Got Stories?

My dear friend and sister-in-law Stephanie, who shares my love of genealogy, and is a full-blown geek in her own right, had a great suggestion after seeing this blog for the first time — invite others to contribute! So many others have stories, quotes, photos, and memories that would add to the richness of this blog. I’m doing this not only to make my life easier (one place to share all the goodies, instead of having to recreate emails/attachments on demand for interested parties) but also to provide a home base for this information that will be there — in some format (what comes after WordPress?) — for my daughter and all the cousins and all their kids and so on.

So please consider contributing. If you are at all interested, please contact me so we can discuss how that might work best for you. It’s all welcome, whether a simple memory, or a full blown story that could be written up, additional background on an existing story.

Please don’t hesitate if you are considering this; what I would give to go back in time and interview my grandparents in depth.

You are also welcome to add comments at the end of any individual story.

Treatment of Name Changes

My approach to names is to initially provide the full name followed by birth/death years, such as Henry Orville (1883-1966); any subsequent mentions of this person in the same story uses a shortened version, such as Henry Hale.

However, one complication is how best to display the names that have either been changed or added to the birth name. Most married women identified on this website took the surname of her husband. That quickly gets cumbersome to always add what is typically a fourth name and to make clear that is the married name. This is also a complication when someone has married more than once, divorced, or for other reasons adopted a completely different name. (My husband has an indirect ancestor who did just this – changed both his first and last names, which was unusual in the 19th century for men – and I plan to write that up.)

My work around has been to make that clear within context of the story itself. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work cleanly, especially when the person is secondary or tertiary to the story; this becomes tedious and extraneous information just to provide that particular context.

I’m probably overthinking this, but home to develop a more straightforward strategy soon after more research on how other bloggers are managing this.

Behind the Scenes

There are a number of meta items that may be of interest to those taking a deep dive on this site, such as my effort to determine the proper tense when describing ancestors (“she was my great-grandmother” or “she is my great-grandmother”) and the conundrum of where to draw the line on private information (is anything game once someone is dead?). There’s the Slave Name Roll Project, which is fascinating. I’ve been thinking about “to tag, or not to tag” those posts which are generate strong emotion. And how best to ensure this content lives on after me. And so on.

I’ll be writing posts on all these topics and more, and you’ll be able to find them linked here, so stay tuned.