Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is Genealogy Evolving? (My thoughts on Mommy bloggers)

To some people “evolution” is a bad word, but that may be just what’s happening in the genealogy community. Today’s technology gives us the opportunity to go far beyond just recording names and dates. It is easier, today, to put our ancestors in the context of their times.

There have been some comments made online that a few of the attendees at the 2015 RootsTech conference were displeased at the presence of so many lifestyle bloggers, or “Mommy bloggers”.  I’d bet that those same complainers would, or do, cherish any diaries or journals left by their ancestors.  Yesterday’s diaries are today’s blogs.

Apparently more people like me are pursuing genealogy – not for the sake of proving lineage; but to learn and document our family history. Genealogical research gives us the information we need to try to understand our ancestors. Where and how did they live?  

How I wish my ancestors had kept journals!  What was the minutia of everyday life? What drove them to leave their homeland and extended families?  What were the conversations that led to the decision to emigrate? How did they adjust to their new homes?  How did my mother feel when her husband enlisted in the army in 1944?  My childhood memories are disjointed.  My parents and all their siblings are deceased. I’m left with historical records but none of their personal reminiscences except what I remember hearing. I scour history books in an attempt to understand my history and heritage.

Here’s a toast to lifestyle and Mommy bloggers. They’re leaving a priceless legacy.


  1. Thank you! And the same to you, for putting it out there, Mary. I prefer to think of myself as Biographer of Insignificant Lives, but I likely join many in that category you are discussing. The Internet allows our discoveries to go beyond the privacy of yesterday's personal journals--and even entice others to crowdsource further discoveries. Our contributions may be considered miniscule, but they each contribute to the mosaic of historical context.

  2. Oh how I wish my ancestors had left journals too. I love how you put it that "yesterday's diaries are today's blogs." Thank you!

  3. Thanks +Jacqi Stevens and +Jana Last

  4. I, too, fall into the storyteller category. I was blessed to be raised by people who would best be described as Extraordinary Ordinary People (a term blatently stolen from the title of Condoleeza Rice's book about her parents). I have the opportunity to write about these people who were a part of my life and - hopefully - describe what made them so special. I want their legacy to be more than just vital records and cold facts.

  5. Mary,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  6. I also am an amateur, working hard to understand my history and myself. Thanks for these encouraging words!