I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana and her blog, The Last Leaf on This Branch, described as, “. . . As the last leaf on this branch of my family, I’m sharing my genealogical journey, from hobbyist to Professional Genealogist, through the perspective of someone without descendants. And I’m a passionate Archivist who wants to see every genealogist’s material survive past the next generation. And I may try to tell the story of the genealogy of a town . . . stay tuned!”
How Laura Got Started in Genealogy
Laura has been doing genealogy since 1996, “. . . I’ve loved history since I was a little girl, but knew very little about my family. My mom’s mom died in 1990, she was 97, and a year later I nearly died from congenital blood disorder (DNA test, anyone?) Anyway, the disorder is matrilineal, so I started poking around. Then, mom started talking about some of the stories her mom had told her, and I wanted to find out if they were true. Voilá!”
Laura’s Family and Her Blog
“My parents are elderly, live in Arizona, and don’t have a computer. My husband has no interest in Genealogy and/or blogs. However, I have some wonderful 2nd and 3rd cousins inCincinnati,Ohio who I met because of the blog, and they love it!
The people who are important to me follow my blog, and the people who follow my blog are important to me. I *wish* my family was more interested in the research I do (sound familiar?), but I’m relying on someone 100 years in the future to find the work I do important. My interest is the people that lived more than 100 years ago, so it just makes sense to me that that’s how long it takes for us to be historically relevant.”
Laura’s Thoughts on Blogging
Laura was inspired to start blogging through a group on Twitter. “I’d had a Twitter account for a while, and found a great group of coffee lovers who were up very early in the morning. We were discussing our work and when I mentioned I’m an Archivist, I found out one of them was a Genealogist! We started to chat about research and resources and suddenly a bell went off in my head. My research had been sitting for several years, and she urged me to get back to it. The next thing I knew I was thinking about sharing my unique perspective on Archives and Genealogy, so I decided to start the blog.”
Laura’s blog title came about during her illness, “At the time I was sick I was told I’d be unable to have children, which was very, very difficult. My brother has no children either, so as the youngest, I’m the last leaf on this branch.”
Laura’s concerns about blogging were that no one would read it, “Obviously, because of my perspective, I hoped that people would find it different and, therefore, interesting. I didn’t understand how far-reaching blogs are, so I didn’t put that much emphasis on it. Although, since I’m doing an interview with GeneaBloggers, I probably should have!”
How Laura Follows the Rest of Us
Currently, Laura relies on email notifications and manages everything through that platform. “I have about 30 that I follow through email and I probably read another 20 or so through Twitter, depending on who’s tweeting what. To be honest, I haven’t read as many genealogy blogs because I’ve focused on Archives/Library, Social Media, Technology and History; I’m shifting my focus, so I’m looking forward to following back everyone who follows me. There’s so much great material out there, and I’m often inspired both in my work and life by what people write.”
What Laura Loves Most About Genealogy
“The people. Both dead and alive. Heh. To be honest, the living people who I’ve met through genealogy in the last year feel like family to me. I’m energized by how far genealogy has come, in the last 10 years or so, through the use of technology especially, and how quickly the genealogical community has adapted. This type of change is excruciatingly difficult for some people and the fact that there are so many of us out there holding out our hands and saying, ‘Come on!! It’s great in here! You can do it!’ just proves my point. There’s a group of us (bloggers) in the Midwest that are getting together at the end of March to have a day of research at the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center inFt. Wayne, Indiana, followed by a pizza party at a genealogist’s home. We get to share not only our experience, but our brick walls and successes too. It’s awesome!”
Laura’s Time Capsule Message
“Do unto others. Seriously. Treat each other, both living and dead, the way you want to be treated. Don’t just treat your ancestors as entries in a database (or whatever they’re using by then . . . gosh, who KNOWS what it’ll be!). They were people with lives. Lives that were lived both well and not so well. As I’m thinking about it, I answered this question on my blog. Here’s the link, I hope you like it: Sentimental Sunday – To Whom It May Concern . . .”
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Please take a moment to head on over to Laura’s blog. Leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by. Welcome Laura, it’s great to have you here!
© 2012, 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.