I've blogged a little less in 2011 than in 2010, but logging 214 posts in 2011 shows I haven't really been slacking - I've just been busy mining new online resources to aid my family history research and I've managed to get to a few genealogy conferences this year.
The year in review:
- This year I began giving some speeches/presentations about genealogy - primarily genealogy blogging. What's interesting is that this is something that I had been wanting to do, but hadn't really intended to get started for another year or so. The speaking engagements I had this year were all from people who approached me to speak - not from my soliciting any "gigs." I got started in March by speaking to a class of University of Nebraska-Lincoln teacher's college students. They were tasked with the assignment to do their own family history and learn how to create a lesson plan for their future students once they become teachers.
- In July, I was asked to speak about genealogy blogging at the Land Records and Genealogy Symposium at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. My friend and fellow blogger, Thomas MacEntee, spoke at the conference about using social media for genealogy. Don't think that I wasn't a little bit nervous talking about genealogy blogging with the genealogy blogger ninja in the audience!
- In August, I had a blast talking about blogging with a group at the Omaha Public Library. I even got to meet a potential cousin who is researching the Pecht family from the same county in Pennsylvania where I'm researching my Pecht line.
- In January, I submitted my DNA sample to 23andme. While I received some correspondence from potential cousins in the early weeks of using the web site, I've been more than a little disappointed with the lack of response from people I've contacted. I don't understand why someone would register for the Family Finder and then not respond to inquiries to see if and how we are related. Perhaps the "aha moment" is still in my future.
- I attended the Spring and Fall conferences of the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society, which were great fun. I'm enjoying those even more now that I'm getting to know a few more people.
- In October, I was a table host for the Family History Fair sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society. I shared my experiences with blogging and demonstrated the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.
- Also in October, I attended Gail Blankenau's workshop at the Cass County Historical Museum in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. As always, I learned a lot from Gail and even found some information on my Cass County kin!
- I recently learned that I have been named the publicity chair of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society for 2012. I'm looking forward to some new challenges with this responsibility in the coming year.
- In March, I attended a workshop on caring for family photographs at the Nebraska State Historical Society. It was great to meet up with my genealogy and Facebook friends Judy Shutts and Kathy Wait Myers.
- In June, I started sharing some images from a tiny photo book that belonged to my grandmother, Sina Bellinger Kelly. This is an ongoing series on LongLostRelatives.net.
- In July, I marked my 500th blog post.
It has definitely been quite a year; a year of new discoveries and new friendships. While others are faced with brick walls, I have been faced with the genealogy tsunami - so much information, paper and photographs that I am completely overwhelmed at assimilating, cataloging, archiving and sharing it all. But isn't that what makes genealogy great?