I have the pleasure of introducing you to Karen Miller Bennett, CG and her blog, Karen’s Chatt, described as, “. . . Karen’s Chatt blog and website focus on my family’s history, the histories of other local families, and the history of Chatt and its inhabitants; I also feature a local tombstone on my weekly Tombstone Tuesday.”
“I grew up and still live in rural Mercer County, Ohio, near the small village of Chattanooga. ‘Chatt’ is in west-central Ohio, a mile from the Indiana state line. I have been a Board-certified genealogist for 10 years, certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I am the registrar for the Lima Chapter NSDAR and a past chair of the OGS First Families of Ohio. My main interests are local history, cemetery research, German research, lineage societies, technology, and writing. I have been married to Joe for 40 years and we have one son. I have been a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist for over 40 years.”
How Karen Got Started in Genealogy
“I have been researching for over 20 years. I had an interest in family history research for many years but it became a serious endeavor after I helped our son research a Mercer County Civil War veteran for a school assignment years ago.”
Karen’s Thoughts on Blogging
“I created the Karen’s Chatt website in January 2011. What started out as a website to share family history and lots of old family photos quickly turned into a blogging website. By blogging I regularly research, write, and share family stories and memories as well as stories about the Chatt area and the people who once lived there. I find that by blogging I can do these things in small, manageable pieces and share the information at the same time.
My German Lutheran ancestors settled in this area and most of them and some of their descendants remained here all their lives. Most were farmers and we have farms on both sides of my family that have been in the family for over a century. The Schumms (my maternal line) established a little village and a Lutheran church of the same name a few miles north of here in Van Wert County. The Millers (my paternal line) attended the Lutheran church in Chatt. Since I have close family connections to both churches I translated the records of both a few years ago. Those records contain some information that is not available anywhere else, providing a good resource for local family histories. They give details about individuals and show how the families of the two churches and the community are intertwined. Blogging gives me the opportunity to share this information.
I post a blog twice a week—on Tuesday and Friday. On Tombstone Tuesday, I feature a local tombstone and often use the translated church records as well as the usual research resources to provide additional information about the individuals. My Friday post may be about a variety of things—family history, Chatt, history, technology, holidays, memories, or something I am currently involved in or doing.
An added benefit of blogging is hearing from others. I especially enjoy hearing from distant relatives and learning new information.”
Karen’s Favorite Blog Posts
“A couple of my favorites:
- The Porch Swing, recalling some of my childhood memories.
- The Scrapbook, looking back at my dad’s high school years through a classmate’s scrapbook.
- A Story for Veterans Day, a WWII story about my dad and how, through my blog, I made contact with someone who had heard the same story.”
Spending Time with the Ancestors
“Unfortunately, I do not get to spend as much time researching as I would like because I still have my day job as a dental hygienist. However, posting regular blogs keeps me researching and writing, but in small increments.”
Karen’s Tips for New Bloggers
“Write about what you enjoy and what you know. Write and post your blogs regularly.”
How Genealogy Has Improved Karen’s Life
“Genealogy research has expanded my learning experience to include history, law, customs, writing, reasoning, source citations, among other things. Preparing my BCG certification portfolio was an enormous learning experience. I have met many great people and have made friendships through our common interest in genealogy.”
Karen’s Favorite Ancestors
“I love them all, but the handsome Louis Breuninger, my great-great-grandfather, has to be one of my favorites. He was a devout and generous Christian, an educated man, an inventor, and a fine wood craftsman. Our family has a number of items that he brought with him when he immigrated in 1840–his leather boots, rifle, and various documents of genealogical value. We also have a number of his letters and a walnut cupboard he constructed. I feel a strong kinship to him because of these items. He lived in Wisconsin and Ohio, but I have yet to learn why he went to Atlanta right after the Civil War.”
What Karen Loves Most About Genealogy
“I love the challenge, the research, and the thrill of discovering new information. I enjoy learning about family relationships and seeing how families in a community are intertwined.”
Karen’s Time Capsule Message
“Take the time to write down your lifetime memories. Someday someone will want to know about your life and your experiences.”
Please take a moment to head on over to Karen’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Karen, 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.