Celebrating 15 Years of Blogging as The Accidental Genealogist

Today The Accidental Genealogist turns 15!

Fifteen years is a fairly long time to spend on an activity and I have enjoyed using this platform to share my experiences as a genealogist and writer. 

When I shared my first post “Welcome to My Blog” on June 28, 2006, I really did not know what to expect. I wondered if anyone would read what I shared and certainly did not anticipate I would still be blogging all these years later.

My second blog post (2 July 2006) detailed why I decided to name my blog “The Accidental Genealogist.” I wrote:
“Here I’ll share my thoughts, experiences, profiles on some of my favorite ancestors, and other useful information for genealogists who like to write, as well as tips on writing and publishing for writers who happen to be genealogists.” 
I like to think I have achieved my goals of sharing information and inspiration for genealogists and writers. 

Confessions of a Geneablogger

In 2014, I wrote an article entitled “Confessions of a Geneablogger” for Internet Genealogy Magazine (it appeared in the December/January 2015 issue).

In the article, I listed five reasons to blog. Here is a quick summary of that article [used with permission].

Five Reasons to Blog:

Below are five reasons why I think creating and maintaining a blog can be a very positive experience.
1. Giving Ancestors a Voice. One of the many reasons I started my blog in the first place is because it is a forum where I can share stories about my family and document my genealogy research. I don’t have famous pedigree. Most of my ancestors were peasant farmers from Eastern Europe, and not likely to have made the news unless they did something wrong or broke the law. I can use my blog as a platform to write about those ancestors who might otherwise remain in obscurity.

2. Connecting with Cousins. In the genealogy community, blogs are affectionately known as “cousin bait”. Without my blog, I likely would not have made contact with family members I had previously not known. Several cousins have found me because of my online presence, so this is definitely a good thing. I have since met many of these newly found relatives in person.

3. Inspiring and Educating Others. As a writer, instructor, and lecturer, with whom I can share my knowledge about Slovak genealogy, researching female and immigrant ancestors, and writing. I am always grateful for the positive comments and for those who contact me to say they learned something new or were inspired by one of my blog posts.

4. Engaging with Other Genealogists. Many of my fellow bloggers have become some of my closest friends. …We help, encourage, and inspire each other and collaborate on projects or research problems. This is one of the biggest benefits to being a genealogy blogger.

5. Marketing. As a genealogy professional, I feel the need to market my skills and abilities so that businesses, groups, and organizations will hire me to write articles, give presentations, and teach courses. Having a blog is a good way to freely advertise my services and reach a wide audience, although I try to strike a balance, so people don’t stop reading.

I still believe in these five reasons to blog, and look forward to how this blog will evolve as I continue my journey as a genealogist, educator, and writer.

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this blog over the years, contacted me via email, or approached me at a conference or speaking engagement to tell me how much they have enjoyed reading my posts.  I appreciate your encouragement and support.
[While I have turned off the comments function of this blog for now, readers are welcome to contact me through the contact form at the top of this page.] 

Copyright, 2021, Lisa A. Alzo

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