Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Deborah Ruth and her blog, Adventures in Genealogy, described as, “ . . . a family history.”
How Deborah Got Started in Genealogy
Deborah has been doing family history for a little over four years now: “Almost overnight my entire life changed. The children left the nest and my husband started a job that required him being out-of-town Monday thru Friday. I knew right away I had to find something to occupy my time or go slowly crazy!”
Deborah’s brother, Ken, had been the “family historian” for several years. He was becoming very busy with his children and wasn’t able to spend as much time researching. With Deborah having “tons of time” and looking for a new challenge, she became involved in the family’s history and genealogy.
“I soon became so addicted that losing track of time became commonplace. One night while researching one of my husband’s grandfather’s, I came across a story where he was hit by a car and later passed away. Picking up the phone I called my husband (he was in Virginia) to relate this tragic story. He listened for a bit and then said, ‘Deb, when did he die?’ Um, 1928, I replied, to which he said, ‘Go to bed.’ And so it goes . . .
Not long after this, my father was diagnosed with his second round of cancer. We knew pretty quickly this would be his last battle. At the time I realized how important it was to document family history. Spending time with my dad in those last days and gathering his memories was a bittersweet experience.”
Deborah’s Family and Her Blog
Several of Deborah’s family members read her blog on an occasional basis, “They enjoyed the ‘Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories’ posts that were part of the series hosted on GeneaBloggers. They are definitely interested in the family history as opposed to the ‘how-to’ of genealogy.”
Deborah’s husband is very supportive and enjoys all of her discoveries, “ . . . I’m very fortunate that my new son-in-law is also interested in genealogy. He tries to read the blog as much as his busy life allows and has even posted the blog on his Facebook page! My sister-in-law, Faith reads my blog pretty regularly. She is so sweet and leaves comments, gives encouragement, and praise.”
How Deborah Follows the Rest of Us
Deborah mainly uses Google Reader to keep up with her blog reading. In Deborah’s own words, “Have to remember to check everyday or it becomes more of a hindrance than help. I also use Networked Blogs from Facebook. Recently I have become a wee bit addicted to Twitter. It is a great forum to catch up quickly with fellow geneabloggers. I like the short snippets of information with great websites attached.”
On a given day, Deborah will read several hundred blogs, most are genealogy blogs but some are history related. Deborah is constantly “amazed” at the variety of genealogy blogs, “ . . . Some are technical, some feature mostly photographs, and some are like reading a family journal.”
Deborah’s Thoughts on Blogging
Deborah’s blog came about while she was working for a public library system, “Several years ago we began working on a technology initiative. One of the projects was to start a blog about something you had always found interesting. One night about eleven, I was playing around on the Internet with ideas that would be fun to blog. Typed in ‘genealogy’ and as they say, ‘The rest is history.’ Also, with the passing of my father and my mother being the last generation, I hope to preserve the family history for my generation.”
“The main fear was being out of my element. Learning about genealogy and technology together seemed a little scary.” Deborah’s additional concern was the possibility that others would not be interested in reading her blog. Not long after she began blogging, she had several supportive comments on her blog encouraging her, and it was then that the, “adventure began!”
Privacy and copyright issues and any other possible ways she could cause problems for others had been a huge concern for her in the beginning. Deborah quickly discovered many bloggers who addressed these various issues with excellent advice. “Once I realized there was so much support available, all the restraints were gone.”
What Deborah Loves the Most About Genealogy
“Working on the genealogy puzzle! How satisfying to find just the right piece to the family tree! There are moments when I just shout for joy when everything fits perfectly, also, the discovery of amazing stories to share with the family. My husband had very little knowledge of his family background. It has been extremely satisfying to share with him new discoveries daily.”
Deborah’s Time Capsule Message
Listen to the stories! Our lives are so busy we don’t take the time to slow down and listen to each other, how sad that much of our oral history has been lost. Gradually our family has lost an entire branch of the tree.
Each family needs that special person to step up and become the keeper of their heritage. These precious memories are just as important as the family china everyone covets. They are what gives us our identity and binds us together.”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Deborah’s blog. Leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by. Deborah, welcome and 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.