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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Grandfather's House: 52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy - Wk 31

The topic for Week 31 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series is "Your Grandparent's House"

My "second" home was my grandfather's house on Blackpool Old Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, (right) which he bought in 1924 - I have the receipt for the deposit of £67.   

It looks quite big, but, with only three small bedrooms, it must have still been a squash for parents William Danson and Alice English, 3 daughters (Edith, Kathleen and Peggy)  and two sons (Harry and Billy)  who all lived at home until they married. 

The front door had a round stained glass window which I thought was very posh.  Half way up the side wall was a small hatch door which revealed the coal shute where the coal men emptied  their sacks down into a small cellar under the stairs. My uncle Harry later took on the hard task to clear it all out to create a much needed "glory hole".  He also modernised the kitchen and installed French windows in the living  room at the back of the house.

The side trellis gate was later taken down and a driveway created to take my uncle's car.  The former hen house at the back then became the garage. 

The large gardens were my grandfather's and later uncle's joy - with floral displays in the  front and  productive vegetables and fruit  grown at the back.  There was one surprising feature about the house, though - it did not have electricity until the late 1950's, because my grandfather refused to have it installed. I remember my aunt standing on a chair to light the ceiling gas lights, and ironing with a heated flat iron, whilst the flames from the gas cooker frightened me. 

A copper kettle stood in the hearth (open fire) and I was told that had belonged to my great grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919).  To the left of the fireplace was a cupboard where a shoebox was kept holding family photographs and memorabilia - many of which I have featured on this blog.  These started me on the family history trail at a young age.

Pride of place in the front room (kept for best) was the piano which I learnt to play on.  The  bookcase held the   family bible recording the marriage of Maria Rawcliffe and James Danson and the birth of their first four  (out of ten) children - entries petered out after that.  Another favourite book which had belonged to my grandmother and was treasured by my mother  was an 1899 edition of "Pride and Prejudice" with delicate pencil drawings protected by flimsy paper.

The front garden was a regular setting for family photographs (see below). 

My  mother was the first of the family to marry in 1938, followed  by her younger sister Peggy who emigrated to Australia and then Billy.  Edith and Harry lived there nearly all their lives until their deaths in 1995 and 2001 when over 70 years of a family home passed away.


            Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 28 July 2011

31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: Week 4 - A Good Blog:

31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy BlogT
Tonia Kendrick, over at Tonia’s Roots has started a blogging series entitled ‘31 Weeks of Better Genealogy BloggingWeek 4’s topic is analyzing a top genealogy blog.  The purpose here is simply to observe and learn from others. 

For me, lack of time has been a factor this week on what is a thought-provoking challenge, so I have not selected one specific blog I admire, but have looked quickly at different elements I like or would like to emulate.

So what do I like in a blog?
  • Photographs are a fascination,  whether of family, fashions, heirlooms, views, houses  or documents.
  • Catchy titles that attract my interest in the long list of daily blogging beats.
  • Ideas and inspiration for future blog topics.
  • The weekly blogging reviews that point me to other sites and articles.
  • Practical tips,    e.g. on search engine optimization from http://www.luxegen.ca/- I followed this and it worked!    Also one on Spring cleaning Your Blog from http://keoughcorner.blogspot.com/) - I got favourable comments on the changes I made.   
  • Simple, calming  screens that are easy easy on the eye.  With my eyesight,  small print does not get a look in!  In my early days of blogging,  I had a brief flirtation with the deep rich red background which I felt showed up photographs very well, but I soon tired of the heavy colour and reverted to paler backgrounds. Tonia's  at http://www.toniasroots.net/is a good example here with a classic stylish heading that appeals to me.
  • Attractive, artistic front page banners - beyond my current technical ability but one of my favourites is Jen's at  http://www.climbingmyfamilytree.com/
What topics generate the most comments?  What styles of posts seem to connect with readers the best?
  • I have to admit I have not worked this one out and would welcome thoughts from others. I have been surprised at some of my posts that have generated interest in terms of comments, and also the lack of interest in others e.g. my Stop Press series on old newspaper items that appealed to me. Perhaps some postings are as much for my own pleasure as for a wider audience.

What I would  like to do:
  • I have never bothered much by studying the Geneabloggers lists of anniversaries and events, as I realise these are very much related to the USA.  However I like the idea from  Teresa of http://tangledtrees.blogspot.com/ of using them as blog prompts e.g. Bagpipe Appreciation Day.  so I must give them more attention to stimulate ideas for blog topics.
  • Set up tabs across the top of my blog. e.g. About Myself, Surnames I Follow.   I am not very technically minded but realise that other blogspot users do this, so I must puzzle it out.
  • I also like the tab on http://www.toniasroots.net/ for "On This Date".  It keeps such entries all together rather than posting them every day or month and acts as a reference point on dates.  
  •  I also like  the idea from http://geneapoppop.com/  of setting up a tab "Fire Mantle" to feature his awards.  I don't particularly like mine down the side of my blog - rather large and obtrusive and I have come close to deleting them,though I was very proud to  receive  them some time ago.  However here is a great compromise idea I must develop for myself. 
  • Change the "Labels" heading to "Categories" or "Subjects" which I feel are more meaningful terms.  I don't know if this can be done, but must look into it.  
These are just a few elements I recognise from good blogs.
 I am sure there are many more out there to learn from.  

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Holidays Spent Working: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Wk. 30

The topic for Week 30 in Amy Coffin’s and Geneablogger’s 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History series is Employment. Describe your first job. What did you do? Were you saving for something in particular, or just trying to make a living? Did that first job provide skills and make an impact on your life today?

My employment history could be summed up as "Fishmonger to Freelancer".

My first job the summer I left school was helping out at a fishmonger's  owned by a friend's father who was looking for some one to fill in for staff on holiday.  It was totally out of character for me, but I stuck it out gutting some fish (for making herring rolls, I think), washing down the slabs  and I managed somehow to cope with the cash side - maths was never my strong point and this was before the days of electronic tills.   At home we ate healthily from the left over stocks of fish I took back to Mum.

For future summer  and Christmas jobs,  I opted for a less messy side of retail life, ranging from a busy bakery counter (dreaded having to make up the cardboard cake boxes in a hurry as I was all thumbs) to selling what we called "tartan trash" to tourists on Princes Street in Edinburgh.

My favourite was a bookshop where I enjoyed tidying the shelves and making sure everything was in order from the Pan and Penguin paperbacks in their familiar white and orange covers to the Classics, bound in mock midnight blue leather covers.    One Christmas I worked in a general stationery store that sold calculators and was clueless when facing questions such as "Why was this one more expensive and what did it do?"  Outside holidays, I worked on a Saturday in the local library and one Easter had a  short stint on a mobile library, getting stuck on a hill  in late snow.

I can't recollect receiving anything that could be called "training" - you were just expected to turn up on time, wear an often ugly uniform, pick up procedures,  work hard, have plenty of stamina to be  on your feet all day, be respectful to superiors, especially if there was the dreaded visit from Head Office, get on with the job - and sink or swim. 

What did I learn?    I had led rather a sheltered family life and the work experiences broadened my knowledge of people and taught me how to get on with both  customers and colleagues from varied backgrounds.  It was also a good source of anecdotes when I met up with fellow students as we exchanged horror stories of our holiday jobs.  Moneywise it was important just to fund everyday life, although I was still living at home.  One year it enabled me to join a student holiday in Austria and started a life long love with that country.

Long term work led me into librarianship, voluntary work at my Citizens Advice Bureau  and then working in the tourist information centre network where I enjoyed the retail side - customer service skills, displaying stock, demonstrating product knowledge,  monitoring sales etc. I have never despised retail and benefited from a great training programme which has stood me in good stead today - a big change from my early shop working days.  Following redundancy, I went back to my academic roots of history and librarianship working in the Library Service's  Local Studies Dept.  Not quite a full circle, but almost.

So from the fishmonger beginning  to my current working life of part-time library work and "freelancing" - using my skills developed over the years with some small  local organisations  -  it is a great work-life balance. I recommend it!


52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Trap Farm - Update on my Ancestral Home: Those Places Thursday

Trap Farm, c.1998
In January 2011 I told the story of my Danson Ancestral Home - Trap Farm, Carleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  Well, thanks to my new found third cousin, here is an update.

Trap Farm, c.1998
In the 1841 and 1851 Census, my great, great grandfather Henry Danson and family were living there.     I found the farm on the current Ordnance Survey Map and set out to find it on a visit to the Fylde c.1998.  

Situated amidst fields on what is now a busy road, it was a sorry sight - dilapidated and overgrown.

In the 1841 Census, 30 year old Henry was living there with his wife Elizabeth (Calvert), five daughters - Betty, Grace, Mary, Margaret and Ellen, his much older brother Peter and two servants.

By the time of the 1851 Census,  it was a household of 13. Henry was described as a farmer of 31 acres. Eldest daughter (now married)  Elizabeth was there  with her three sisters and her husband Thomas Bailey, whilst second daughter Grace had left home.  But there were now two sons - John and Henry  plus Henry's brother  Peter and two servants.   How did they all fit into what looked a small farmhouse?  My great grandfather James, born 1852 at Trap Farm, plus another daughter Jane,  later completed the family.

By the time of the next census in 1861 the Danson family was no longer at Trap.

Postscript 1 :  Two years ago I returned to Carleton,  fully expecting Trap Farm to be wiped off the map and replaced by a modern housing estate.   To my surprise it was still there, but was undergoing a transformation into a modern home.

Postsciipt 2:  I recently made contact with a third cousin whose great grandmother Elizabeth Danson, eldest daughter of Henry and Elizabeth,  was born at Trap Farm, and he sent me a more recent photograph.

Trap Farm, c.2011
Those Places Thursday is a weekly prompt from www.geneabloggers.com to encourage bloggers to write about their family history.  

Monday, 25 July 2011

Nostalgia the Key to Happiness: Wisdom Wednesday

I came across the headline "Nostalgia is Key to Happiness" in an article in "Psychologies Magazine" for August 2011. 

How often have you been faced with the comment that, as a family historian,  you spend too much time in the past? 

Ryan Howell of San Francisco University is author of new research which asserts that "people are happy with their lives because they tend to hold a positive, nostalgic view of the past. ......We can all own a pair of rose tinted glasses and look back on our past with fondness and affection."

I know what he means!  I have particularly enjoyed writing posts for the "52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History" series and had much pleasure in recalling aspects of my childhood and appreciating the legacy left by my mother, father and aunt.  

What do you think? 

Finding a Third Cousin: Surname Saturday

I haven't had many successes in finding any long lost Danson relations,  but I am delighted to tell how an unknown third cousin, Stuart found my blog recently and made contact.  Even better he only lives 50 miles away and we have arranged to meet to exchange stories and photographs.

We both share the same great great grandfather Henry Danson (1806-1881) of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.   Henry and his wife Elizabeth Calvert had nine children - the eldest daughter Elizabeth (1831-1885 was Stuart''s great grandmother, whilst the youngest child James (1852-1906) was my great grandfather - both born at Trap Farm, Carleton (above) 

So Elizabeth was 21 years older than her youngest brother.  She married Thomas Bailey, whose family lived on an adjacent farm with the picturesque name of Bready Butts.  Their eldest son William was born in 1852  a few weeks before his Uncle James Danson.  Five more children followed - the youngest Mary Jane, Stuart's grandmother (left).  

The story, however, has sad overtones.  Elizabeth died in 1885, followed a year later by her husband Thomas, leaving a young family orphaned with her two young daughters  only 12 and 8 years old.  Margaret went to live with her eldest sister Elizabeth, with  Mary Jane joining  the household of her older brother Henry in Blackpool.  

 At the age of 28, Mary Jane married John William Oldham in 1905 at St. John's Church, Blackpool, but she continued to face tragedy in her life, when her youngest daughter Hilda  died aged 6 in 1915.  (Below - family photograph c.1909 with Hilda and older daughter Elsie). 

Seven years later, Mary Ellen was sadly hospitalised and remained there until her death in 1945.    

Monday, 18 July 2011

31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: 3 - Promoting a Post

31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy BlogTonia Kendrick, over at Tonia’s Roots has started a blogging series entitled ‘31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging’. It’s Week 3 and the challenge is Promote a Blog Post

My thoughts on the tips are below in blue with my action posting at the end.

  1. Pitch to other bloggers- I would feel embarrassed to do this.
  2. Social Messaging: use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to promote your post.    I don't twitter.  I joined Facebook last year, and early on posted about my blog, but am not aware of any feedback resulting from it.   I am not an enthusiastic Facebook user.  Geneabloggers is my prime site and indispensable.
  3. Social Bookmarking:  promote selective links on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon. These are new to me - will need to find out more.
  4. Internal Links:  what posts within your own site can you link to a given post?    I have tried this with a series of postings on "Discovering Danson" where I referred to earlier entries on the family highlighted in the Labels listings.   It never occured to me to  provide a  link to the actual blog page - will now do this. I also like the idea of Popular Posts and will set this up as a Label.
  5. Newsletters: shoot an email out to your newsletter list.  I like newsletters, but do not feel it is an appropriate vehicle for me - my Blog is my newsletter, and I would include a link to that in any e-mail reply where it might be relevant.
  6. Other Blog’s Comments Sections and Forums: leaving good-quality comments can help drive traffic to your site and leaving a link can be appropriate if it is germane to the discussion.  (Just a note here, I use a plug-in called CommentLuv that automatically inserts a link to each commenter’s last post. Absolutely right,  and I have gained Followers from doing this. Sometimes I must admit I find it difficult to know what to say without being rather trite and repititive. I must try to be more specific about what I like in a blog and must also investigate CommentLuv.
  7. Email signatures: Darren suggests including links to recent posts, instead of just your blog’s front page URL.  Good advice.
  8. Follow-up posts:  write a new post that picks up where another left off, like a series, or adds new information to a previous post, then inter-link them.  A bit similar to Point 4.
  9. Advertise Your post:  You might consider a small ad campaign for a post you are particularly proud of, Can't see this is for me.
  10. Pitch Mainstream Media:  You might want to do this for a really interesting post.  Again, I think this would be more suitable for the pros.  Again not for me.
  11. Article Marketing:  Rewrite some key articles and submit them to article marketing sites.  Don’t do all of the above for every single post you write.  Not sure what this means. What are "article marketing sites"?

Action Items

  • See my posting  A Rant Against Women Suffragettes

  • This  posting now provides direct links to other postings in my "Stop Press!" series.  I enjoy writing  this series and I like my heading as a bit different from something bland such as "Newspaper Report".  Howver I cannot say it is evoking much interest, so something needs to change. It will be good to monitor page views to see if giving these links makes a difference.

    I have also added  "Popular Postings" to my Labels listing.  

Friday, 15 July 2011

31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: Week 2 - Making Lists Work for You

Tonia Kendrick, over at Tonia’s Roots has started a blogging series entitled ‘31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging’.
It’s Week 2 and the challenge is "To Make Lists Work for You"

Here is my list which aims to give a brief summary of my direct ancestors. 
I also hope it acts as a taster and encourages readers to explore more of the blog stories on my Danson ancestors.


1.  My mother Kathleen Danson (1908-1999), second daughter of William Danson and Alice English, was born at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, a small historic town, almost dwarfed by its neighbour the popular seaside resort of Blackpool.  Danson is a distinctive local name.  I loved history from an early age and it was a treat to be allowed to look at the shoebox of old photographs and memorabilia at my grandfather's house. 
2.  Grandfather William Danson (1885-1963) was the fifth, out of ten, sons of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe.  Like four of his brothers, he fought in the First World War and he  sent home embroidered postcards which form part of my family treasures.  I have early memories of visiting the great uncles and my only great aunt Jennie. Having their photographs brought them alive to me and they have formed the basis of many     earlier postings on this blog.

3. Great Grandfather James Danson  (1852-1906) - his marriage to Maria Rawcliffe  was recorded in the family bible  and also the birth of his first four sons - entries petered out after that,  with the further 7 children not listed. James died before my mother and aunt were born so they were unable to help me with earlier family history memories.  James was regarded as the black sheep of the family and the only photograph I have  shows him larking around in the stocks in Poulton Market Square.

4.  Great Great Grandfather Henry Danson (1806-1881) was a yeoman farmer of Trap Farm, Carleton, (right)  home to  a large family of eleven and two servants  in 1851.   The 1871 census showed  a change of occupation from farmer to toll keeper at Shard Bridge over the River Wyre near Fleetwood.  Henry married Elizabeth Calvert and they had 9 chidlren and 37 known grandchildren.

5.  Great Great Great Grandfather  Henry Danson (1767-1839)  married Elizabeth Brown and they had seven children, three of whom predeceased their father, with eldest son John being charged in 1810  with fathering a "said bastard child" and sentenced to pay  maintenance.  Lancashire Record Office also provided copies of both a marriage bond and a will showing Henry's signature.

6.  Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather John Danson (1736-1821) married Margaret Fayle and they both proved long living.  John's will has lovely touches  such as leaving his daughter Jennet "my corner cupboard now standing in the parlour of my house and my meal chest in the room above the same". 

John was the son of Peter, a husbandman - but  there the Danson trail comes to an end with the proverbial brick wall reached.

To find out more, look at the individual postings on my blog 
under the Label - Danson Family

St. Chad's Church, Poulton-le-Fylde where Dansons were baptised, married and buried.
A spring  photograph taken by my uncle Harry Danson.

Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging: Week 1 - An Elevator Pitch

Tonia Kendrick, over at Tonia’s Roots has started of a blogging series entitled ‘31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging’. It’s Week 1 and the challenge is to write an "Elevator Pitch".

I must admit I didn't have a clue what an "Elevator Pitch" was, so I have learnt here my first lesson of Better Blogging.

As Tonia explains " It’s a brief overview that can be delivered in the space of an elevator ride (hence, the name).The idea is that you have a short and sharp piece that you can say about yourself when the opportunity arises.......The goal here is to tell people what you do and interest them in hearing more. We need to move past the generic “I write about genealogy” into what really makes each of our blogs unique".

So here is my effort:

I have the family history bug for researching both my own family history and that of friends. If your interest is in families of the Fylde in Lancashire, this site is for you, with many photographs to enhance interest. I'll also be looking at my Scottish Donaldson connections,  hints and tips, and stories that appeal.  So read on, or even better, sign up as a follower. Do get in touch - I would love to hear from others who share my enthusiasm for having fun with family history.

Does it do the job?  Are you prompted to find out more?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Seaside Vacations, c.1950 : 52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy

This is the 27th challenge in in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.    Week 27  Vacations

Sea,  sand, sun, deck chairs, donkeys, ice cream cones, sandcastles and flags - these are my memories of  childhood holidays in the early 1950's.  It  meant exchanging  one seaside location for another.  We lived outside Blackpool, the famous north west England  resort, but for our summer holiday we travelled to Bournemouuth on the south coast, where a close friend of my mother (known as Auntie Phyllis)  had moved to open a hotel.  

It meant quite a journey, before the days of motorways, though industrial Lancashire.  My brother and I hated crossing the swing bridges over the Manchester Ship Canal at Wigan and Warrington with visions of them swinging around whilst we were on them.  We would crouch down behind my parent's seats and hide our eyes. 

To pass the time, we did the usual car games of I Spy, I went to the seaside, and bought A ...B..C ...etc.. and making up silly sentences from the registration numbers of cars and also silly songs.  My father was a commercial traveller (sales rep) for the Beecham Pharmaceutical Group and one ditty we came up with was:
There was a hermit in the hills
Living off his Beecham Pills
He ate two in the morning
And two at night
To make him feel so merry and bright.

We broke the Journey  in Gloucestershire to visit my father's relatives,  staying either at Cheltenham, or the cathedral cities of Worcester or Tewksbury - which fostered my love of history, even at a young age.  The old town of Bridgenorth in Shropshire was another favourite stop where, as part of the holiday treat, we got to choose a book for holiday reading at a shop on the High Street.

Bournemuuth was far less brash than Blackpool but still the holidays had all the traditional seaside ingredients.   The memory is of hot summers, and Mum made me each year a new sun dress with bolero jacket (right).

I can remember  when the weather was miserable, and Dad took us onto the beach where we had fun making shelters out of the deckchairs. Or we took a walk along the cliff tops - the Chimes, and collected pine cones to take home and decorate for Christmas. 

On duller days we walked along the promenade for an ice cream or went into the park  and played in the stream that ran through it - the usual result was my brother fell in the water and my mother knew always to take spare clothing.  At night the trees in the park were decorated with fairy lights that made it magical.  My abiding memory was of one of a happy family time.

Copyright © 2011 ·
Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Well Loved Songs - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

This is the 26th challenge in in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.    Week 26  - Songs

Whe I first saw this topic, my thoughts immediately turned to my primary school days, when every Wednesday afternoon we gathered in the hall for community singing and I learnt such patriotic songs as The British Grenadiers,  Hearts of Oak, The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Bluebells of Scotland and ny favourite, sung with much gusto,  Men of Harlech.  Sea shanties were also popular as we swung from side to side to sing  What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?   Are these now all forgotten as I doubt that children are familiar with them today? 

Singing in a choir has been a key activity throughout my life from school days onwards, whether it was folk songs from round the world, spirituals, carols, sacred music, opera and operetta chrouses,  Gilbert & Sullivan or songs from the shows - musical tastes that still mean a lot to me today.  It is a marvellous form of music making, whatever your age. The highlight for me was to be one of over a 1000 singers, plus orchestra  in a "Come and Sing" performance in the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London - an exhilerating and unforgettable experience in front of a packed 4000 audience.  

As for pop culture, it really passed me by, apart from a liking for some of Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard, and groups like the Seekers and the Carpenters and when I was in the heady days of becoming engaged songs by  Jim Reeves.  

Songs are an important source of pride in my home town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders, when in the Common Riding festivities in June,   they celebrate local passion  and heritage.  One of my favourites tells how:

When Slitrig dances doon the dell
to join the Teviot water

There dwells auld Hawick's Honest Men
And Hawick's Bright Eyed Daughters.

(Slitrig is the local river that meets the larger Teviot at Hawick - below)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Why Blog?" - More Thoughts: Motivation Monday

I was away on holiday and was sorry to miss Susan Peteren's "Open Discussion Weekend: Blogging - What's in it For You?" posted on  http://longlostrelatives-smp.blogspot.com/.  The topic appealed to mean and prompted me to  add my own thoughts here.

First of all some background - why did I start blogging last  August?
I had thought for some time I would like to  set up a family history website, to make my research more widely known and hopefully to make contact with distant relatives. But  I lacked the technical ability, short of taking an expensive  course.  Then  in "Women & Home"  magazine, I came across an article on blogging and was immediately struck "This is for me".  

I ticked all the boxes -  I have long had an interest in journalism, and have written staff newsletters, press releases  and tourist guides as part of my work.  Blogging gave me an opportunity to create my own magazine/newsletter and feature my collection of old family photographs.  The style of writing short articles greatly appealed to me.  I also had the time (just) to write regularly and I had a subject that I was passionate about.  I was able to cope with the Blogger technology and  so Family History Fun was born.   

 Susan's top three motiviators were important to me:
  • To document research journey and discoveries.
  • To share information with other family members?   (Unfortunately there are not many in my small family who either have a computer or are sufficiently interested to sign up).
  • Hope that distant cousins will discover the blog and contact you.  (Again I was not too optimistic here, as my family names have evoked little response  on message boards etc.
Not applicable:
  • To provide a form for family members
  • To promote a genalogy based business
  • To plan and pormote a family reunion
  • To earn extra income through affiliate links
  • To write scholarly articles about genealogy or history
But top of my list was Susan's 6th reason  - To connect with other genealogists .
I  have not been disappointed, once I was pointed in the  direction of Geneabloggers.    My aim initially was to write once a week, but "the bug" grabbed me and I am usually above this target.  I thought I would soon run out of personal material, but have enjoyed taking up the challenge of the stimulating blog prompts - not just the regular daily topics, but also the special themes, such as Fearless Females and 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy, which I find great motivators  in sharing memories.  Keep these coming !

The Blogging Network is giving me:
  • Tremendous personal pleasure in a new hobby.
  • The opportunity to think back on my childhood and (British reticence here) for the first time articulate what my parents meant to me e.g. in the tributes posted under Sentimental Sunday.
  • Ideas and inspiration for both blog content and presentation
  • Pointers with the weekly blogging reviews  to other sites and articles
  • Practical tips, such as  maximising  search engine impact.  
  • Pointers to "best practice" in researching and writing family history
  • A platform for not only sharing memories, but also views in discussions such as this.
  • Recognition for my contributions  - would I continue without the benefit of the comments and blog statistics?   I wonder? -  It is a great motivator to know that people are reading my blog.
  • I also have great  sympathy with the comment that "blogging provides an outlet for my passion" - rather than bore family members who are no more than mildly interested!