Who needs a staycation?

nostaycationWeek before last, I blogged at my excitement over the prospect taking this week off to devote to genealogy research. You know what they say about the best laid plans.

I ended up having to schedule clients Thursday and Friday and yesterday was occupied with details surrounding moving back into our newly renovated kitchen (hooray!). So my staycation shrunk to two days.

My first thought was to abandon the idea and try to find another week to take off. But then I realized that (a) that week would probably never come and (b) I don’t need huge blocks of time to accomplish research. As I documented during my first 30 x 30 challenge, I can get a whole lot done by doing just a little every day.

I have other business- and kitchen-related things I need to do today and tomorrow, so I’m going to commit to grabbing at least two hours each day to do research. That’s four hours more than I did last week.

I have the week-long NGS research trip to the Allen County Public Library to look forward to in August. So I know I’ll get that intensive research time I crave. But in the meantime, I’m going to try to devote at least four hours a week during the eight weeks leading up the trip–taking time where I can find it–to get some research done.

This is an important reminder that, as appealing as a staycation is,  I don’t need a big chunk of time to get work done!

It’s my 4th blogiversary!

happyblogiversarylgI published my first post on Organize Your Family History four years ago today, on June 14, 2012. This is my 282nd post. I can’t believe how quickly time flies!

I love writing this blog. It helps keep my genealogy research top of mind.  I learn so much researching the posts. But I think what I love most of all is interacting with my readers. Your comments are so educational and so appreciated!! And I’m grateful to have met some of you in person.

The readership of the blog grew very quickly in the first few years but growth has slowed down as the blog matures. That doesn’t surprise me–I can’t expect that kind of growth forever. I was delighted to surpass 100,000 pageviews last year and I certainly hope to do that again this year, though I’d better start blogging more frequently if I’m going to accomplish that. (It’s been a year of competing priorities.)

At the risk of boring you, but for the sake of continuity, I’ll spout some statistics here about the blog, as I’ve done for each blogiversary post. I find it interesting and it’s helpful for me to be able to look back.

In the fourth year of Organize Your Family History there were (as compared with last year):

  • 60 posts (72 last year)
  • 94, 172 pageviews (84, 270 last year)
  • 451 comments, about half of which were from me (compared with 245 last year)
  • 344 subscribers (272 last year)

If you’re interested in data from the previous two years, check out my 3d blogiversary post.

I have so loved meeting readers at genealogy conferences and look forward to meeting more at the Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference in Indianapolis next month (please let me know, if you haven’t already, if you’re going to be there and you’d like to meet up!).

On this, my fourth blogiversary, I just want to say thank you for reading the blog. It’s such a joy to know you’re reading!

My genealogy staycation!

staycationThis morning I looked at my calendar and realized that, at this moment in time, I have a free week in a couple of weeks. That is, I have no organizing appointments scheduled for the week of June 20 (well, a tentative one on Friday the 24th). Thankfully, I’ve been in business long enough to see that as the blessing it is, rather than freaking out that my business is failing (which it certainly isn’t).

A few years, I wrote a post here about my dream genealogy staycation. I fantasized about what I’d do if I had a week to devote to genealogy research. When I looked at that gloriously empty week on my calendar this morning, I realized that I could make that dream a reality! So I’m going to block out the week and start making plans about how I’ll spend it. Lucky for me, that blog post is a great starting point.

I’m getting another amazing opportunity when I go on the NGS research trip to the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in August. I think my staycation will be a great precursor to that. The work I do this month should help make that trip even more productive.

How about you? Have you ever taken a chunk of time off to work on your genealogy? Did it meet your expectations? And do you have any suggestions for me?

Are you watching Roots?

Are you watching Roots?

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte

In 1977, when the history-making miniseries Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley (which was based on his genealogy research), first aired I was in junior high. And I was glued to my television all eight nights. I remember being awed and moved by the production. I even made a scrapbook of it, containing clippings from TV Guide.

So when I learned that A&E was making a new version of Roots and that it would air four nights in a row starting on Memorial Day, I cleared my calendar. I watched last night and was riveted. The production is lush. The acting is terrific. And the story of this country’s history of slavery told through the eyes of many generations of one family, is so moving and important.

It made me want to know more about the lives (not just the names and dates) of more of my ancestors. And isn’t that what genealogy is about?

I don’t have cable TV; I cut the cord five years ago. Roots is airing on the cable network the History Channel and is also being shown on sister networks Lifetime and A&E. I didn’t want to have to wait for it to be streamed Netflix or Hulu or some other streaming channel where I watch most of my TV. So I signed up for a 7-day free trial of Sling TV. It allows you to watch live presentations of dozens cable TV networks, including History. It also allows for some on-demand viewing. The cost for Sling after the free trial is $20 a month. I’ll be weighing whether I will keep it, but for this week I am so grateful to have access to Roots.

Roots can be uncomfortable to watch at times. There were moments in last night’s broadcast where I had to close my eyes. And even one moment where I had to squeeze my eyes shut while covering my ears and humming. But I think it’s important viewing and I hope that the generations after me who missed out on the 1977 broadcast (or who tried to watch it later and found its production values outdated) will watch.

If you missed it last night, you’re not too late to start. The first episode is being re-aired tonight at 5:45 pm central time, right before the broadcast of the second episode. And it’s also available to watch on the History Channel’s website right now.

Genealogy is about the history of our family’s. Alex Haley’s family’s story (even though it was fictionalized) encompasses part of our country’s history that I’m not proud of. But it’s important to remember and acknowledge it. I encourage you to watch.