I love my job. I have to say, it is the best place in the world to work. I get paid to help others with their family history research, and everything I learn benefits me and my own personal research. Three years ago, however, I was told that I would be required to learn how to create and write a personal blog for professional development. My immediate response was “Really?!” I mean, I have better things to do with my time than “blogging” right? WRONG!!
After getting over the initial frustration of having to learn another new piece of technology, I began to write “My Webb Ancestors“. Of all the family lines that I do research on, this is the line that compels me to be ‘anxiously engaged.’ My maternal grandmother disappeared in the 1920’s in Winnipeg, Manitoba and my quest has always been to find her. I haven’t found her, but in my constant effort to search the records, I have explored and documented four generations behind her and numerous collateral lines as well. So, it only seemed natural that I use this “opportunity” to create a blog on my Webb family.
It was a tedious process to begin with but as it took over my life, I realized that this blog just might be another way of making contact with family members. To my knowledge, I was the only one out there in the great world of family history research that was working on this Webb line. I really wanted to find other family members.
And then, just over a year ago, I made contact with one descendant from this family, Derek Hall and his wife Donna. They graciously shared photographs and journal entries with me, and my family became so much more real than before. I finally could put a face to family members that I had come to love dearly. I have shared that experience in a previous blog.
And then I hit the mother lode a few weeks back when Ken Webb decided to Google his great-grandfather’s name and my blog appeared in the results. Ken lives in Bali and is a direct descendant from the youngest son. I am a descendant from the oldest son. Ken had some limited details on his family members and was thrilled to make contact. The most exciting thing is that he has the “Family Bible” – yes, the holy grail, if you please. He was afraid to scan the pages beause of the age of the bible, and so he took photos and e-mailed them to me. For the most part, there was nothing new in the entries, until I saw the names and birth dates for two children in an earlier generation that I didn’t even know existed! And, in return, I was able to e-mail him all the documents that I have collected over the years. He was blown away as well.
Needless to say, as time consuming as blogging can be, I absolutely realize the value of it. I have been on message boards and message lists on the internet for years, and never had this kind of success until my blog was discovered by Ken. Sometime in the not too distant future, Ken and I and the Halls are planning a family reunion. Now, if we can just find some descendants from the other five living children!