May I Introduce To You . . . Ken Spangler

Ken Spangler

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Ken Spangler of the Beyond Fiction blog, described as, “Ken’s Spangler’s Genealogy Blog and Further Ramblings.”

How Ken Got Started in Genealogy

Ken’s genealogy journey started when his father passed away. It was then that Ken realized he knew very little about his family and had just lost his best source. Ken wanted to find out as much as he could and share it with his children; it’s what has kept him going for ten years now.

Ken’s Family and His Blog

Ken is not exactly sure what his family thinks about his blog. Ken’s sister and a cousin, follow and read his blog regularly, but he has never really received much feedback from either of them.  Ken continues to publish his posts on Facebook in hopes that family will occasionally drop by and see what he has to say, since as Ken puts it, “After all, they are the main ones I am writing for!”

How Ken Follows the Rest of Us

Ken uses Google Reader to keep up with the blogs he follows. He also checks out new blogs over at GeneaBloggers as they are posted.  In Ken’s own words, “Of course, I discover a lot of great blogs by following the links in my comments!” Ken very much enjoys his “genea-buddies” that follow him and he looks forward to their comments.

Currently, Ken does not receive blog updates via his email. He recently converted to Microsoft Outlook for email and is toying with the idea of using email to receive updates, but hasn’t taken the plunge just yet.

On a typical day, Ken will read about 40 to 50 blogs. “Fortunately they don’t post everyday.” Ken is currently following about 100 blogs.

Ken’s Thoughts on Blogging

Ken started his blog when he came across Jasia’s Creative Gene blog in 2007. He began reading her blog and was fascinated by the idea. He thought, “This idea would be a great way to share my stories with not only family members but also with potential family. In the long run, that is what my blog has become.”

Ken came up with his blog title from an email address his son helped him pick out.  Ken felt, “Beyond Fiction was truth, but, in genealogy the line between truth and fiction was so vague. Thus the title.”

Ken’s biggest concern was whether or not his writing would be accepted. “I am not near as smart as most bloggers. I also feared that I wouldn’t have enough ideas for posts but I have found that if I just followed blogging prompts, I would have more than enough to keep me busy.”

Once Ken decided to blog, he was excited and hopeful about what it meant for his genealogy future. Ken looks at blogging as another tool to get his information out there and find other family members who might also share his passion.

Ken wants us to know that his blog is a prime example of why we need to continuously backup our computers. Ken has a big gap in his blog history. All his posts from 2009 and some from 2010 are missing because he did not do regular backups! “Fortunately, I found a backup from December of 2008 so I was able to recover the early years. The lost years are just that, lost!”

One of the biggest reasons why Ken lost all of his posts was due to relocating from Texas to North Carolina. Unfortunately, during the move, Ken had let his renewal date for his web hosting slip by. Ken could have had everything restored for $150.00 but was unable to afford it at the time.  Ken felt fortunate that he had most of his web site backed up but didn’t have a recent backup of his blog database.

What Ken Loves Most About Genealogy

“Finding the stories. I love when I can find a newspaper article, a published history article, or anything that brings ‘meat’ to the bones! I also enjoy seeing the looks on my family’s faces when I am able to share some awesome info with them!”

Ken’s Time Capsule Message

“Don’t worry so much about the future, it will take care of itself. It’s the past that needs looking out for!”

* * *

Please head on over to Ken’s blog, leave him a comment letting him know you stopped by. Welcome Ken, 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.

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