The idea of blogging about family history first occurred to me nearly a year ago now, after my first visit to Who Do You Think You Are Live. I went alone and was highly unprepared. As I result I spent much of the day just meandering around and trying to restrain myself from buying too many books. But I also had some fascinating conversations with visitors and stallholders, most of whom were seasoned genealogists – much older than me and far more experienced.
It wasn’t until I got home that it struck me. I hadn’t seen a single person my age all day, except perhaps the odd child with their parents or grandparents.
I should say now, I am 26 – hardly a teenager, but still a good 15 years younger at least than anyone I had spoken to. And while I’ve been researching my family history for about five years now, I am still decidedly an amateur with a hell of a lot to learn!
I suppose the absence of young people at WDYTYA Live shouldn’t really surprise me – after all Genealogy is widely regarded as an ‘old people’s’ hobby, isn’t it?
I disagree. With a show like WDYTYA bringing genealogy to the prime time telly audience, and the internet making it easier and, importantly, cheaper than ever before to get involved, I refuse to believe that there aren’t even a few genealogists out there in their twenties!
So I decided that blogging might be a good way to reach out. Not just to people my own age – I don’t intend to dwell on this topic indefinitely, I just wanted to explain what got me started with the blog, really.
However, I suppose my age is likely to be a factor in my approach and in terms of what I find interesting. I hope that if any of you are closer in age to me that I can find some perhaps less traditional stuff to share. In fact, I really hope that older family historians won’t dismiss me instantly simply because I’m younger and relatively inexperienced. I really want to stress that I would love to hear from fellow family historians of all ages – genealogy isn’t always the most social of hobbies!
In this blog I intend to write about my research (not to bore you with the details, mind, just interesting snippets), relevant news or sources I come across, other people’s genealogy stories, and anything else that occurs to me, really.
For the time being, my family history agenda is to book my tickets for WDYTYA 2012 (February 24–26 – I haven’t decided which day I’m attending yet), and do a better job of preparing for it than I did last year! Hope to see some of you there!
Next time – Find out why it took me a year to actually start blogging...