I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Linda McCauley of the Documenting the Details blog, described as, “. . . mostly about my family history with an occasional opinion thrown in here and there. It’s a companion to the family tree website: McCauley, Lanier, Hankins, Hopkins, and Taylor Families, that I have had since 2007.”
How Linda Got Started With Genealogy
Linda has been doing her family history now for about ten years. She credits her maternal grandmother for creating her initial interest in genealogy. It was 23 years after her grandmother passed away that Linda actually started doing her family history in earnest.
In the 1970’s, Linda’s grandmother had completed a “fill-in-the-blanks” style family history book, and also started writing her life story in a spiral notebook. Linda had looked at them both right after her grandmother passed in 1978, but hadn’t given much thought to the items, until something made her take a second look in 2001. Initially, Linda’s intent was to purchase family tree software to sort out what her grandmother had documented. Linda was hooked on genealogy before the task was even completed!
Linda’s Family and Her Blog
Linda is not sure if her family may even understand what a blog is. In Linda’s own words, “they probably think it’s just another sign that I’m obsessed with genealogy.”
As far as Linda knows, none of her friends have any interest in their own genealogy, so she feels her blog is something they wouldn’t be interested in reading. Linda’s family depends on her to share her big discoveries, and occasionally someone will mention something they read. Linda links each post to Facebook, where most read her blog posts. Linda does have one aunt, and a couple of cousins who read her posts on a regular basis.
How Linda Follows The Rest of Us
Linda’s choice of keeping up with fellow bloggers is with Google Reader. Linda currently has about 250 blogs in her Google Reader. All but ten are genealogy related. Linda also likes to follow other bloggers through Twitter. In Linda’s own words, “Luckily everyone doesn’t post everyday and I’m retired.” Linda does most of her blog reading with her morning coffee.
Linda’s Thoughts on Blogging
Linda’s biggest concern was that she had never looked at herself as a “writer” and feared she wouldn’t be able to write. She was also unsure if she would be committed enough to keep it going.
It was “other bloggers” who made Linda want to start her own blog. Linda had started reading genealogy blogs about two years ago, the more she read, the more she wanted her own!
The name “Documenting the Details” came from Linda’s thoughts about what she wanted to accomplish with a blog, and what she was really doing with her research. When Linda first started researching, she fell into the same trap most beginners may fall into: “go back as far as you can, as fast as you can just looking for names, dates, and places.” Linda soon realized that just the names, dates, and places were not enough for her, so, her research focus shifted to spending more time looking for the details of her ancestors’ lives.
What Linda Loves About Blogging
Linda feels the decision to start a genealogy blog was one of the best decisions she has ever made. At first, Linda thought she was just going to write about her family history and hopefully, some of her family would read it. She had no concept of the “wonderful community” she was joining, “I’ve made so many friends that I would never have known otherwise.” For years, Linda had wanted to attend a major genealogy conference but always hesitated having to go alone. In 2010, Linda attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference and the Atlanta Family History Expo by herself, but because of her blogging; she was not there alone. Blogging has also helped Linda to become more focused and “somewhat” better organized. Linda feels, “If there is a downside to having a genealogy blog, I haven’t found it!”
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Please head on over to Linda’s blog, leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Linda, 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.