May I Introduce To You . . . Susan Well


Susan Well

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Susan Well and her blog, S. Well Genealogy, described as, “ . . . This blog is devoted to educational posts about the two areas of genealogy I know best – land records and English research.”

How Susan Got Started in Genealogy

Susan grew up in Newfane, Niagara, New York. She has lived her adult life in western Massachusetts and now in the state of Florida.

Susan began “serious” genealogy in 1994, one year before her parents 50th wedding anniversary, “ . . . I was embroidering a family tree sampler as a gift for them and decided it was finally time to organize all the scraps of paper with ‘notes’ from conversations with them. Since then I have been totally addicted and am now teaching classes at a senior center and The Lifelong Learning Academy of Sarasota. I am the co-leader of the United Kingdom Special Interest Group of my genealogy society.

In some ways, I feel that I have always been a genealogist. My parents were interested in history and antiques, and they talked about how people in our small town were related to each other and to us. My parents were big fans of the newspaper obituaries at a fairly young age, but the life lesson was how the community was connected to us and vice versa.”

Susan’s Family and Her Blog

With the exception of Susan’s sister and one uncle, Susan’s family has little or no interest in genealogy or family history findings, “Even my niece and nephew, my only descendants. I am stating here and now that when I die, my English research and files should go to the Norfolk Family History Society, Norwich, NFK and the German material to the History Society of the North German Settlements of Western New York.

My sister and I divided our family in 1994. She is researching our grandmothers’ families and I the grandfathers’. She has been very busy with her DAR chapter to spend time on my blog and is in big trouble with me. (Who would have thought that we could join DAR? You never know where genealogy will take you).”

Susan’s Thoughts on Blogging

Susan’s blog title came out of an idea when she had started her own business. “When I began a real estate business, a lawyer friend of mine suggested I name it ‘Swell Appraisals’ a combination of my first initial and my married surname. We decided that she was the only lawyer or lender in my area with a significant sense of humor, so the idea was quickly abandoned.  I revived her idea again when naming the blog and hope that readers will pronounce it ‘swell genealogy’ even if I did throw in a ‘period’ to complicate things.”

Susan’s main concern about blogging was that she might run out of topics, “But that hasn’t been a problem – one idea seems to lead to another.”

What Susan Loves Most About Genealogy

“For me, it is definitely the thrill of the hunt. I love doing the research, and I love the high when I find something. A bonus is discovering that I have the perseverance to get through the lean times and to creatively attack the brick walls. The more I research, the more certain I am that I could not have been a Colonial or pioneer woman. Forget the hard work and frequent pregnancies, I am prone to motion sickness and would never have made it across the Atlantic in a sailing ship. My GGGgrandmother came from Hamburg in 1843 with husband and eight children in six weeks. She is admirable for the feat alone.”

Susan’s Time Capsule Message

“Genealogy will change your life positively, even though you may not think it will. I felt I came from a nice ordinary middle class family and I do . . . but I had not fully understood that members of nice middle class families fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War. They survived the Great Depression.  Finding people taking part in these great American dramas, really embedded in the nitty-gritty of family history, made me feel different.  I feel a part of a large American Family that is, in not so small ways, part of American history.”

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Please take a moment to visit Susan’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Susan, 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.

Have You Decorated Your Blog for the Holidays?

Holiday blog decorating

As I am preparing for the launch of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories as well as digging my own Christmas ornaments out of the closet for my own tree, I realized it was time to deck out my own personal genealogy blog – Destination: Austin Family – for the holidays! Take a look here.

If you are interested in changing your own blog template for the holiday season (and there are a variety including winter themes, Hanukkah themes, Kwanzaa themes and more!), then take a look at our Resources for Holiday Blog Decorating there at GeneaBloggers.

Included in the resources are two “how to” videos – one on how to back up your Blogger template and another on how to change your template for the holidays.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Monday, November 28, 2011

genealogy blogging beat

Today is Monday, November 28, 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