20 March 2013


Six years. It's been a road trip. Sometimes it seems like it's been forever, because genealogical problem-solving is endless. But each new problem is fresh and stimulating. The vehicle is more or less familiar now but the scenery and adventures never fail to compel. The detours are just as challenging and rewarding as the main highway. I'm grateful for readers and my followers and the support of the Geneabloggers group.

My blog is not solely focused on my historical families or even on a particular resource area. I've become comfortable with cherry-picking from a sometimes-distracting variety of ancestry-related interests; "eclectic" works for me. Though I moved the camels to anotherfamdamily, there will still be some travel posts here that involve genealogy.

A recent post on the APG-List [Association of Professional Genealogists] aired frustrations with clients who don't appreciate (or understand) the sheer hard work and time their problems normally require. It really struck a nerve with me. In thirty-five years as a genealogist for hire, the overwhelmingly-frequent attitude I met, and still meet, among the basically uninformed―including inexperienced clients―is how far back can you go? That is the measure the general public perceives as "success"―the length of the pedigree chart or the bushiness of the "tree."

It also made me realize that quite often I try to write here about the research process. The details of evidence discussion and negative findings may not always feature in a standard-format family history, and are unwanted on popular genealogy TV programs, but they suit the blogging medium. Even using my own mistakes to illustration a lesson is of benefit to me if no-one else.

Like most Geneabloggers, I regularly read a favourite slew of blogs. Some are for community news; others involve problem-solving methodology and the finer points of analyzing evidence. The Internet has spawned an amazing library of good writers—genealogical and otherwise―who inform and inspire. The only drawback is keeping your reading list trimmed to a reasonable length!

Every blogger pines for comments and I'm no exception. Comments reflect a connection made or a spark shared, or might even generate a healthy dialogue. The slightest remark now and then can be enlightening or encouraging. This year I've had feedback that it's difficult to leave comments here, and I'm having trouble fixing the blogger.com settings to something satisfactory. If I open up my comment settings to "Anyone" I get a depressing daily pile of web-crawling spambot junk.

I used to get more comments a few years ago before Google started regularly changing its own footprints which made me fool around with my settings. Sigh―who remembers what setting they ticked a few years ago that might have worked for a short time and is no longer an option.

The choices blogger.com gives me for comment settings:
1. Anyone; includes Anonymous Users (that's the spammy one)
2. Registered User; includes Open ID (whatever that means; requiring a commenter to register with whom??)
3. User with Google Accounts (seems to eliminate non-Google people; I'm fairly sure Google does not own the universe yet)
4. Only members of this blog (I have "members"? when did that happen?)

Currently I'm trying out number three. Realistically speaking, there may be little or nothing to comment on so (cross my heart) I try not to have excessive expectations. No matter the quality or relevance or usefulness herein, blogging seems to be me.

It will always be a road trip.

© 2013 Brenda Dougall Merriman


Janet Iles said...

Happy blogiversary, Brenda. I enjoy reading your posts. I particular like reading those where you share the research process and the questions that are raised.

It is hard to explain to people how long it takes sometimes to find the information needed. Many don't understand why we write reports. It is not only for the client but the person writing the report.

I also appreciate the non-genealogy posts.

BDM said...

Thank you, Janet. Because we are bloggers, we have the opportunity to help educate "the public" about tracing ancestors. Or at least the public who read us! :-)
(Fingers crossed here, maybe this mean it's somewhat easier to post comments here now.)

the honeymoontrail.blogspot.com said...

Happy Blogiversary! Brenda!! You have a great blog and I want to come back and read more on it. Maybe we should follow each other and comment. :-). Also I shared your blog on google. I like to share the research process as well as what I find.

Regards, Grant


Unknown said...

Happy Blogiversary!

BDM said...

Thank you both! Grant, I added you on Google+. Your letters and illustrations are quite captivating.

CallieK said...

Happy blogiversary!

BDM said...

Thanks, CallieK. I'm still admiring your homesteading skills list on Backyard Farms!

Becky Wiseman said...

Happy blogiversary, Brenda! I know what you mean regarding comments. I'm getting a lot of spam too and still fiddling with the settings.

BDM said...

Hi Becky - it looks like this setting (above) is working for me. Hoping a "yippee!" is not premature :-)