May I Introduce To You . . . Philip Trauring

Philip Trauring

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Philip Trauring of the Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More blog. Philip describes his blog as . . . “showing different genealogical research techniques, primarily by example. There is a focus on Jewish genealogy, but all genealogical researchers should find useful techniques for doing research. Recent topics have included using FindAGrave.com, historical newspapers, and finding and retrieving Jewish records in Poland.”

Philip currently resides in Israel, and is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts.  Philip would like genealogists to know, “I just wanted to add that when I was answering the question about my hometown, and I added where I was from originally (Brookline, MA) that I reflexively wrote Boston, MA first, since much fewer people know Brookline compared to Boston. I then realized I fell into the same trap as many ancestors who listed the city near their small town instead of the name of their town, which while it may have been easier at the time, causes no end to frustrations for family researchers a century later. So, I’m from Brookline!”

How Philip Got Started in Genealogy

Philip had come to the realization one day that if he didn’t start asking questions, there wouldn’t be anyone to ask.  For the last 15 years, Philip has been researching his family history off and on. He goes through periods where he will spend much more time researching, than at other times. Recently, Philip has dedicated more time to genealogy, which has given him more to write about on his blog.

Philip’s Blog and His Family

It has only been recently that Philip started to share his blog with family members, but he feels they like it so far. Most of his family members are not into genealogy, so it’s not necessarily of great interest to them.  In Philip’s own words, “I think they just wonder where I find the time.”

Philip doesn’t put his personal research on his blog, so his blog is not something that his family follows in that way. Philip does use examples from his own research occasionally, but not in a way that his family or friends would want to follow – unless they were interested in genealogy.

For Philip’s family, he published a book on one branch a few years ago, and he is currently working on expanding the book to include other branches.

How Philip Follows the Rest of Us

Philip likes to follow most of his favorite bloggers, via Twitter. When Philip sees a tweet linking to an interesting post, he will click on it. Philip likes to tweet his own blog postings to @bloodandfrogs. Through Twitter, Philip follows about a dozen or so blogs, he may or may not read all 12 blogs, on a daily basis.

Email is not Philip’s usual avenue of keeping up with blog reading; however, he does subscribe to several genealogy related newsletters which have links to blog postings included.

Philip’s Thoughts on Blogging

It was always a surprise to Philip when he would meet people who have been doing genealogy for years, and yet, didn’t know about certain basic resources and methods that could push their genealogy further ahead.  Philip wanted to share different resources and methods that he had found useful in his own research, so others would benefit as well. Philip hopes, “I’ll also learn from others and be able to move my own research forward. No one knows everything there is to know, and resources online change all the time, so it’s a good way to tap into the community’s knowledge.”

Philip’s blog title came about by wanting something easy to remember and something no one could misspell. The origin of the title itself is the first two plagues in the story of Exodus from Egypt in the Bible: “ I figured blood and genealogy go together, and frogs, well…”

Philip’s only hesitation on blogging, was he was concerned that he wouldn’t know what to write about, but as he put it, “Thankfully, I haven’t lacked for topics yet.”

What Philip Loves Most About Genealogy

Philip likes the continuity: “I like knowing my history, and knowing where I came from. As one builds their family tree, there are a lot of ‘life’ lessons one can learn, when you realize the hardships your ancestors lived through, and you see what amazing things they did, (as well as the simple things) and what decisions they made for their families.”

Philip’s Time Capsule Message

“There is truth out there, you just need to spend the time to find it.”

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Please head on over to Philip’s blog, leave him a message letting him know you stopped by. Welcome Philip, it’s great to have you here!

© 2011, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!

Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

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Zoom Village – Create a Heritage Tourism Site and Earn Money

Zoom Village

This morning, via Blogging for Good in the Modern World, I found out about a new website called Zoom Village:

“The site provides an interactive platform for creating online tourism guides for any town in the United States (and a few other countries). The developersstarted from covering the town, they actually reside (Litchfield, CT) to give an example of the site features and capabilities. The central point is the offer to all the fellows bloggers to join the project and to get a portion of the generated revenues.”

I can see how genealogy bloggers could create a heritage tourism guide for their hometown or one of the towns they are researching for their own family history. One of my favorite ProGen assignments was to create a Research Guide and while I listed all the usual information for my ancestral hometown – Lowville, New York – I also listed items such as restaurants and bed & breakfast locations. In fact, one B&B owner was so impressed they asked for a copy to place in their information rack for guests!

There can only be one “mayor” for each location so like the Oklahoma Sooners, you need to act fast, create an account and “claim” your location. Only the Mayor can receive advertising revenues!

I think it would be neat if genealogy bloggers could start claiming some of the smaller towns and adding historical information, while at the same time making a little “mad money.”

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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