I have the pleasure of introducing you to Shannon Thomas and her blog Our Life Picture By Picture, described as, “. . . A glimpse into the lives of those who came before me so it can be shared with those who come after me. Not only will you find information on my ancestors but you will also find occasional posts about me and my family.”
A Little About Shannon
“I grew up in a rural place in Pennsylvania called Shickshinny and now I live only about 30 minutes from there. When I am not researching I work at an historic inn where I get to meet lots of wonderful people from all over. I have been married to my husband, Jason, for 10 years but we have been together a little more 15 years. We have an almost 16 year old son, Hunter, and two fur babies. We live in the house that my husband grew up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.”
What Got Shannon Started in Genealogy
“My husband and I were watching television one night and there was an Ancestry commercial on and I said that it would be neat to try it out and see what we could find. He said he would like to know more about his great uncle who died at Iwo Jima during World War II. We decided to check out Ancestry and see what it was all about and by day two of searching I was hooked! One discovery led to more questions that I needed to learn the answers to. I eventually started looking in to my own family history as well. I haven’t stopped since!”
Shannon’s Thoughts on Blogging
“My blog has gone through a few transitions since I started blogging in 2006. It started out as a place to share my photography, scrapbooking, and cross-stitching and has since turned into a family history blog. I enjoy being able to share my ancestors but I also like being able to help other with Evernote and Legacy Family Tree software through my blog. I’m always surprised (and excited) when I get an email from someone who has read my blog!”
Shannon’s Tips for New Bloggers
“My only advice is to just do it! Writing my blog has helped me in so many ways and not only with my research. It fulfills the need that I have to write, I have made a few friends along the way, and even made some cousin connections. It can be scary and you may even wonder if anyone will read it. Somewhere along the way someone will land on your blog but, even if no one reads it, you have a record for yourself. Blogging is great research tool for me because sometimes I just need to put something on paper (or the web) for it to make sense. The big reward comes when someone reads that one thing that you wrote last week or even last year and contacts you!”
Shannon’s Favorite Blog Post(s)
“A blog post that I did in July of this year about the US Marine Casualty Cards database is one of my favorites because it was a great find that I was happy to share it with everyone. The best part came the next day when I was contacted by the USMC History Division about my post. They had some more information for me and told me where I could possibly find more information.
My second favorite is Signatures From Long Ago. Seeing my great-grandparents’ signatures brought back a lot of memories of them. I remember my great grandfather sitting at the little desk inside the kitchen door writing out checks to pay bills and how my great grandmother would write in her little notebooks every day.
When I did How I Use Evernote for My Genealogy I found out that a lot of people were interested in Evernote and its use in genealogy and that led to a few great opportunities for me.”
Shannon’s Time with the Ancestors
“I do something genealogy related everyday whether it is research, database cleanup, reading blogs, or writing for my own blog. There is not enough time to do all the stuff I would like to get done and, if I didn’t get distracted all the time by shiny genea-finds, I would probably accomplish more. I have a craft room / office that is also my genealogy cave (which contains more genealogy than the other stuff lately). My family jokes that if I had a refrigerator in there, I wouldn’t come out for days.”
Shannon’s Favorite Ancestors
“They are all my favorites! My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, Joseph Thomas, was killed during the Civil War. He and his wife and their children have been some of my favorites because there were and still are so many mysteries; some I have solved but those usually lead to more questions. I’m lucky that the majority of our ancestors have stayed in this area and I have been fortunate enough to find some great newspaper articles at my local historical society.”
How Genealogy Has Improved Shannon’s Life
“Genealogy started out as just something fun but, once I got into the stories, I started to understand who our ancestors were and how we have a piece of each of them in us. I feel that I am more present when I am with my family and I cherish the memories that we are making. I have taken many photos and have been able to tell the stories that go with them. Sharing the photos and stories with my family gives us something that we will all enjoy for a long time.”
What Shannon Loves Most About Genealogy
“I love the thrill of the hunt! While it is sometimes frustrating, just when you think you have looked everywhere, you find a clue that points you to something else. I love learning the stories that go with the person. I love learning who they were and what their lives were like. I LOVE it all!”
Shannon’s Time Capsule Message
“Take photos but tell the story that goes with those photos; we want to know who is in the photo and where and why it was taken. Share your memories and stories so they can in turn be shared by the next generation.”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Shannon’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Shannon is a generous and helpful teacher and her blog always shows how she approaches her research and how she uses technology tools to make her genealogy life better. Welcome Shannon, it’s great to have you here!
© 2014, copyright Tessa Keough. All rights reserved
Tessa Keough divides her time between Arlington, Virginia and Portland, Oregon. She got hooked on researching her ancestors after seeing a pedigree chart at a family reunion. She shares her paternal genealogy at The Keough Corner, her maternal genealogy at Scandia Musings & More, and technology and methodology tips at her YouTube channel TessaWatch. Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Tessa via email firstname.lastname@example.org.