The Joys of Blogging

Today I celebrate another year of blogging. The blog world has changed a lot in the last 11 years but the joy of blogging still remains. I was inspired to start blogging by an Army nurse who was serving in a field hospital in Iraq. She emailed stories home and someone (her brother, I think) posted them on a blog. Her stories provided her personal view of the war. Through her blog I found others (remember blogrolls?). I could see the war from their perspective. And, through the comments section we could let them know that we knew and appreciated what they were doing.

I started blogging in October 2003. My first blog was a sort of tech support site for family and friends. It wasn’t long before I found I was writing more articles about researching family history and the tech tools that could support it. In those days the comment section was a mini community center. It was also how many of the early geneabloggers got acquainted. Through those comments I met some amazing people. I call many of them friends even though we have never seen each other face-to-face. Many of us met thanks to Jasia at Creative Gene and her Carnival of Genealogy. She inspired us to write with delicious topics. My favorites were the annual swimsuit and cars editions. Terry Thornton of Hill Country of Monroe County is no longer with us but in the early days he was always posting encouraging comments. Through them and others we became a community. I have enjoyed watching that community grow and prosper.

Like most of us, I’ve made some amazing connections. I’ve met a number of cousins – many willing to share their stories along with their research. Thanks to blogs, I have personal relationships with experts in all areas of genealogical research who are always ready with a helping hand. And I can walk into a genealogy conference just about anywhere and be surrounded by old friends – even if I’m seeing them for the first time.

My blogging keeps evolving. Today my “tech” blog – The Society Journal – is focused on helping small societies take advantage of blogs and other tech tools. Moultrie Creek now includes local history along with the family history. In two months, my home town starts celebrating its 450th anniversary as our nation’s oldest city. Although my family has only lived here for 90 of those years, we have connections to this area going back to colonial days. There are plenty of stories yet to tell . . .

Thank you all for sharing your love of genealogy, your stories and your friendship. I am honored to be a part of this amazing community.

St. Augustine Post Office 1906

Post Office 1906

St. Augustine Post Office c. 1906 photographed by the Detroit Publishing Co.

The Post Office was originally the Government House. A government building has been at this location since 1598. It housed the colonial governors and served as the administrative center for Spanish, British and American governments. Once Florida became an American territory and later a state, it was used as a courthouse, customs house and post office. Although those other uses diminished over time, it remained a post office until 1965. There were structural changes along with the administrative ones. A new wing was added at about the point where the two women are in the photograph along with a courtyard. Today it serves as a museum and visitor information center.

This photo was taken from the west plaza looking east. Today, the fountain remains along with the William Wing Loring monument which is located at about the point where the camera was positioned for this photograph.

The Future of Memories

Future of Memories Cover
What are you doing with your family memories? Are you looking for new and creative ways to share your family history research with others? The Future of Memories is an idea book showing how you can put the applications you already have to work with affordable services to share your family history. Some of the project ideas mentioned in the book include:

  • Create your own Ken Burns-style photo documentary using software already on your desktop. Add narration, background music and the zoom-and-pan effects Ken Burns made famous.
  • Learn how a busy mom can build an amazing baby book using only her iPhone.
  • Discover the secret to get your family to show up for a family portrait and create a photo full of personality.

This primer introduces new technologies and shows how to take advantage of the opportunities they offer to produce quality histories at a reasonable price. It discusses the skills needed to create production-ready projects and suggests resources to help you get started. The project section is full of ideas and examples.

  • Author: Denise Barrett Olson
  • Publisher: Moultrie Creek – October 2011
  • Formats: PDF – $2.99, Kindle – $2.99

A New Fence for Tolomato Cemetery

Tolomato Cemetery

Tolomato Cemetery – photo from the author’s collection at Flickr.

Tolomato Cemetery is one of the historic cemeteries in St. Augustine – our nation’s oldest city. It is a beautiful cemetery but it is currently surrounded by an ugly chain link and barbed wire fence. The cemetery’s preservation association is raising money to replace the ugly fence with a new one that is appropriate to the period while providing protection to the site. You can help by visiting the Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association’s site and making a contribution to the effort.

George and Emma

Wedding Photo- George Rauschenberg and Emma Barker

This is supposedly the wedding photo of George Rauschenberg and Emma Barker (1871-1923). George and Emma were married sometime before 1893 and had two daughters, Pauline and Georgia. Emma was the second child of John Thomas Barker and Linia Blake. So far I have not found anything about George. Family lore has it that he left Emma, but in the 1900 census Emma lists herself as a widow. Both daughters married well and had homes in the Clearwater, Florida, area. Georgia had a son, Thomas, who died as a child.

You would think a name like Rauschenberg would be easy to find. In northwest Georgia, there were a number of Rauschenbergs – even one named George. Unfortunately, he was too young to be this George. The search continues.

This photo is part of the Georgia Rauschenberg Eldridge collection, now in the possession of the author.