I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Andrea Kelleher and her blog, How Did I Get Here? My Amazing Genealogy Journey, described as, “. . . Just my way of sharing with family, friends, and anyone who will listen, the things that I have learned about my ancestors with a little bit about myself and my own little family in the mix. My blog highlights the discoveries I’ve made regarding my ancestral roots from Eastern North Carolina and Barbados predominantly.”
A Little Bit About Andrea
“I was born in Queens, NY during the early 1970’s. For the first 10 years of my life, my family and I lived in Cambria Heights, NY and were blessed to have a wonderful group of relatives living within a 15 minute drive from our house.” Andrea currently resides in New York.
How Andrea Got Started in Genealogy
“I have been researching my ancestors since August 2009. I think there was always a curiosity about where my ancestors came from. My maternal grandmother had this beautiful old photograph that hung on the wall of her bedroom while I was growing up. It was a picture of my great grandmother holding my grandmother in her lap. My grandmother was this tiny 6 month old cherub and there holding her was this woman who’s gaze just captivated me. It was like she was sending me a message with those eyes. She was saying, ‘Find out who I am?’
Since my childhood, I was curious to know more about my roots, but it wasn’t until I had my kids that I started researching.”
Andrea’s Thoughts on Blogging
“I began my genealogy blog on May 30, 2011, on a whim. Yes, that’s right on a whim. Let’s just say, I was a bit nervous about sharing my writing with the world but I wanted to do it. I wanted my kids to have something that they could refer to about their family history. Then I thought it would be neat to share this with the rest of the family. I thought I could present things to them in a way that they would appreciate and would easily understand. Finally one day, I got up the nerve and wrote my first post, Okay…Here We Go! LOL.”
Andrea’s Tips for New (and Not So New) Bloggers
“Just do it! Start writing and sharing. One of the things that is always floating around in my head is that tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the stories we know as family historians weren’t shared, written down and passed on? I would like to write a book at some point but I didn’t want to wait to share what I’d learned. Plus the process of discovery is so wonderful. Every time I find something knew out, I take a moment and reflect on it. I look at how it fills in part of the story of the individual I’m researching. Then I think about how that reflects on to me. Is there something about this story that can help me on my own life’s journey? What struggle did someone before me go through and how can I learn from that experience? Perhaps it’s learning something like I have an interest or talent in common with an ancestor. There’s that sense of connectivity you get from doing family history that we are all part of the same chain of life. The more you learn, the more it brings you closer to truly understanding that.”
Andrea’s Favorite Blog Posts
- Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness I Began My Blog –Part one
- Thank Goodness I Began My Blog –Part two
- Thank Goodness I Began My Blog –Part three
Andrea’s Time with her Ancestors
“As much as I can. It can be difficult at times because I am a stay at home mom with two kids ages 6 and 9 to keep up with. I would say about an hour a day. Sometimes that hour is broken up into 5-10 minute increments because I am squeezing it in between gymnastics, soccer, or keeping up with the house. I try to write something for my blog a couple times a week so that is probably another couple of hours there.”
Andrea’s Favorite Ancestor
“My great grandmother Ophelia Jones Bryant, because of the picture she had taken with my grandmother. It laid the groundwork for me to begin my journey.”
How Genealogy/Family History has Improved or Changed Andre’s Life
“Genealogy has improved my life by giving me the knowledge that I come from very strong people. I know now that no matter what happens in this world I have an inner strength that is capable of handling whatever may come my way. I have read about some of the things my ancestors went through and endured. If they had the strength and courage to carry on then so can I.”
What Andre Loves Most About Genealogy
“I love genealogy/family history because it brings people together. My family now has a deeper sense of where our kin came from and I have now been connected to this wonderful online family of people who have the same passion for family history as I do. Really, there is no bad side to this. At least I haven’t come across it yet.”
Andrea’s Genealogy Bucket List
“Go back to Barbados and do some research at the archives there. Also, visit the area in St Philip Parish where my grandfather grew up. I visited there, years ago before I was into family history. If only I had come down with genealogy fever, then. (Sigh)”
Andrea’s Time Capsule Message
“There is something to be learned from all those who have come before you. Take the time out and learn about your family’s history. By learning about your ancestors, you will learn more about yourself.”
* * *
Please take a moment to head on over to Andrea’s Blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Andrea, 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.