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Welcome! Thanks for stopping by to check out my first blog post. I’d like this blog to be a place for conversations about genealogy research in Vermont and beyond.

I’ve been researching quite a few brick wall cases for clients with ancestors who lived in Vermont during the early settlement boom after the Revolutionary War. Many of these folks came from Connecticut and Massachusetts where record keeping was established, but didn’t continue the practice in the wilds of Vermont. When there is no document to be found that states relationships explicitly, I collect indirect evidence regarding the people the ancestor associated with to try to draw conclusions regarding kinship. I’ve just finished a lengthy (245 page) family history album for a couple with fascinating roots in colonial New England and French Canada. I also love doing forensic work to trace living descendants. These cases often have the most interesting twists and turns. I’ve really enjoyed the Army repatriation cases that I’ve been working on recently. They’ve introduced me to new locations and record sources from the mid-Atlantic states to Hawaii. There have been frustrations, but I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to some wonderful relatives of the soldiers I’ve researched. For my personal family research, I’ve been immersed in Irish valuation records and German parish records. The depth and breadth of these various projects never let me become bored.

So why did I decide to start a blog when I already don’t have enough hours in the day? Good question! I’m still asking myself that. I can narrow it down to two primary reasons.

The first is that professional genealogy is a solitary job. I often run across particularly interesting documents while I was looking for something else and have no one to share them with.  Or I learn about something that I think other researchers might want to know about, whether it is a record source or new bit of technology. Or I just feeling like talking about genealogy and there’s no one around to listen. There’s only so much I can post in a Facebook status update! I’m hoping this blog might be a way to create conversations about genealogical research in Vermont an beyond.

My second reason is that I need to learn to write more spontaneously. I tend to over -think what I write. It takes me forever to get started, then I revise, revise, revise. I’ve come to realize that this is really limiting what I can accomplish. I’m hoping that having a blog helps me learn to “Just Write It!” (Sorry, Nike.)

Does anyone have any advice for me as a new blogger?