Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting to Know Randy and Genea-Musings

Surely you know "Randy at Genea-Musings" by now...but I signed up for a blogging challenge from Terry Thornton at the Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi blog, so here is my entry:

I am a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University, a retired aerospace engineer, a genealogist and a family guy. My wife (Angel Linda) and I have two lovely daughters married to smart men, and four darling grandchildren. We love to visit them and have them visit us. Angel Linda and I love to travel to visit friends and relatives, to sightsee, to cruise or to do genealogy. Our travels have taken us all over the USA, to England and Scandinavia.

Since I last retired in 2004, my "work" has been "fun" - I do genealogy-related things every day and sometimes all-day long. I am a genealogist and family historian, but I'm not a professional genealogist (meaning taking paying clients) or a certified genealogist. My genealogy activities include:

* pursuing family history research on my ancestors and their families;
* helping friends and colleagues with their genealogy research;
* serving as President of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (2007-2008), and leader of the CVGS Research Group (2003-present).
* writing on four blogs - Genea-Musings, The Geneaholic, the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe, and Randy's Busy Life;
* preparing and delivering genealogy and family history classes and presentations to San Diego area genealogy societies and social groups;
* participating in the Transitional Genealogist Study Group and Professional Genealogist Study Group monthly studies and discussions.

My goals for writing on Genea-Musings has changed over time, and now includes:

* Analysis and commentary on genealogy news and issues - I have opinions and offer them for thoughtful discussion. My view is usually that of an informed genealogist - hopefully typical of my society colleagues.
* Evaluation and analysis of genealogy web sites and genealogy software - often with step-by-step directions for how to do a certain task.
* Participate in genealogy-oriented Carnivals and memes that bring genea-bloggers together and showcase genea-blogger talents.
* Offer my own research results, photographs and documents as examples to other researchers - good and bad. One benefit is that the ephemera are "backed up" online if something disastrous happens here in the Genea-Cave.
* Link to interesting, strange, and funny news items, web pages or databases, even make up new words to describe things through Randy's semi-twisted genea-vista.
* Support and publicize genea-bloggers with comments about posts, including the weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs series.

II. The brightest, breeziest and most beautiful articles that I've written over nearly 30 months of Genea-Musings (almost 2,300 posts) include:

* The best work (brightest!) is: Dear Genea-Man: What Is Proof? I chose this article because it helps a society colleague, helps the genealogy community (at least those reading blogs!) and summarizes my thoughts on a difficult research question.

* The breeziest work is: My Census Whacking Index. This is a collection of the work I've done finding funny, strange and nearly-profane names in the census records.

* The most beautiful work is: My Tribute to Mom - Betty Virginia (Carringer) Seaver. It was Mother's Day 2007, and I wanted to pay tribute to my mother on my blog.

So - that's who I am, and what Genea-Musings is all about.

Let me ask you --

* What do YOU like about Genea-Musings?
* What would you like to see more of?


Abba-Dad said...

I love Genea-Musings. Pretty much everything about it. Well, probably not the CVGS updates :-)

I would say that my favorite posts are the weekly round-ups. They are extremely useful when you don't know/have time to read all the blogs out there. Great job on those.

I also like your user's perspective on a lot of sites and tools. A lot of other blogs just post the press releases, but you go into detail and give your take on a lot of topics.

I would love to see a post from you about what software you use (or used) and why (or why you stopped). You could include a list of sites that you are a subscriber/member of and what you like about them.

Keep up the great work!

Unknown said...

Randy, I appreciate all the work that you put into your site, it's a "must read" for me everyday. I love how you keep on top of things and report them. It keeps me in the know...thank you!

Michele in FL

Jasia said...

I am the #1 fan of Genea-Musings. I have been for years now and I'm very proud of that fact :-)

What I like best about Genea-Musings is the wide variety of posts you write, Randy. Technology (the latest FTM), photos of your family, web site traffic, diary entries, personal reflections and memories of your growing up years, you cover it all. Well. Your blog is always fresh.

Thank you for all that you do for the genea-blogosphere.

Now, about what I'd like to see more of... make that research methodology. You've written a lot about the online sources you use (ancestry, footnote, etc) but not so much about other sources. Weren't you viewing microfilms and recording deeds/wills from Massachusetts? Did you ever finish that project? How about sharing a few of the documents you found. Analyze the information in the documents and how they are relevant to your family history. What other non-online sources are you using these days and what information do they contribute to your family history? How do you decide which sources to pursue. Do you have a strategy for your research?