It’s been a year and three days since I posted my first entry on Family Epic, appropriately titled Getting Started.
According to Posterous, this is my 67th post – one post for every 5.5 days, although that average is skewed by my recent Spring Break 1971 series. It was more like once a week and sometimes the weeks were lonnnnng. The post with the most hits, 1,816, is Last Look at Sierra Blanca (for a while). The population of Sierra Blanca was 533 in 2000; I like that I have increased virtual traffic to the town.The main goal of Family Epic is to share the content of my personal research discoveries as they occur – or reasonably thereafter – but relatively fully formed, with citations. As I occasionally put it, I didn’t want be someone who researches for forty years and never gets around to publishing in any form. Of course, the chances of my researching for forty years are pretty slim, since I just got started. But you get my hyperbolic point. And even if I get hit by a bus tomorrow (another charming phrase), there’s a body of work that will survive. [Note to self: make sure I’m backing up Posterous and get 10 copies published in “real” book form.] The main audience was intended to be my immediate family, and I think I captured most of its attention – at least once or twice. It’s been a valuable part of the new phase in the lives of three sisters – adulthood without Mom and Dad. I have an idea of some of the other readers but obviously not all. And that’s been fun, too. I renewed existing family relationships (Yvonne, Woody, Jerry, Susan, Marjorie, and Jane) and made some new ones (Carolyn, Tom D, Kay, Mary, and Bruce – actually two Bruces, both in the same post.) My stories about intriguing (and local!) great great grandfather Levin Dukes even attracted the attention of one of the descendants of his second family. And she provided some additional clues in the hunt for his origins. Good stuff!
I had an opportunity to reflect on the biggest surprises uncovered to date. And I had a place to post my big ProGen homework assignments: Evidence Analysis, Research Report, and the granddaddy of them all, my Proof Argument.Do you sense the “but” coming?
But other things are happening right now. Positive things – like an exciting (even semi-genealogical) project at work with some up-and-coming deadlines, and, oh, by-the-way, two weddings – of daughters. What’s not happening at the moment is a lot of original, personal research. My most recent work has been on one of the new in-law families. That’s just as much fun, by the way — new lines, new geography, new faces.So rather than struggle to create fresh content or detour from its purpose, I’m putting Family Epic on temporary hiatus. My “To Do/To Analyze” pile is sitting tantalizingly close to my side but I don’t have extended blocks of time or the laser focus to dive into it. It even includes all my notes from last fall’s trip to Pennsylvania. (Yes, there was that trip before Texas.)
But the pile will be there when I am ready — like a big wrapped package waiting to be opened. And I promise Family Epic will be back when I start tearing open the paper.