felt tributes to those family members and ancestors who not only died in service but also served their country.  Please take a moment to read the stories of these men and women who have kept us free.

Photo: Memorial Day, via Flickr – used under Creative Commons 3.0 License.

© 2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Monday, May 30, 2011

genealogy blogging beat

Today is Monday, May 30, 2011 and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Items of Note

Daily Blogging Prompts

Amanuensis Monday – An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin – some we never met – others we see a time in their life before we knew them. A fuller explanation can be found here.

Amanuensis Monday is a popular ongoing series created by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

Madness Monday – create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who either suffered some form of mental illness or an ancestor who might be hard to locate and drives you mad. This is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Mappy Monday – do maps, deeds and land records factor in to your family history? Join us for Mappy Monday where you can post map images and how they relate to your research or discuss other aspects of land ownership and your ancestors. Several members of GeneaBloggers suggested this type of theme and in fact Holly Spencer of Ravenna Area Historical Society Blog has been using this theme since March 2009.

Maritime Monday – Post about anything to do with the sea: ancestors who were sailors, shipwrights, fishermen, or coastguards including images, records and links. Maritime Monday is an ongoing series created by Ros Haywood at the GenWestUK blog.

Matrilineal Monday – Post about the female line of one of your families you are researching. Matrilineal Monday is an ongoing series by Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman of ‘On a flesh and bone foundation’: An Irish History.

Military Monday – We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military. Military Monday is an ongoing series by Cindy at Everything’s Relative – Researching Your Family History.

Mobile Monday – Do you use mobile applications on a SmartPhone to assist with your genealogy research? Post a review of any applications you’ve used or post about what you’d like to see in a mobile application related to genealogy. This is an ongoing series created by A.C. Ivory of the Find My Ancestor blog.

Motivation Monday – do you have a set of genealogy-related goals you want to tackle? Do you have tips on getting motivated? Whether you want to lend advice or you need advice, participate in Motivation Monday at your blog and tell us what’s on your genealogical plate. This is an ongoing series created by Dionne Kurti at Finding Josephine.

Mystery Monday – Closely related to Madness Monday only these missing ancestors might not cause madness! Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery. Several genealogy bloggers have been using Mystery Monday as an ongoing series including Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings, Kathleen Moore of The Misadventures of a Genealogist and Betty Tartas of Betty’s Boneyard Genealogy Blog.

To ensure that your blog post is included in the “roll-up” widgets below, include the name of the blogging theme in your post title. Examples: Black Sheep Sunday – Honey Dijon; Tombstone Tuesday – Ida Slapter.

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If you would like your event or Daily Blogging Prompt included, please contact Geneabloggers at geneabloggers [at] gmail [dot] com.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee