BB (Before Blogging), like most other high-school English teachers, my reading list consisted primarily of essays, college applications, and research papers, and my writing was mainly in the “short and direct” genre along the margins of student papers. Occasionally I scribbled in pencil in the blogosphere but didn’t get committed to ink until The Family Curator was born in 2007.
I started the blog as a journal of my progress working with the treasure of my grandmother’s letters and photographs. My teaching schedule was pretty much all-consuming during the school year, and I found myself retracing steps each summer when I tried to get back to family history. The Family Curator helped me organize my research goals and plan where to go next. The blog also gave me a context to return to writing many years after working as a journalist and editor, and the more I wrote, the more I realized how much I missed writing regularly. When footnote Maven commented on my blog this spring and invited me to write a column for Shades of the Departed I realized that The Family Curator could be more than just a personal journal, and that other people might be interested in my project.
I have tried to follow the lead of the many gracious genealogy bloggers who have been generous with encouragement and ideas, and hope that The Family Curator continues to grow and to be a useful part of the genealogy blogging community.
My favorite article is probably the piece I wrote for Shades of the Departed on using a family history project in the high school classroom, but as for pieces posted on The Family Curator, I will have to cite Day 3 – The Transcription Project. It was rewarding to see the way things “clicked” for my high school students after they worked with Arline’s letters for a few days, and rereading this posting brings that day back to me.
I still laugh when I read the very first posting at The Family Curator, Return to the Family History Project because I really did fall into genealogy out of self-defense. My mother was counting up cousins faster than I could figure out relationships. Of course, the recent postings from our trip to New England are favorites too, but I don’t know if I like the Vermont farm scene or the lobster roll photos best.
As for the most beautiful posting, I do like the photo and short piece An Ironic Epitaph written for the 3rd Carnival of Genealogy Celebrating Home. I wish I could have seen that ranch house or the site where it stood.
The genealogy blogging world has been an encouraging place to rediscover my love of writing and communicating. Although I am not teaching this year, I am learning every day, and much of what I learn is from the members of this community. I am continually impressed by the level of professionalism and commitment of the genea-bloggers who comment or email to The Family Curator, and hope that I can repay their generous spirit by passing on their support and goodwill.