Friday, July 4, 2008

An Independent, Free Spirit. Introduction to The COG

What person comes to your mind when someone mentions a free spirit. But first, I think we ought to define who or what is a free spirit?

For "footnoteMaven", it meant a person who is independent but lacking responsibility- specifically her great grandmother, Lois or Lula or LoElla Green(e), who apparently abandoned a family to build a boat out in the backyard of her house in a gladiola garden. And by the way, the boat floated.

For Miriam, it meant her Uncle John who was an independent, single man- perhaps too independent to marry and settle down. He served in the Philippine Insurrection, homesteaded in British Columbia, and otherwise spent his life "moving around and was apparently happy". Miriam made a good point that family historians often concentrate on married ancestors, who obviously have descendants, and neglect the bachelors and spinsters in the family.

For Jasia of "Creative Gene", it meant "a relative who was feisty, spoke their own mind, ... who most people might consider a “nut” on the family tree but you know they really just followed a “different tune?” ... whose character and habits may have made them seem 'ahead of their time' ..."

For Henry David Thoreau, it meant, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away".

These definitions and story beginnings come from a group of bloggers who have banded together in what is called a "Blog Carnival" in the blogger world. The term Blog Carnival in general is a group bloggers who write about a specific topic. There are Blog Carnivals on topics such as parenting, making money, home schooling, or any topic you can think of. The Carnival of Genealogy or COG, as you would expect, includes bloggers who are OBSESSED with writing about genealogy and family history, sometimes with a related interest thrown in- photography or travel or scrap booking for example.

Really, there is a whole world of genealogical and family history writers out there in the "bloggosphere". (My teachers always instructed me to keep jargon at a minimum but it's difficult these days) I thought I was alone a year ago when I began blogging about my family history/genealogy/ autobiography. But I often asked myself how could such a blog be interesting to a stranger or web surfer who in passing just sees a swirl of unlinked, unrelated or mostly dead people. Please realize I have been researching my genealogy for about 16 years and there are only a few people in my family at large who have an interested in this subject, that is OUR family. My immediate family- mom, sister, brother, daughters, grandchildren- lean back; yawn, and groan "aaaww not again" when I start talking about a family story- regardless of how interesting it may be. They're all interesting of course. And, have you ever noticed, my dear fellow genealogists, that when you start talking about your 10 x great grandmother at a Genealogy Convention or club meeting, your listeners wave you aside and immediately start talking about THEIR ancestors.

But I persevered any way, believing that when (not if) my family would someday wonder where they came from- there would be my blog of interesting, almost- irreplaceable genealogy. Did I mention that I print out my blog entries every few weeks and bind them in a plastic comb. In my will, I will stipulate a publisher who will take it from there I hope.

Also, I thought there might be an audience- like I have nearly 7000 persons in my genealogical computer database, not all living being granted. Don't most people have a computer these days?

Assuredly, I am not alone. One of The Carnival of Genealogy members (I believe Jasia is the founder and host of COG) has 51 bloggers on her blog roll. Uhhh.. a blog roll is a list of blog sites or links which are attached to a particular blog presumably because they have a common interest or thread. In this case most of the 51 bloggers attached to Jasia's blog roll have titles that suggest a genealogical interest. Another Geneablogger, Miriam, has about 110 links on her blogroll. To date, I have one link in my blog roll, but it's a good one- and she also has a Kramp ancestor from Pomerania (Pommern).

All this was supposed to be an introduction to MY submission of a family member who was an "Independent free spirit", but I haven't got around to who is THE Spirit yet. So look for him, yea a guy, in my next blog entry. Hint: he is a descendent of the Russell Line. Obviously, I did not create a blog about my free spirit in time to be included in the 51st Edition of The COG. The deadline was July First. I lurked in the shadows for awhile. But today is Independence Day, and I will include him in my own blog at least. If you are interested in seeing those Free Spirits who did make the deadline for inclusion in the official COG edition, go to the host's blog here.

REFERENCES:
FAQs about Carnival of Genealogy, by Jasia
Blog Carnivals, in general. Submission forms
51st Edition of Carnival of Genealogy

1 comment:

Tim said...

Good Job! :)