Tuesday, November 12, 2013
My Descent into Descent’s Blogiversary
Today I am celebrating the one year anniversary of the creation of this blog, My Descent into Descent. I am so excited that I have been able to keep this blog going for this long, although I have definitely not blogged every day as I had planned. I have discovered that for the type of blog this is, telling stories of interest from my family tree, the amount of research required for each blogpost makes publishing daily unrealistic. In addition, I enjoy just spending time researching without having to be focused on what I am going to write. This often leads to discoveries which I share with you later. When it comes to writing and research, I operate very much on the pleasure principle.
I have recently written about my blogging experience to date, which I invite you to visit for my personal joys of blogging. What I would like to share with you today are my most popular blogposts. These include:
William Cook 1849-1908, Saskatchewan Pioneer. This is the story of my great great grandfather William Cook and his experiences homesteading in Saskatchewan. I have been surprised and delighted by the response of my Cook relatives to my writings about this line in general. They have inspired me to write more about the Cooks.
Stephen A. Hart: The Singing Surveyor of Goodhue County, Minnesota. I believe the popularity of this blogpost is due more to the response of people interested in local history than of family history buffs, as Stephen’s children did not survive past childhood. Writing about Stephen has shown me that family history writing can be a special type of historical writing, which gives a deeper genealogical perspective to the events of history.
The Infamous Nicholas Hart (1610-1654?) I am fascinated by my mysterious first Hart ancestor to come to America. I don’t think most Hart researchers knew about his connection with Sarah Dudley, the governor’s daughter, before this. I’m glad to share.
William Cook Senior and the Case of the Purloined Ferret. This was the result of my explorations into British newspapers, and was a lot of fun to write. It was wonderful to find some confirmation for family stories about William Junior, too.
Lily Elizabeth Newton Cook Arnold 1881 - 1965. See what I mean about my Cook cousins? They have really supported this blog. Making contact with Great Grand Aunt Lily’s descendants was one of my main purposes in starting this blog in the first place. It took a little time, but they really came through. My contact with them has been one of the most gratifying results of writing MDID.
My own favourites are little different. They are:
All of my blogposts on my great grandfather Herbert Charles Saunders, which were my first. My journey discovering Herbert’s story has been the most profound of my research to date.
All of my blogposts on my great great grandmother, Emma Green Cook, one of my favourite ancestors, whose picture adorns this blog.
All of my blogposts about Melvin J. Hart, another of my great grandfathers, and also one of my favourite ancestors. The single greatest joy of my research to date is finding his Civil War photo on Ancestry. This year I was able to obtain a better copy of the original from the owner. How cool is that?
The Marlow Centennial – 100 Years in Canada. Imagine receiving a newspaper article written by one of your great aunts, exactly one hundred years before, describing her family’s recent emigration to Alberta. This was just spooky.
And, off the top of my head, all of my blogposts from my family history road trip this summer. Words cannot express the experience of walking in the footsteps of your ancestors. It was fun to blog from the road, too.
Oh, and I have to say that I’m pretty excited about the current series I am doing about the family of Richard and Betsey Hart, of Troy, New York—the Hart line I wish I had been born into. I lack the silver spoon.
I would love to hear what your personal favourites are. Thanks to all my “gentle readers” for their support throughout the year.