10 + 1 Year Blogiversary for the Accidental Genealogist

Normally people don’t make it a point to celebrate the 11th milestone of anything.

For wedding anniversaries, steel (which represents strength), is the traditional material of the eleventh anniversary. It is not shiny (like gold, silver, or diamonds), but rather it is a practical, sturdy material.

Today, I mark 11 years posting as The Accidental Genealogist. Last year I completely missed acknowledging my 10th blogiversary (ten is one of those milestone numbers). I don’t know how I forgot, but the date came and went without any post from me.  So this year, I was determined to remember and write a post marking my years blogging.

However, while searching online for information about the number 11, I came across some interesting information, including about how the number is recognized in numerology. Apparently,  11, 1, 11, 111, and 1111 in Angel Numbers” all mean: “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts are manifesting instantly into form. Focus only upon your desires and not upon your fears.”

So I have chosen this as a sort of appropriate theme for my 11th year of blogging–a decade +1 year of blogging and still going strong.

As a brief retrospective, I have selected the following 11 posts as my favorites (not necessarily in any particular order).

1. Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month (The very first post launching my popular blogging prompts series I have hosted every March from 2010-2017; posted February 28, 2010)

2. Sojourn in Slovakia (Series about my first visit to Slovakia, posted June 15, 2010)

3. Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel (series about my return trip to Slovakia, posted July 01, 2012)

4. Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Mother (posted May 10, 2015) 

5. Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Father (posted June 21, 2015).

6. Ten Things I Miss About Dad: Remembering John Alzo 1925-2005 (posted  November 27, 2015)

7. Free Video for The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History(the post I wrote about celebrating 25 years as a nonfiction writer, posted March 20, 2015)

8. Family History Writing on the Go! Review of Scrivener for iOS (posted July 20, 2016)

9.The Write Stuff Genealogy Intensive Returns! (posted February 23, 2017)
For more information on my popular course, click here.

10. Advent Calendar: December 1, 2009 (my first post for the Blogging prompt series Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, posted December 1, 2009)

11. No Looking Back: Why I’m Choosing Myself in 2016! (posted December 31, 2015)

Even though an event (such as my 10th blogiversary) passes without recognition, there is no harm in revisiting it.  Also, as I move on from year 11, I am looking forward to what new topics about genealogy and writing will inspire future posts for this blog. 

Copyright 2017, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved


Oops…I Almost Missed it Again: Celebrating Nine Years of Blogging at The Accidental Genealogist

I can’t believe I almost missed it again–my blogiversary! 

I happened to be looking through my blog the other day and realized that today, 28 June 2015 is my ninth anniversary of blogging at The Accidental Genealogist.

I don’t know why I can’t remember this date. My very first post was on 28 June 2006! I really didn’t know what a blog was, what I would write about, or whether anyone would read it! One of my very first readers who reached out to me was Randy Seaver who writes the Genea-Musings blog (which happens to be one of my personal favorites)–thanks, Randy!

Perhaps the date slips my mind because I am busy with other things–you know trying to make a living as a writer, instructor and lecturer. Or maybe it is down to the fact that I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like (out of sight, out of mind). It could be that since it the blogiversary date falls in the summer, I am just not as attentive to it as I should be.  

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed sharing my genealogical finds, or my thoughts about writing family history.  

For the December/January 2015 issue of Internet Genealogy Magazine, I wrote an article entitled “Confessions of a Geneablogger” in which I shared my thoughts on creating, building and maintaining a better genealogy blog.  In this article I confess that I am not always the best blogger I can be.  I list five reasons to blog (giving ancestors a voice, connecting with cousins, inspiring and educating others, engaging with other genealogists, and marketing). I also list five things that stop me from blogging (privacy concerns, the “who cares?’ syndrome, technology glitches/issues, finding good images, and fear of rejection). 

You can read the full article by clicking here. Thanks to Ed Zapletal, Editor/Publisher of Internet Genealogy for permission to share the article. (Disclosure: I am a paid freelance contributor to IG).

As I enter my tenth year of blogging, I am thinking about some of my favorite posts from the past nine years.  These include posts for my “Fearless Females” Blogging Prompts Series (which I launched in March 2010 in celebration of Women’s History Month, my Sojourn in Slovakia posts (which chronicled my two trips to my ancestral villages in Slovakia in 2010 and 2012), the numerous posts I have written to honor my ancestors, including “Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Father” and “Ten Genealogy Lessons I Learned from My Mother,” and those that covered the topic of writing such as “Free Video for The Write Stuff: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write a Better Family History“–the post I wrote about celebrating 25 years as a nonfiction writer.  

In addition, as I move into year ten, I hope to blog more regularly than I have been. I have a few ideas in the works, in particular more “how-to” type posts related to the combination of my two favorite subjects–genealogy and creative nonfiction writing. If there are any topics you would like to see me write about on this blog, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions!

In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at my other professional website (LisaAlzo-Dot- Com) and Immersion Genealogy – a new website I have created to share information and resources about the increasingly popular area of genea-tourism/heritage travel. I have recently starting presenting on this topic. Most recently for a livestream session entitled “No Easy Button: Using Immersion Genealogy to Understand Your Ancestors” for the Southern California Genealogical Society Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, California earlier this month. Click here to learn more. 

I would like to thank everyone who has followed me and this blog for the past nine years, and especially those who have taken the time to leave comments. Here’s to another year! 

Copyright 2015, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved


Eight Great Years of Blogging for “The Accidental Genealogist”

Where does the time go? I can’t believe it has been eight years since I started this blog! In some ways I find it hard to believe it was so long ago, but in other ways I still feel that the experience is brand new because I am always learning more about the process. Blogging and this blog have come a long way since 2006. I started out not knowing anything about blogging, what exactly I would blog about, or if anyone would be interested in reading what I wrote. Over time (some 796 posts to be exact), I found my voice, my audience, and I made some changes including a move from being hosted just on “Blogger” to acquiring the “Accidental Genealogist” domain name (you can read why I chose to do so here). 

During my eight years as a blogger, I haven’t always posted as much as I would have liked, but I I have enjoyed the blogging experience. That said, I would like to take the opportunity today (on my Blogiversary) to share some of my personal highlights from the past eight years.

1. Blogging about what I know.  My blog provides a forum where I can write about my two favorite subjects:  Genealogy and Writing (see “The Accidental Genealogist,” posted on July 2, 2006.). I have been extremely fortunate to have combined my two “passion” into a career as a writer, lecturer and instructor.

2. Sharing stories about my favorite ancestors. Over the years I have been able to write about my Slovak and Rusyn ancestors, and my research successes and obstacles in the quest to learn more about them.

Family photo collage created by Lisa A. Alzo

3. Meeting fellow bloggers. Through online interaction and meet-ups at genealogy conferences, I have had the pleasure of meeting other bloggers, many of whom have become some of my closest friends. The Genealogy Blogging Community is a close knit group (really, a family). [Time for a shout out to Thomas MacEntee, whose GeneaBloggers site has been instrumental in connecting and inspiring us.] 

4. Cousin connections. One of the biggest benefits to having a blog is that it greatly increases your chances of connecting with cousins and long-lost relatives, and I have done both many times over the years since I started my blog.

5. Support and encouragement. When I first started to write my blog I had absolutely no idea if I was on the right track or if I was floating alone out in cyberspace. Very soon after my first post, I received welcome messages from blogging pioneers such as DearMyrtle and Randy Seaver of Genea-musings.

6. Sojourn in Slovakia. One of the highlights of my time as a genealogist was being able to visit my ancestral homeland of Slovakia (twice)! Having the blog provided a way to share my experiences.  (See “Sojourn in Slovakia” and “Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel“).

7. Fearless Females. I especially enjoy researching and writing about the women in my family tree, and I give presentations and teach courses to help and inspire to do the same. As an extension of this instruction, I run the Fearless Females Blogging Prompt Series on my blog every March in celebration of National Women’s History Month. (The series started in March 2010).

8. Loyal readers. Most people write a blog in hopes of informing, inspiring or interacting with others. Building a blog is something I don’t actively focus on.  Nevertheless, I am grateful to have readers! I don’t post every day, and sometimes I go for long periods of time without writing anything at all, but I appreciate every single person who follows my blog, and in particular, those who have written to me or have told me when we meet in person how much they have enjoyed it whether it was because of a story or tip I have shared, or to thank me for running the Fearless Females series.

So…What’s Next?

I don’t really know. I’m hoping to share additional research finds and write more about how my ancestors influence and inspire me every single day. I also plan on announcing some exciting new concepts and projects I have in the works.  So stay tuned.

Thanks for sticking with me. I look forward to many more years of blogging bliss!

~ Lisa 

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It’s Been a Fun Five Years for The Accidental Genealogist

Today I’ve reached a milestone for this Blog. I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts about my two favorite subjects–writing and genealogy–for five years. Due to other commitments I don’t get to post as often as I would like, and I tend to be a bit more selective about the topics I do choose to write about. Here are my five favorite personal highlights from the past five years:

Sojourn in Slovakia – my series of posts about my trip back to my ancestral homeland in June 2010.
Fearless Females – the series of writing prompts I started in 2010 to celebrate Women’s History Month and encourage other genealogists to tell their female ancestors’ stories.
Top 10 in 10 – My Top 10 Genealogical Moments for 2010 (I also did a list for 2009)
Ten Things I Learned From My Father – Posted for Father’s Day 2011
Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Posts from 2009 and 2010 for blogging prompts created by my good friend and colleague, Thomas MacEntee over at Geneabloggers.
When I first created this Blog in 2006, I wasn’t sure what I would write about or how to do it, and I questioned whether my title of “The Accidental Genealogist” would be a good one, but it seems like it was because since that time I have seen it turn up in other contexts, including when in 2009 I learned that another blog with the same title appeared on another blogging platform long after mine was started. Thankfully, it was a new blogger who understood and found another title.
It’s been a fun five years and I would like to extend my appreciation to everyone who reads/follows this blog and those who have commented on my posts. I look forward to sharing more about my ancestors and about genealogy and writing.