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May I Introduce To You . . . Barbara Schmidt

Barbara Schmidt

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Barbara Schmidt and her blog, Barbara Schmidt / Genealogy – Family research and other stuff, described as, “. . .  It started as a cousin bait blog because I wanted to connect to other researchers for my line. But it soon expanded to a lot more. I blog about the sources I use and how to read them. Especially the German one’s since I can imagine the language barriers researcher’s face when their family tree leads them to Germany. And I added a ‘Today in my family tree’ section, where I blog daily about an event on my family tree. Be it a birth, marriage, death or emigration. I even had an immunization against the pox 😉

And then there is the other stuff: things I see and I connect to genealogy but that don’t really have to do with my family research. e.g. my ‘Biology 2.0’ post. “

About Barbara

“I was born in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany which is far up north when you take a look at a map from Germany. Almost directly at the Baltic Sea. Now, I live in Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany. When you take a look at the map again, it is almost in the middle and then a bit to the West. I live there for 12 years now with a two year break in Milan, Italy and six months in Brussels, Belgium.

I kind of have the moving bug. I lived one year in the States in Ft. Worth, TX and a while in France when I went to University in southwest Germany (living in France was a lot cheaper that time).”

How Barbara Got Started in Genealogy

“I started when I was about 21. That makes it almost 20 years. Gosh, how time flies!

Coming from a rather big family, I always listened to the stories from ‘back in the days.’ Especially when my Dad got together with his siblings they had a lot to share. And lot of names. aunt this, uncle that, cousin so and so. And I got lost. So one day I started to draw a chart, matching kids to parents and husbands to wives. Voilà! That was my first family tree.”

Barbara’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started only back in July 2013. It is a very new one. As I mentioned, I started it as a cousin bait blog.  I attended a webinar from on the topic and was so fascinated by the thought of finding other descendants from my lines. So far I focused on going back in time, going up the tree. Now it was time to go down again.”

Tips for New Bloggers

“Just do it! Don’t think about what your ‘audience’ might want to read. Think about what you want to tell! There will be days when you have no inspiration at all. And there will be days where there won’t be any readers to your blog. Believe me, I know how frustrating that can be. But don’t panic and don’t give up. Find a nice layout and stick with it. Readers need to recognize your blog. Don’t cheat and don’t copy – give credit where credit is due!

And most important: have fun!”

Barbara’s Favorite Blog Post

“The one about Friedrich Ludwig Heinrich Ulmer, immigrating to Australia. Why? Because it was the first one I received feedback about. Not on my blog directly but on my Google+ account. And it helped me to really track his son still living in Australia. Unfortunately, we only had one email-exchange and I never heard of him again, but it showed me that the idea works!”

Barbara’s Favorite Ancestors

“My great-grandmother Hedwig Agnes Clara Ribbe.

From what I learned about her through my research and what her daughter (my great aunt who passed away just last year) told me she was a very strict no-nonsense woman. Raising four children with two husbands, the children being almost 20 years apart. She died way too young. I wonder sometimes, what she would have had to tell me.

And maybe she is my favourite because I always loved her picture and because on the picture she reminds me of my mother.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Barbara’s Life

“I am a lot more interested in history than I ever was before! That is definitely a plus. I put things into context more. Just a fact is not thrilling if you don’t know the circumstances.”

What Barbara Loves Most About Genealogy

“I can totally forget time. I had moments where I looked at the clock and got startled because it was two in the morning. Genealogy puts things into another perspective. I love it when this brick wall crashes just to see another one building up. I love to help other people with their research.”

Barbara’s Time Capsule Message

“You cannot appreciate your future without knowing your past.”


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

© 2013, copyright Gini Webb

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.

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