May I Introduce to You . . . Matthew Burt

Come meet genealogy blogger Matthew Burt, author of Burt and Beyond, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Matthew Burt and his blog, Burt and beyond – a journey in Genealogy, described as, “. . . A personal family blog to learn about my own heritage with a focus on trying to teach through my own experiences from scratch.”

A Little About Matthew

“I was born in The North of England in the historical city of York which is in the County of North Yorkshire. I have lived there all of my life (35 years) and it’s England’s friendliest place in my humble opinion.”

How Matthew Got Started in Genealogy

“I am currently studying towards my BA (hons) in History with the Open University and enjoy all aspects of the field especially the social side. I thought it would be really fun to link my own family to important historical periods and find out how they may have added to their own societies. I have only been seriously studying for 3 months.”

Matthew’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started building it a month ago and it was a way to chart my own journey for myself and my family initially, but I think it will be pretty cool to share my findings on the way. How I got there as well as who I found, who knows it could be useful for somebody.”

Matthew’s Advice for New Bloggers

“Keep going. First and foremost write about what you love and don’t be too worried about how many readers you get initially.”

Matthew’s Favorite Blog Post

“My favourite post is “Heroes of Hope Street” I love the way families can be inter connected and this story has a coincidence that I love.”

Matthew’s Time with Ancestors

“With all of my study and full time work commitments it is tough but I try to spend 4/5 hours per week.”

Matthew’s Favorite Ancestor

“Harry Burt my paternal Grandad. He used to tell me old war stories and that is what sparked my interest in History. I am currently waiting on his WW2 service records and I hope to share them over the next couple of weeks.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Matthew’s Life

“It has given me a new passion, I know already that I am hooked for life on Genealogy. Plus I have already been in touch with several relatives I had never met before.”

What Matthew Loves Most About Genealogy

“I feel so proud each time I discover an ancestor entering some field of battle. I have learned of ancestors who fought in both world wars, the Boer war and even one Irish ancestor who fought with the Union Army in the American Civil War.”

Matthew’s Genealogy Bucket List

“To visit many of the places my Ancestors come from.”

Matthew’s Time Capsule Message

“Know where you came from and understand from whom you came and be proud of it.”

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

© 2015, 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.

May I Introduce to You . . . Andrea Kelleher

Come meet genealogy blogger Andrea Kelleher, author of How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Andrea Kelleher and her blog, How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, described as, “. . . Just my way of sharing with family, friends, and anyone who will listen, the things that I have learned about my ancestors with a little bit about myself and my own little family in the mix.  My blog highlights the discoveries I’ve made regarding my ancestral roots from Eastern North Carolina and Barbados predominantly.”

A Little Bit About Andrea

“I was born in Queens, NY during the early 1970’s. For the first 10 years of my life, my family and I lived in Cambria Heights, NY and were blessed to have a wonderful group of relatives living within a 15 minute drive from our house.”  Andrea currently resides in New York.

How Andrea Got Started in Genealogy

“I have been researching my ancestors since August 2009. I think there was always a curiosity about where my ancestors came from.  My maternal grandmother had this beautiful old photograph that hung on the wall of her bedroom while I was growing up. It was a picture of my great grandmother holding my grandmother in her lap. My grandmother was this tiny 6 month old cherub and there holding her was this woman who’s gaze just captivated me.  It was like she was sending me a message with those eyes.  She was saying, ‘Find out who I am?’

Since my childhood, I was curious to know more about my roots, but it wasn’t until I had my kids that I started researching.”

Andrea’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I began my genealogy blog on May 30, 2011, on a whim.  Yes, that’s right on a whim. Let’s just say, I was a bit nervous about sharing my writing with the world but I wanted to do it.  I wanted my kids to have something that they could refer to about their family history.  Then I thought it would be neat to share this with the rest of the family. I thought I could present things to them in a way that they would appreciate and would easily understand.  Finally one day, I got up the nerve and wrote my first post, Okay…Here We Go! LOL.

Andrea’s Tips for New (and Not So New) Bloggers

“Just do it! Start writing and sharing. One of the things that is always floating around in my head is that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the stories we know as family historians weren’t shared, written down and passed on? I would like to write a book at some point but I didn’t want to wait to share what I’d learned.  Plus the process of discovery is so wonderful. Every time I find something knew out, I take a moment and reflect on it. I look at how it fills in part of the story of the individual I’m researching. Then I think about how that reflects on to me. Is there something about this story that can help me on my own life’s journey? What struggle did someone before me go through and how can I learn from that experience? Perhaps it’s learning something like I have an interest or talent in common with an ancestor.  There’s that sense of connectivity you get from doing family history that we are all part of the same chain of life. The more you learn, the more it brings you closer to truly understanding that.”

Andrea’s Favorite Blog Posts

Andrea’s Time with her Ancestors

“As much as I can.  It can be difficult at times because I am a stay at home mom with two kids ages 6 and 9 to keep up with.  I would say about an hour a day. Sometimes that hour is broken up into 5-10 minute increments because I am squeezing it in between gymnastics, soccer, or keeping up with the house.  I try to write something for my blog a couple times a week so that is probably another couple of hours there.”

Andrea’s Favorite Ancestor

“My great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant, because of the picture she had taken with my grandmother. It laid the groundwork for me to begin my journey.”

How Genealogy/Family History has Improved or Changed Andre’s Life

“Genealogy has improved my life by giving me the knowledge that I come from very strong people. I know now that no matter what happens in this world I have an inner strength that is capable of handling whatever may come my way. I have read about some of the things my ancestors went through and endured. If they had the strength and courage to carry on then so can I.”

What Andre Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love genealogy/family history because it brings people together. My family now has a deeper sense of where our kin came from and I have now been connected to this wonderful online family of people who have the same passion for family history as I do. Really, there is no bad side to this.  At least I haven’t come across it yet.”

Andrea’s Genealogy Bucket List

“Go back to Barbados and do some research at the archives there. Also, visit the area in St Philip Parish where my grandfather grew up. I visited there, years ago before I was into family history. If only I had come down with genealogy fever, then. (Sigh)”

Andrea’s Time Capsule Message

“There is something to be learned from all those who have come before you. Take the time out and learn about your family’s history. By learning about your ancestors, you will learn more about yourself.”

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

© 2015, 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.

May I Introduce to You . . . Dara McGivern

Come meet genealogy blogger Dara McGivern, author of the Black Raven Genealogy blog, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to, Dara McGivern and her blog, Black Raven Genealogy, described as, “. . . Black Raven Genealogy is an Irish family history blog, created to share discoveries made while researching my ancestors.  ‘Black Raven’ is the name of the house in Co. Dublin where I grew up. It has been home to our family since at least the 1850s. The cottage was probably named after a prize greyhound belonging to my great-grandfather and, as such, seemed a fitting name for a blog about my genealogy.”

How Dara Got Started in Genealogy

“Unlike so many other GeneaBloggers, I am a relative newcomer to the genealogy world and only started researching my family tree in the summer of 2011. My first blog post Welcome to Black Raven Genealogy sets out how my interest was initially sparked. Not being one to do anything by half-measures, I immediately signed up for a three year course in Genealogy at University College Dublin and graduated this year.  It became clear early on that family history is more than the bare bones of genealogy’s dates, places and relationships and, while an amateur genealogist, like me, may well create an accurate, extended family pedigree, they will not be able to contextualise the results without an adequate grasp of relevant social and economic history. For this reason, in 2013, I also obtained an MA in History of Family from the University of Limerick.

Over the past few years, I have traced a number of my paternal and maternal lines back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Dublin, and so far have identified only one pair of potential fifth great-grandparents. Unless the family was titled or belonged to the landed-gentry class, this is about as far back as many of us with Irish ancestors can go. Irish genealogy is renowned for its challenges, making it occasionally infuriating, but nevertheless, extremely rewarding and I’m now completely hooked. Out of necessity, we use some fairly unusual record sets, adding an extra flavour to the research. For example, I am eagerly awaiting Findmypast’s release of our local court’s Dog Licence Register, which will hopefully reference my elusive great-grandfather, Michael Byrne, and his fore-mentioned famous greyhound. Just maybe, this register will contain the clue that will help me locate his origins. Wouldn’t that be something to write about!”

Dara’s Thoughts on Blogging

“Last September, with my MA dissertation out of the way, there was more time to spend on genealogy research. Some of the information being uncovered about our ancestors was amazing and I wanted to share it with my extended family. Blogging seemed the ideal medium and my family was very encouraging. Even those with no huge interest in their family history dip in and out occasionally. I love the interaction it generates when a story catches their imagination. And then there are the ‘new’ cousins that I hoped to encounter – thus far, half a dozen genealogy cousins have contacted me, all as a result of this blog. Not bad for my first year!  Some just wanted to say ‘hi’, some provided the clue that helped to solve a family mystery and others shared a wealth of family memorabilia and photos with me. Priceless!”

Dara’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Join GeneaBloggers! Soon after my first post, my uncle Colm commented that he thought I was very brave, saying it took a lot of effort and commitment to make a blog successful. Brave? I knew nothing about blogging and the thought of ‘failure’ hadn’t even occurred to me. I had absolutely no idea if I was on the right path or not and had never expected that anyone unrelated to my family would ever want to read my posts. Then, I discovered GeneaBloggers.  This led to a myriad of other genealogy blogs and bloggers, each providing example and know-how, not to mention a ready flow of engaging stories. Blogging is so much more fun when someone, in addition to family, reads your posts, so it was great to become part of this community. I appreciate everyone that comments on my blog and I’m most grateful to my friend Ellie from Ellie’s Ancestors for offering so many words of encouragement and support, especially during my early blogging days. It is wonderful to hear from others who share my enthusiasm for family history.”

Dara’s Favorite Blog Posts

“My personal favourite may well have been one that I wrote earlier this year, entitled ‘Some truth in our family lore’. It was fascinating to see how events occurring nearly 150 years ago shaped the stories still told in our family today, particularly as they occurred more than 10,000 miles from Dublin. I wrote this post while still high with excitement from having finally found my third great-grandfather, John Radcliffe, who had vanished in the 1850s. Phyllis, my new friend and third cousin, read my post lamenting his disappearance and decided to help. She located John’s death record in Victoria, Australia, thus opening up a whole new avenue for further research. My first cousin, Aileen, then obtained the register of his burial and a photograph of his gravesite. Another unforeseen perquisite of blogging is having someone help with the research!”

Dara’s Favorite Ancestors

“Undoubtedly, every family historian would struggle to answer this question, or the answer they gave might vary over time. Currently, I am drawn to my Dad’s maternal grandmother, born Mary Agnes Donovan, probably in Dublin in the 1850s.  Following Mary Agnes’s ancestral trail has been exceptionally enjoyable, peppered as it was with just enough hints to maintain a search, but with the occasional breakthroughs as reward. I wrote about identifying her in two posts entitled ‘Finding Lena’s mother’ Part 1 and Part 2 and am now plugging away at trying to prove her maternal lineage.  Mary Agnes was supposedly a talented pianist and was said to have played piano accompaniment in the silent movies and in Dublin’s Abbey Theatre. Someday, it would be great to find documentary evidence of this and maybe even a photograph of the lady herself.”

What Dara Loves Most About Genealogy

“Like many others, what I love most about genealogy is the detective work, starting with what little is known, searching for further clues, evaluating all the information and finally, hopefully, finding that piece of corroborating evidence that either makes or breaks the case.”

An Additional Message from Dara

“Thank you for inviting me to participate in the ‘May I Introduce to You’ series and the opportunity to ‘meet’ other GeneaBloggers. Céad míle fáilte or, one hundred thousand welcomes, to everyone that drops by ‘Black Raven’ to say hello.”

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

© 2015, 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.