Blog Caroling: WWI–The Song That Stopped The Fighting

This blog article was written to celebrate fM’s Annual Tradition of Blog Caroling. I’ve been participating for several years now, and appreciate that she continues it, as she says with  toddy in hand, clad in flannel jammies and  with furry slippers on.

Thankfully she has spritely fingers too that would be the envy of any elf.  If you would like to join in, there still is time to. Continue reading

Blog Caroling: This Time of Year

My dear friend fM’s favorite holiday tradition (she says) is Blog Caroling.  I suspect that her ritual of dressing up in flannel jammies with hot toddy in hand are as important as the musical production.

Last year I presented a truly local song.  But with New Hampshire-specific Christmas songs being rarer than chestnut trees, I settled, quite happily, for one I like that has little to do with my locale. Continue reading

2016: The 8th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge

Oil Painting: Old woman in apron and shawl, c1876-1909; Otto Henry Bacher; Library of Congress.

Oil Painting: Old woman in apron and shawl, c1876-1909; Otto Henry Bacher; Library of Congress.

Each year for the past seven, genealogist bloggers have been invited to post a bit of poetry about a region, historical event, legend, or a person related to one of their ancestors. If you would like to participate, you can read more about the challenge on Bill West’s blog, “West in New England.”

Although National Poetry MONTH in the United States is in April, today (October 6th) is National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom [per another friend Heather Wilkinson Rojo] I am posting my poetry submission today in honor of poetry and poets everywhere.

Here is the West In New England wrap up post with all the folks who participated in the challenge. Always fun to read them!
Continue reading

Promote Your Blog: A Genealogist’s Potluck Guide

Postcard picnic Royal brand fish delicacies

Chromolithograph print, “Royal Brand” fish delicacies, advertising card, Boston Public Library, Collection of images on Flickr.

My favorite genealogy resource is my blog, Cow Hampshire. It is not just a place where I write and share genealogy and history stories about New Hampshire. My blog is a place where I gather new information from guests who comment.  My blog is also the medium where I can acknowledge other bloggers, and share resources with them–from genealogy research sites to collections of copyright-free graphics and primary documents.

A genealogy blog is much like a picnic–you bring the basket full of goodies, spread the blanket, and people arrive anxious to feast on your knowledge, right? This premise isn’t true at all, but there are simple things you can do to attract and engage more readers. It only takes ten changes or additions to what you probably do now, to better promote your blog, and attract your audience, like ants. In this case, you want the uninvited guests along with the invited. Continue reading

Barking Up the Family Tree Again: How Pets Humanize Our Genealogy

1920s unknown with dog aunt mertiesIt is easy to view our more recent ancestors, our parents and grandparents, in a humanistic light. Many times we knew them personally, we remember them from a first-person experience. We know how they looked, sounded, felt, reacted. Based on what we see (or remember) we mentally categorize them–as kind or grumpy, loving or vile, and all sorts of descriptive terms in between.

For the family genealogist, once we research beyond known ancestors, there is the tendency to feel dis-attached from them. It is natural for this to happen. Unless someone spoke frequently about them, shared stories or photographs, and helped us to emotionally connect with them, they feel unreal to us. Frequently these relatives are “just a name” that evokes no strong sentiment. Continue reading