I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Cassie Sanford Clark and her blog, The Sanford Family Misfit, described as, “. . . The Sanford Family Misfit is a blog dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the various branches of my family tree, sharing local North Carolina history, giving tips to other genealogists, and preserving my rich Southern heritage.”
How Cassie Got Started in Genealogy
“I spent the early years of my life living with my paternal grandparents and they taught me the importance of remembering our lost loved ones. At a very young age I was participating in ‘Decoration Day’ at family cemeteries, listening to stories about my great-grandparents, and looking at old pictures of distant relatives. It’s as if I was prepped from birth to research my family history. I did my first genealogy research in high school when my English teacher required our class to write a report on our family origins. About eight years ago the report I wrote in high school became the basis for my first family tree.
I decided to start researching my family history in 2004 after the death of my paternal grandfather. My first child was a year old at the time and it bothered me that she would never get to know him and love him as I had. At the time I was looking for ways to keep his memory alive for my daughter. Ultimately, I started researching my family history as a way of leaving behind a colorful history for her.”
Cassie’s Thoughts on Creating a Genealogy Blog
“When I first started researching my family history, there was very little information out there on my Haywood County Sanford line and very few researchers who were willing to share their information. It was frustrating not to have anyone out there who could offer me any help. Once I hit a certain point in my research, I started my first genealogy blog as a way of sharing all the information I had collected on my Sanford line – that was two years ago. Over time the original blog grew to contain information on local North Carolina history, research notes on my other North Carolina lines, genealogy tips, family recipes, and a steady following. I eventually felt the site would benefit by moving it to a new platform, so I moved the blog to its own domain in July of this year.”
Cassie’s Favorite Blog Post
“Growing Up Sanford is my favorite blog post (though, I’m not sure it is my best). I always try to keep in mind that the research of genealogy isn’t only the research of our ancestors, but also the research of our living relatives and descendants. I believe this is an important fact that is sadly overlooked by a lot of family historians. I wrote Growing Up Sanford in dedication to my living relatives. It accurately describes what it was like for me to grow up as a part of my family. Every time I read this post I am reminded of how truly lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.”
Cassie’s Tips for New Genealogy Bloggers
“I wish someone had told me before I started out, to check out all the other blogs in my niche. It’s hard to appeal to a specific mass audience when you aren’t aware of what is going on inside their community. I would definitely suggest that any new genealogy blogger takes a little time to read other genealogy blogs and get familiar with the community.”
How Genealogy Improved Cassie’s Life
“Thanks to my research I have been allowed to spend massive amounts of unique quality time with my family. My research has allowed me to interview my mamaw, spend time with cousins at libraries, take my baby sister ‘ghost hunting,’ explore places of family importance with my daughters, listen to my parents’ stories about growing up, and given me an opportunity to learn the things my aunts/uncles know about our family’s history. My whole family has taken an interest in my blog and they help me out by sending me photos, stories, and ideas for posts. I would say that genealogy has improved my life by creating a stronger bond between me and my living family.”
Cassie’s Favorite Ancestor
“I have a list of favorite ancestors and that list changes every few months. However, I do have one ancestor that always remains on the list: Linus Sanford. Linus Sanford is one of my favorites, because he is shrouded in mystery. It’s as if he pops out of nowhere in Lincoln County, North Carolina around 1812. Some of my distant relatives believe that he is the long lost son of Ezekiel Sanford and Sarah Chloe Cook, but without any proof I cannot say I believe this. I love to research Linus, because I’m still hoping to find concrete proof of his parentage.”
What Cassie Loves Most About Genealogy
“There are dozens of things I love about researching my family tree – I love the connection I feel to my ancestors, preserving my Southern traditions/heritage, traveling to places I never would have gone, finding long lost relatives, and keeping a strong bond going with my whole family. I honestly enjoy everything about researching my family history. However, if I had to choose the one thing I love most, it would be the feeling of success that comes with finding the missing piece to a puzzle. Each time I answer one question – I find myself craving an answer to another one.”
Cassie’s Time Capsule Message
“I never lost a single member of my family, because I dedicated my life to keeping their memories alive.”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Cassie’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Cassie, it’s great to have you here!
© 2012, 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.