May I Introduce to You . . . Karen Krantzberg

Come meet genealogy blogger Karen Krantzberg, author of The Road Backward blog, in this interview by Wendy Mathias at GeneaBloggers.

I have the pleasure of introducing to you Karen Krantzberg and her blog The Road Backward. It is a very clean and uncluttered blog, yet full of interesting stories and images about her varied family roots. The integrity of her research and the warmth of her style are evident in every post. So without further ado . . . .

Karen, can you tell a little about yourself?

I was born in Boston, Massachusetts but have lived in Tampa, Florida since I was seven. My maternal grandmother’s ancestors were New England Puritans, my maternal grandfather’s family were English/Irish/German Canadians, my paternal grandmother was of Irish descent, and my paternal grandfather was a Russian Jew. This variation makes genealogy research interesting. I have a B.A. in psychology and an M.A.T. in secondary social science education. In addition to genealogy, I enjoy music and singing, and am a total history and science nerd.

How did you get interested in doing your genealogy?

I’ve always been interested in my family. My mother often told me stories about her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Mom passed away in 1999, right around the time I got a computer with internet, and I started poking around online. There wasn’t a lot in the way of genealogy information on the web back then, so I didn’t really get back into genealogy research until 2010. Mom talked so much about her contemporary family but never mentioned her ancestors. I don’t think she really knew much about them. She would get a big kick out of what I’ve been able to find.

What do you enjoy the most about doing your family history?

I love history and have to say that the coolest thing about genealogy is uncovering connections to influential people and events of the past. It’s one thing to read about the infamous Civil War prison camp at Andersonville, but when you find out that your 3rd great-uncle was there, it makes it real in a way that it wasn’t before. The other thing I love is meeting new cousins.

What is your favorite genealogy research tool or source?

The broad answer would be the internet. I live 1,200 miles away from New England, where most of my ancestors lived, and lack the time and money to do much traveling. So I have to rely mainly on website databases (as well as kind people and cousins who are in the vicinity and are able to look up a record or take a gravestone picture). My favorite go-to site is

When did you start a genealogy blog and how did you choose the name?

I originally started “The Road Backward” in 2011. I’ve changed platforms a couple of times, so posts only go back to 2013. As for the title, I think of genealogy as a journey, and many journeys are by road. And since you’re trying to go into the past, you’re going backward rather than forward.

Where do you get your inspiration or ideas for your blog posts?

Mostly through discoveries I make, regarding both my personal research and by resources that I’ve found that others might find useful. I read quite a bit, so sometimes inspiration comes from the subject of a book I’m currently into. Sometimes it comes from other bloggers.

What interesting connections have you made through blogging?

I’ve made several cousin connections, both with other genealogy bloggers and with cousins who have stumbled upon my site and contacted me. As an example, one day a 4th cousin found my blog and sent me an email; it turned out that she had a photo of our 3rd great-grandmother that I’d been hoping to come across, and she sent it along.

How do you motivate yourself to keep blogging?

Having a day job and other responsibilities, it’s not always easy to find the time and the energy to write. I try to publish a post once a week. Genealogy blogs in general don’t tend to get many comments, and lack of response is sometimes discouraging. But I figure that if whatever I’m posting might help someone else make a connection, or give them direction, then it’s worth it.

What future plans do you have for your blog?

There aren’t currently plans for anything too dramatic. I might try to find interesting themes or come up with a series. If anyone has any ideas, or anything they would like to see, please let me know!

What other genealogy blogs inspire you?

There are many, but I’ll name just a few: “Nutfield Genealogy” by Heather Wilkinson Rojo. She’s a cousin to me on quite a number of lines, and she has inspired me with her awesome surname posts. Elizabeth Handler has two blogs, “From Maine To Kentucky” and “A Jewish Genealogical Journey,” the latter dedicated to her husband’s family. I love that both of her blogs are relevant to different branches of my tree. There is also

Janice Webster Brown’s “Cow Hampshire” blog, which focuses on Manchester, New Hampshire. My mom lived in Manchester, and in fact that’s where my parents married. Her posts are always fun and fascinating.

What is on your genealogy bucket list?

I really want to 1) visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and 2) take a trip to New England and Canada so that I can do in-person research and visit sites and cousins. One of these days!

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Please take a moment to visit Karen at The Road Backward and leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by.  Thank-you, Karen, for letting us inside your blogging world.

© 2015, copyright Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

Wendy Mathias is a retired teacher who divides her time between her home in Chesapeake, Virginia and Smith Mountain Lake.  She enjoys researching her family and digging for the story behind old family photos for her blog Jollett Etc. Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Wendy via email

May I Introduce to You . . . Anne Robinson

Come meet genealogy blogger Anne Robinson, author of the Phamily Blog, in this interview by Gini Webb at GeneaBloggers.

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Anne Robinson and her blog, Phamily Blog, described as, “. . . A history of my phamily and good therapy for those days when you are missing someone you loved and lost.”

A Little About Anne

“Like my hubby, I was born in Pueblo, CO. We live in Northglenn, CO. today.  We raised five kids together. We work hard, three of the kids have college degrees and the youngest one is studying so he can get his BS and then a Masters. Makes a mom proud.

We have dogs and cats always with us and we like to travel. We love spending time with our phamily and we lead simple lives. No showy stuff, just good old fashioned values, lots of phamily photos and kids are always around. We like to walk and run and hike together.

I love collecting dolls and my hubby studies the Bible diligently. We attend church together and considering we have been hit with lots of difficult stuff throughout our marriage, sickness, job loss, etc., we remain strong and stick together like glue.

I am a tea collector, anything with tea I love tea pots, cups, etc. I am the baby in my sibling order and I like to dream. My hubby is the middle child, he is very kind and very level headed. I am an emotional mess some days and he balances that out for me. I am like our youngest Nick, he is like our middle Rebekah. We love our kids and the grand kids and we are so young (wink wink) we have some great-grands too!”

How Anne Got Started in Genealogy

“About five years ago, when a co-worker told me she traced her dad’s phamily back to the 14th century and Vasco de Gama. I went to Catholic school, a girl never forgets a really cool explorer like him! I have dabbled in my phamily history for several years but the past six months I have kicked it up a lot!

My girlfriend Barb started me blogging but my cousins, Mike and Kay, encouraged me to write about the phamily. Wanting to know things about my ancestors that I was too young to ask them. I have always been fascinated where they came from, Yugoslavia/Slovenia/Austria. Plus my hubby has his dad’s genealogy from Ireland for several generations back and someone did lots of research. They did not include photos so I am filling in those blanks too.”

Anne’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I have been blogging since Nov 1, 2009 but got into the genealogy aspect of it because my cousin Mike Barnett was blogging a history for his kids, ‘Life in Bojon Town.’ He wanted his kids, grandkids and nieces and nephews to have something to remember us by.

When I started my blog, my lifelong friend Barb encouraged me. Our middle daughter had a little poodle who got really ill and diagnosed with cancer. She said write about her, you will never regret it, so I did. Plus now when I look back on my blog posts and see improvements I made I feel good writing a mini history of my life and those I loved and cherished.

I am not very tech savvy so I learn a little at a time with various good buddies I have meet through blogging. Makes me feel good to accomplish many things, like these questions, where my text was changing colors! It seems like it only happens to me, but I laugh and roll with it! Thank you.”

Anne’s Advice for Genealogy Bloggers

“Don’t give up! My cousin Kay is a puzzle solver and she encourages me to keep keeping on. She will visit the homeland of our ancestors in August.”

Anne’s Favorite Blog Post

“It is hard to say, I have written a few on weddings posting my mom and dad’s siblings and their own weddings. But there are more than one post. I love that everyone pitches in and sends me photos to use. I love photos.”

Genealogy Blogs That Inspire Anne

“My cousin Mike but I have started to look at others. There is so much info out there.”

Anne’s Time with Ancestors

“I lost my job in November 2014 so right now I have more time. Once I get back to work, hopefully by September, I will work on it maybe two hours daily. Some days I work 4-5 hours at a time.”

Anne’s Favorite Ancestors

“My grandmother Cecilia Steblay, she suffered so many hardships and they made her stronger. Her faith prevailed. She was my mom’s mom and then my dad’s father, Joe Kocman, he and his brother were orphaned and he was one of the best parents ever! Life could not beat him down and take his joy away.”

Anne’s Most Cherished Family Heirloom or Story

“My mom’s cedar chest and a photo I have of my great grandfather, Joseph Kralj and my uncle Louie as a small boy.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Anne’s Life

“It makes me more determined. I am searching now about my great grandfather and you cannot tell me no! I will prevail! I keep searching, redoing it and searching more! Plus I find little bits of info that make me smile. Like my youngest daughter Hannah is born on July 3 and so was my dad’s little brother Frank that passed away during the Influenza Epidemic in 1918.”

Anne’s Time Capsule Message for the Future

“Talk to the older generation. Tape them, record them, listen and date all your information. You won’t ever regret the search you are on.”


Please take a moment to head on over to Anne’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by.  Welcome Anne, it’s great to have you here!

© 2015, 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.

Ready for Your Close Up? Seeking GeneaBloggers Members for “May I Introduce To You” Interviews

While the MIITY team is on a much needed summer vacation, we're seeking members of GeneaBloggers willing to be interviewed about their genealogy blog!

While the amazing MIITY team of Tessa Keough, Jana Last, Wendy Mathias, Michelle Taggart and Gini Webb are taking a well-deserved break for the next three months, GeneaBloggers is seeking members willing to be interviewed about their genealogy blog.

The process is simple: you agree to be interviewed and one of our team members will send you a set of questions about your blog, your interest in genealogy, etc. You can answer with as much or as little information as you want. Also, we’ll want a recent head shot photo of you so our readers can get better acquainted with you.

The May I Introduce To You series will restart on Monday 14 September 2015 and your interview will appear at GeneaBloggers sometime this Fall or in the Spring of 2016. And we’ll notify you a few days before the publication so you can tell family and friends. Click here to see the MIITY board on Pinterest and read some of the over 100 interviews dating back to 2009!

If you would like to be interviewed, email us at!

© 2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.