"Téann an saol thart mar a bheadh eiteoga air." - Irish Gaelic saying meaning Life goes by as if it had wings
Ten years ago today I created an account on Blogger.com, started a couple of blogs, and put out the word to the world that I was tracing my family tree and planning to share my family's stories with anyone who happened to click over.
I didn't know it at the time.
I thought I was reaching out to a few cousins who might read my blogs and be fascinated by our shared history. But it didn't quite go that way. The world found me, and my humble little blogs opened up connections that I had not expected.
Up to that point, my genealogical research project had been primarily a very personal project - a hobby that I pursued quietly on my own. The start of my blogs introduced me to other genealogists and a world of connections that have enriched my life and enhanced the search for my roots in a great many ways.
On this 10th anniversary of the date I started my blogs, I want to shout out to all my fellow geneabloggers who took the brave (or foolish!) step to jump out into the internet with their family stories! You continue to inspire my spirit and enliven my personal research journey.
I also want to give a round of applause to all of my family members - distant and not so distant - who made the effort to read my blogs, share what they know about our family, and spread the word to more cousins. Your interest in my work helps ensure that our ancestors will not be so quickly forgotten, but will become part of the collective memory of many more branches of our family tree.
It is a joy to see the way the stories I have shared on these genealogy blogs continue to touch others - those within my family (both in the United States and in my ancestral homelands), and those outside my family (wherever the internet can reach). Just yesterday a friend informed me that within a lesson on blogging in an online genealogy course she was taking, she found my familiar Small-leaved Shamrock listed as one of two blog examples. I continue to be surprised at where I find mention of my work and who has stopped over for an online visit.
For much of the past decade, I have not given the attention I had hoped to my genealogy blogs. But they have patiently remained waiting in the wings, ready for the time when I mosey back over and give them some new material. During this time, the stories I've shared have continued to receive new readers, many of whom I've connected with. I have spent the past several years using the genealogy time I have available to educate myself on research standards and to apply those standards to the work I thought I had done so well early on. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
My blogs continue to be an incredible resource for me - a easily accessible reminder of the work I have done on various family lines, the social history of the regions from which my ancestors emigrated, the questions I still want answered.
If you are new to Small-leaved Shamrock, here are a few highlights: some of the most popular articles and some of my personal favorites.
- "The long and stormy passage": The 1823 sea voyage of Patrick Cowhey and a spirited Irish priest
- Mother to 15, Widow at 38: My discovery of the photograph of my quietly heroic great-great-grandmother
- One-hundred and twenty years ago today: The death of Ann Cowhey, 1893
- Death comes in threes: The sorrows of Margaret Foley Cowhey, 1891-1895
- A horrifying end and a hero's farewell, November 1892
- Crossing the Potomac with William: A soldier's story
- Seeing double! Twins in the family and the need to study genealogical records with a careful eye
- The provenance of a hairbrush: Thievery and the family historian
- Irish women in America: Our grandmother's stories
- Coal region Catholics: The story of Pottsville's Church of St. Patrick
- A St. Patrick's Day miracle for the Irish/Hungarian genealogy blogger
Thanks for making a visit - I hope you find something here that inspires your own search for family history.
If you have an interest, stop over to the other two blogs I also started ten years ago: 100 Years in America and A Light that Shines Again. You can also find more about my work at my website: smallestleaf.com.
There is an Irish blessing that begins:
"May there always be work for your hands to do...".If you are a genealogist, that is certainly a given, and one of the reasons why I hope to keep these blogs going for many more years to come.