I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Debby Warner Anderson and her blog, Debby’s Family Genealogy Blog, described as, “. . . My name is Debby and I grew up listening to stories my grandmother (Agnes) told about her family King/Rowan. Unfortunately, while she was alive I didn’t write down all she told me. Now I am on a quest to find out more about my ancestors. If you have any information you would like to share . . . Photos and stories would be greatly appreciated.”
A Little About Debby
“I was born in Anchorage, Alaska but grew up in Calverton, New York. My last year of High School I was a Rotary Exchange Student and lived in Tarija, Bolivia. After graduating from college in PA I moved to San Diego, CA for several years and then moved back to Calverton. After my son graduated from High School I moved back to Southern CA and live just outside San Diego (and my son is nearby in LA).”
Debby, how did you get started doing genealogy?
“Great question! I knew the reason I got started was because I always enjoyed listening to all the stories my paternal grandmother would tell about family members. I thought some more about this and I think since my grandparents came from big families I started writing down who people were in an attempt to try to remember how everyone was related. I also liked to ask a lot of questions. I started this about 12-13 years old and did some research off and on over the years. I again started to concentrate on my research about 2000.”
When and why did you start a genealogy blog?
“When I was at the SCG Jamboree several years ago, I listened to a panel of big name bloggers talk about the advantages of blogging. I started after that but my blog never went anywhere and no one read it. I wasn’t even sure I had set things up right. In November, Diane Gould Hall helped me get things set up, gave me some very good pointers and continues to be my support and advisor. Diane has been a tremendous help. I think everyone needs a mentor like Diane! I know there’s so much I still need to learn.”
Debby, what research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?
“Attending seminars. Going to the Southern CA Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, attending monthly San Diego Genealogy Society meetings/seminars (listening to a variety speakers and talking to other genealogists), and listening to podcasts (since I spend 2 hours a day driving) are the greatest help for me. Then when I have time to do some research I have some ideas of what to do.”
Debby, do you have any tips for new genealogy bloggers?
“Blogging is a lot of work and seems very overwhelming in the beginning but . . . you CAN do it! It’s slow getting started but I’ve already starting making a few new connections because of my blog.”
Please tell us about your favorite post on your blog.
“I think right now my favorite posts have to deal with ‘Carrie’s Letters’. They tend to be the focus of my research right now as I try to put them into book format with tons of background information in sidebars to make them more interesting to read.”
How much time do you spend on family history research?
“Unfortunately, I do not get to spend much time for my research since Work (Monday-Friday) seems to get in the way. I try to carve out some time here and there.”
Debby, who is your favorite ancestor(s) and why?
“I’m not sure I can pick one Ancestor as my favorite. As I get to know them through my research I’ve come to admire them all for what they have done in their lives. I think they’ve all dealt with a variety of different circumstances and made the best of what they had. Some may be more interesting (e.g., John & Priscilla Alden, Carrie Terry Warner, etc.) but I think that’s based on the information I’ve been able to learn about them.”
How has genealogy made a difference in your life?
“The wonderful people that I have met and continue to meet on this journey of research I am making. I think doing the research has given me a wonderful opportunity to keep in touch with family that I might not have otherwise and I have met some great new family members that I didn’t know about.”
Debby, what do you love most about doing your genealogy?
“Getting to know my ancestors. Putting the pieces of their lives together to learn more about them then just their birth and death dates.”
What family heirloom or story do you cherish?
“I have several items that belonged to my ancestors that I cherish: my great-grandmother’s letters, a teapot from the 1840s, a sewing rocker from the turn of the century, my grandmother’s birthstone ring are the ones that come to mind right now.”
Debby, what is on your genealogy bucket list?
“I have two: To go to Salt Lake City for a week of Research and when I retire to drive Cross Country to visit several different states with places my ancestors lived to do research and some traveling to countries where they came from.”
If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you say to them?
“Start recording the everyday stories you are listening to right now!”
* * *
Please take a moment to head on over to Debby’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Debby, it’s great to have you here!
© 2016, copyright Gini Webb. All rights reserved.
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her 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.