I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Kathleen Reed of the Jones Family Matters blog. Kathleen describes her blog as follows, “Jones Family Matters is a vehicle for sharing the family stories and pictures with my immediate and extended family. As we are the product of a diverse lineage, English, Irish and German lines are discussed.”
How Kathleen Got Started in Genealogy
Kathleen started working on her genealogy and family history 10 years ago following a hip replacement. Having limited mobility, Kathleen’s daughter suggested that she use her time to “ . . . organize the records my mother left me.”
Kathleen comes from a very close-knit family, and being the oldest, she was in the best position to personally know many of those from earlier generations. Kathleen realized that her younger siblings did not have the same experience as she had had. In addition, Kathleen wanted a vehicle for sharing many of the pictures and artifacts she had with other family members.
Kathleen’s Family and her Blog
Kathleen’s family very much appreciates her blog. Most of them are regular readers: “I’ve dealt with a couple of sensitive issues after checking to see if others would be offended. I’ve often featured living members of my family with their permission. I’ve also reached several members of my family (unknown to me) when they search on their own names and realize we have a common ancestor.”
How Kathleen Follows The Rest of Us
Kathleen follows about 30 blogs using Google Reader. She also has blogs tied to her Blogger dashboard. Kathleen receives about two or three blog updates via her email. On a typical day, Kathleen will read from about ten blogs.
Since Kathleen linked her blog to GeneaBloggers, she has discovered many more readers. Kathleen has several favorite blogs she likes to follow and some of those bloggers have become regular readers of her own blog. Kathleen has found other bloggers to be very helpful in sharing their techniques and suggestions with her.
Kathleen’s Thoughts on Blogging
Kathleen decided to create her own blog when she was learning to use blog and Wiki technology as part of work she was doing with teachers who were trying to incorporate technology in their classrooms. Kathleen soon realized just how valuable the technology could be for sharing information about her family.
After taking the plunge, Kathleen had a concern that she would not be able to handle the technology, “I never worried about whether or not my family read it because I felt like my primary goal was writing it for future descendants. It has already exceeded all of my expectations.”
When Kathleen started blogging she was un-comfortable with the software. She struggled at times getting pictures to be placed where she wanted them along with other related issues.
After about a year of blogging, another concern was that she might run out of materials because she had yet to write about many of her known ancestors. Kathleen has since discovered that there are always topics that can be discussed. She does get a bit uncomfortable when writing about topics that are not totally in alignment with her stated purpose.
Seeing other bloggers use the term “cousin bait” Kathleen decided to “adopt” this term also. “Blogging has enriched my life because it’s given me the chance to reconnect with cousins, aunts, and uncles and to make numerous connections with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins I had not known previously. Blogging has me living in a strange world. Many of the people that I talk to, write to and communicate with (including you, Gini) I’VE NEVER MET! What a strange and wonderful world I find myself living in!”
Kathleen’s blog title comes from her birth name, “Jones” and being a part of the 5th generation in Cincinnati. “I liked ‘Family Matters’ because of the double meaning of the word ‘matters.’ I was surprised, and happy, when I discovered that the name was still available.”
What Kathleen Loves The Most About Genealogy
“I love writing about my family because it forces me to ‘do my research.’ My research has taken me in directions I never anticipated. There were many women in my family who were left to raise several children with few resources following the deaths of their husbands. I had far more ancestors involved in the Civil War than I thought. There were several marriages across ethnic lines such as Irish and German. I had one direct ancestor who became ‘insane’ and another forced to support herself as a prostitute. Many of these facts were not known to me when I began.”
Kathleen’s Time Capsule Message
“I always said that I came from a ‘long line of strong women.’ The longer I research my ancestors, the more I realize what a wonder it is that all of the stars aligned correctly resulting in my very existence. I realize how blessed we are that we do not have to deal with the diseases and poverty of our ancestors. I would wish that we, as a society, would consider our descendants and think about ways that we can leave them a better world – instead of the world I am seeing right now.”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Kathleen’s blog. Leave her a message to let her know you stopped by. Welcome Kathleen, 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.