Sunday, May 06, 2012

Who says the younger generation doesn't care?

The key is sharing your family history in ways "they can hear it".

This post is basically a good argument for finally taking the plunge and creating a blog to spotlight your ancestors. Genealogists keep saying "I'm going to write a book..."  but where does that get you these days?

THAT'S SO 1990s
Fortunately, we have Madelyn Player's book The Legacy of William Warner Player, 1783-1993 published by our family organization. Madelyn did a fine job placing William in historical context, and was the family genealogist for many years. She understood that info from surviving official documents frame our ancestral research, and that understanding the time period's customs and culture put flesh on the bones.

That hand bound printed family history book is expensive to produce and sits on a shelf in only a few locations on the face of the earth. But a blog post is out there for the world to discover.

Admittedly, Ol' Myrt's blog posts are sometimes "fluffy" but I do take the time to share specific info about my ancestors. That practice came in handy when a grandson called just as we crossed the Utah border into Wyoming, and asked about an ancestor for a school report. I didn't have to scramble, knowing I'd just left most of my family history in my office back in Utah. Thankfully, after hearing more about the assignment, I was able to say "Honey, it's in my blog!"  
You may use Blogger or WordPress, or other online blogging "software". I recommend Blogger for the short learning curve. Its another one of those free tools available from Google.

In less than two minutes you can have your blog up and running. You log in with a Google account, create a title, select a template (layout design) and then your blog is ready for you to create individual posts. 

Create blog posts as frequently and in as much detail as you wish. If you've got some of this in your word processor files already, it's simply a matter of doing a quick copy/paste of the text, and uploading a scanned image or two. Don't worry that the document looks small, if your reader clicks on the image, he will be able to view a larger version of the image.

No need to cut out pages of family lore, or limit your photos to three pages in the middle of a book. You can write a blog post about each picture, tying away to your heart's content.

Just go to and create your Google Account if you don't have one already. Then click GET STARTED, and you are off on a marvelous adventure sharing what you know about your ancestors.

Here are some of Ol' Myrt's ancestor spotlights. You'd be surprised how many stories you've got hidden away that are just busting to get out onto your blog posts!
  • A marriage license isn't a marriage certificate Jul 07, 2010 - I only remember seeing Lowell Simpson FROMAN one time in my life. When we ... Lower [Lowell] S. FROMAN is listed as head of household, with Frances his wife, and my mother as his 18 month old daughter.
  • CC (Gist) & LJ Froman graves
  • Docu-Challenge Winner: William Warner Player baptismal record - Oct 11, 2010 - The only information drawn from the document is William was born [on or] before March 30, 1793 and Charles Player and Ann are his parents. I would look for a marriage record for Charles Player and Ann... 
  • Docu-Challenge: Charles W. Player death certificate Jul 23, 2010 - So, we're going to look at this death certificate, Charles W. PLAYER, a great-grand uncle on my father's side of the family tree. We must train ourselves to look for strengths and weaknesses of the information provided.
  • Getting from an index to the original document Sep 29, 2009 - Lorenzo J. FROMAN and Cecelcernam GIST marriage entry from the Clay County, Missouri Recorder of Deeds. Marriage Record Book A, FHL microfilm #955303 page 43 dated 27 Aug 1831 but filed with September 1831 ... 
  • Glen S. Player, MD - rest in peace Oct 01, 2007 - Glen S. Player, MD 89, died 28 September 2007 at his home in Medina, WA surrounded by family. Born 15 Sept 1918 to Shirley & Myrtle (Weiser) Player in Salt Lake City, Utah, Glen was a great-grandson...  
  • Things hoped for Jul 22, 2010 - This document, signed by W. G. Froman is from his Union Civil War Pension File #824237. My ancestor served in Company D of the 3rd Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. William, by his signature at the bottom of the form asserts that...  
  • Treasure Chest Thursday: Shirley Player's photo Aug 05, 2010 - I'd been looking everywhere for this picture, one of two I've ever seen of my paternal grandfather Shirley Player, born to Alma Oades & Mary Elizabeth [Wright] Player 4 Aug 1888 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Union Civil War pension file update Apr 27, 2007 - Today Ol' Myrt spotlights one document (show above in the blog version of this column) that she and her daughters photocopied from William Gist FROMAN's entire pension file while visiting the National Archives in...  
  • US Veterans: Thank-you for your service Nov 11, 2011 - My father Glen S. Player served in the Army Medical Corps during WWII while his brother Jack Player served in the Navy at Gadalcanal. Thank-you also to my brother-in-law Steve for serving in the Gulf and to Grampa Kent...

Sharing our family history is all about using the cool tools the younger generations loves. And the internet is the way to go.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 


  1. I've been doing exactly this for over 2 years now Myrt. Sometimes, in fact, pretty often these days, I feel practically invisible and I get just a wee bit discouraged. But I still love doing it and I know that someday, some of it will be appreciated by those who want to know more than just the names and dates they can get from basic documents.

    Thanks, this was encouraging!

  2. I so love this post! Beautifully stated.

  3. Great post! I had to share it with my Facebook friends!

  4. I so totally relate to your post here. I've suffered for a long time from that urgent need to write, but the book concept seems so colossal, so monumental, so...invincible. Blog is better. Well, at least better than book. At this time.

    Your point about reaching out to the younger generations by using tools that are part of their vocabulary is well taken, too. It is encouraging to see geneabloggers from all generations online now.

    Blogging bestows upon its writer not only a platform from which to share genealogy research discoveries. In addition to "content" benefits, there are "process" benefits, too. It takes a certain amount of discipline and perseverance to keep coming back to write, again.

    And for that, there is no better encouragement to keep at it than to receive comments from readers--the tokens of gratitude bestowed by those who've stumbled upon us in "the ether."