May I Introduce to You . . . Genealogy Jen
I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Genealogy Jen Campbell and her blog, Repurposed Genealogy, described as, “. . . Facing My 40 fears and Finding Myself Through Family History.”
Genealogy Jen, please tell us a little about yourself.
“I am a mother of 4 young boys. The oldest 3 are triplets. I will be celebrating my 40th birthday February 8th. I have spent the past year blogging about facing my 40 fears before I turn 40. I currently live in the scenic mountain resort community of McCall, Idaho. I love our small town. It is an amazing place to raise our boys.”
How long have you been doing genealogy and how did you get started?
“I have always loved my family, and have family historians on both sides of my family. I have been actively doing genealogy research for the past five years. With the advances in technology, it is so easy for people, even busy moms like me, to do genealogy research.”
When and why did you start your genealogy blog?
“I am a writer. There are a lot of things that I could write about, but I am passionate about genealogy and family history. I wanted to create a genealogy blog that is more about my personal history, and the emotional aspects of genealogy research. I write to uplift and inspire others. I feel like knowing your ancestor’s stories is crucial to understanding yourself better. I draw strength through the experiences and challenges of my ancestors.”
Genealogy Jen, how did you choose the name for your blog?
“I love to repurpose things. I find new and creative uses for ordinary objects, or things that most people would throw away. I named my blog Repurposed Genealogy because I take something a lot of people might find boring, and make it relatable to people who might not normally be interested in genealogy. My blog isn’t like most genealogy blogs. Over 30% of my readers are from outside of the United States. 85% are under 50. 25% of my readers are Millennials. It is important to know your audience to write for them. I also have a Genealogy Jen’s Challenge of the week to inspire my readers to take action. I also feature DIY heritage crafts and gifts.”
What research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?
“I am a Twitter convert. I started tweeting last year during RootsTech, and realized that it is an amazing way to connect with other genealogists. I use it to stay current on genealogy issues, current events and to ask questions. I also enjoy participating in #Genchat on Twitter every other Friday. Twitter is a fantastic under-utilized tool for genealogy.”
Do you have any tips for new genealogy bloggers?
“Tell your story honestly. It doesn’t matter how many views your blog gets. Be consistent in your posting schedule, your readers need to know that you are committed to sharing with them. Also, It is more important to share the information you have with others than to have it be perfectly written or documented.”
Genealogy Jen, what other genealogy blogs inspire you?
“I love Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s blog Opening Doors in Brick Walls. She is a diligent researcher. Plus, she was one of the only 5 people who read my blog when I started blogging. I will always love her for that. I also enjoy True Lewis’s blog My True Roots. She is an amazing, warm and genuine person, and it comes through in her writing. I am proud to call her my friend.”
What has been your most exciting genealogy discovery in your research?
“Right before Christmas, a volunteer uploaded the headstones for my great great grandmother Alice Miller and her husband Joe Miller. I didn’t know when they died, or where they were buried. As a result of her act of service, I was able to order death certificates for both of them.”
Genealogy Jen, what are your favorite posts on your blog?
This is a good genealogy post, it gives you a feel for my writing style, and it also has a reunion idea: Our Family Is . . . Framing Your Family Story.
This is the best thing that I have written so far, and was featured as an editor’s pick for WordPress Discover: I am 39. I weigh 149 pounds.
I am also a guest blogger for Hoagie’s gifted education. Once a month I write about parenting gifted children, or about the challenges of being gifted. My websites most viewed post is one of my guest posts.”
How much time are you able to spend on your research?
“Ooh. Wow. That means I have to be accountable for the number of hours, and my husband will totally have proof of why so many other things don’t get done around the house. I would rather not give a specific number, but probably my conservative estimate is 20 hours a week. (If I did the math it would probably be more).”
What do you love most about doing your genealogy?
“I love how learning about other things in history can add depth and understanding to your research. I love that you can never know everything about genealogy, because so many things are changing with technology. I love that it pushes me to learn, grow, and face things outside of my comfort zone.”
Genealogy Jen, what is on your genealogy bucket list?
“I would like to travel to Eastern Europe to visit the ancestral homelands of my great great grandparents. I am still working on finding out exactly where they were from though. I really wish they left a better paper trail.”
Please take a moment to visit Genealogy Jen’s blog, Repurposed Genealogy. Be sure to leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Jen, it’s great to have you here!
© 2017, copyright Gini Webb. All rights reserved.
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.