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May I Introduce To You . . . Nancy Shively

Nancy Shively

Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Nancy Shively and her blog, Gathering Stories, described as, “ . . . My genealogy journey . . . the good, the bad and the quirky. Especially the quirky.”

How Nancy Got Started in Genealogy

Nancy was born and raised in Oklahoma City and now lives near Tulsa in northeastern Oklahoma. She has been doing her family history for about a year and half now.

Shortly after Nancy moved to Skiatook, OK, “ . . . I discovered just by accident that my maternal grandparents had lived in the next town over for several years in the early 1920’s. It was one of those ‘serendipitous’ genealogy ‘coincidences’ that you hear about sometimes. Their first child was born while they lived here but he died in infancy. It was a desire to find where he was buried that got me started. Then I found my dad’s birth father’s family and that was it. I was hooked.”

Nancy’s Family and Her Blog 

“They have enjoyed it, especially my dad. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feed back from my extended family as well. I’m pretty sure my kids, now grown, ignore it!”

Many family members of Nancy’s generation “boomers” and older, are her main followers, “ . . . My children seem interested when I share my finds but I don’t think they really read the blog. Occasionally, their eyes glaze over when I talk about genealogy. That’s okay. The beauty of the internet is that it will be there for them when they are ready even if I’m not.”

How Nancy Follows the Rest of Us

Nancy uses Google Reader to keep up with her blog reading. She also uses her email for Dick Eastman and a few of her favorite blogs.

On a typical day, Nancy will read about ten or so blogs a day, “Ah, so many blogs, so little time!”

Nancy’s Thoughts on Blogging

When Nancy first started blogging, her main concern was, “That I would be boring and I would just be out there in cyberspace talking to myself!” Nancy also wanted to be careful sharing stories involving living relatives, especially her father. Once Nancy did get his approval, she was “good” to go.

Nancy’s blog initially, was just to document what she was finding in her research. It wasn’t until Nancy was chosen to be the Family Tree Firsts blogger for Family Tree University, that she really started blogging seriously. Last October (2010), “FTU put out a call for a newbie genealogist to write a blog for them. I dashed off an entry with no expectation that it would be good enough and was completely shocked when I was chosen! I will be blogging at Family Tree Firsts until November when they will choose a new newbie and I will transition over to my own blog.”

Nancy’s blog title came about when she realized, “To the non-genealogist, genealogy can appear to be just collecting names, dates and other facts. But it is the stories behind those facts that give the meaning to our ancestors’ lives. It is the stories that teach us where we come from and who we are. So when I am researching my family, I’m not just gathering facts and documents, I’m gathering their stories and passing them on.”

What Nancy Loves Most About Genealogy

“It’s like searching for buried treasure. There is always something new to discover. I have also loved getting involved with the larger genealogy community. I have never met a group of people as supportive and helpful as my fellow ‘genies’.”

Nancy’s Time Capsule Message

“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

“Be willing to forgive your ancestor’s mistakes. No matter how long we research, we can never really know the whole story. Leave a little room for grace.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Nancy’s blog. Leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by. Welcome Nancy, 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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