The novice genealogy blogger

Although I have been doing genealogy for 20+ years,  I am a newbie to creating and maintaining a blog.   As noted in my first blog and the ‘about’ section,  I began this blog as part of my Genealogy Do-Over, which I began in January 2017.  My first blog appeared in April 2017.  This has been as much of a learning curve as learning any new computer software program!

Now, I am expanding my horizons beyond just adding a post about every 2 weeks.  Starting with the September 7 blog, “Cemeteries and caretakers”,   you will notice some changes.  During the coming weeks and months, additional features will be added.   Some additions will be more successful than others.   I appreciate your comments and feedback.

Specifically, last week, I added the names of my family lines to the primary heading.  You will be able to click on that family name and see which blogs refer to that family.   So far, I have only used examples from Posten and Tucker families, because I am focusing on those lines as I begin my Genealogy Do-Over journey.    Visiting relatives in Pennsylvania, home of my dad, Daniel R. Posten, meant that an in-depth review of the family tree was in order.  Mission accomplished for that genealogical field trip with visits to multiple cemeteries, county historical societies, and county offices!  Review of Ellerbee and Johnson files has begun, so you will see examples from these families soon.

A drop-down menu for categories has  been created and is on the right side of your screen.  At the end of each blog post, you will find a list of categories and tags.  From a WordPress blog[1],  think of each category as book chapter and each tag as an entry in the book’s index.  For this blog (aka book), Posting Family Roots, the chapters are the genealogy do-over topics which were initially presented by month, two or three topics per month.  The individual posts could be considered as sections of a chapter.  Many posts include an example from one or more family lines.  The topics/ categories/ chapters are:

Month 1:  Setting previous research aside.  Preparing to research.

Month 2:  Base practices and guidelines.  Research goals.

Month 3:  Conducting self interview.  Conducting family interviews.

Month 4:  Tracking research.  Conducting research.

Month 5:  Citing sources.  Building a research toolbox

Month 6:  Evaluating evidence.  Reviewing online education options.

Month 7:  Reviewing genealogy database software.  Digitizing photos and documents.

Month 8:  Conducting collateral research.  Reviewing offline education options.

Month 9:  Conducting cluster research.  Organizing research materials – documents and photos.

Month 10: Reviewing DNA testing options. Organizing research materials – digital.

Month 11:  Reviewing social media options.  Building a research network. Reviewing research travel options.

Month 12:  Sharing research.  Securing research data.

To learn more about the Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over program, click on the caption below the Genealogy Do-Over logo.   Consider joining the Genealogy Do-Over facebook group:

Next on my to-do list is the addition of my family trees.   I am exploring options.


REFLECTION:  With the creation of this blog, I am learning a new set of technical skills.  I am even learning some computer programming language!  This has been a rather steep learning curve for me.  My previous online posting experiences primarily consisted of message boards and writing/ answering emails.  Over the years, I have learned how to compose letters and papers on the computer.  However,  ‘old fashioned’ paper and pencil are still good tools!

What I learned:  how to add widgets to blog posts, difference between categories and tags in wordpress, how to add categories and tags to each post.

What helped:  finding an online resource with clear explanations.   People willing to share their expertise.   Trial and error can eventually lead to success.

What didn’t help:  online resources with confusing explanations.

Summary:  I feel that my blog is improving and that it will continue to improve.  Eventually, I may even try a Posten family website!!!

[1] KeriLynn Engel, “Best Practices for Using Categories and Tags in Word Press”, Elegant Themes Blog, Tips and Tricks, 7 November 2014 (   : accessed 8 September 2017.

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