May I Introduce To You . . . Craig Manson

Craig Manson

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Craig Manson and his blog, GeneaBlogie. Craig describes his blog as, “ . . . Eclectic. Genealogy; Personal family history; research tips; genealogical products & services reviews; genealogical news; genealogy and the law.”

Craig also writes for the award-winning and wonderful online magazine Shades of the Departed edited by footnoteMaven.

How Craig Got Started in Genealogy

Craig started his genealogy journey about eight years ago. His parents had always talked about their families, “Because my dad was in the Army, we lived many places mostly far away from our relatives. But the tipping point came one Christmas when my aunt sent out what she called family calendars. There were names of ancestors I had never heard of. I just had to know who they were and where they came from!”

Craig’s Family and His Blog

What does Craig’s family think of his genealogy blog? “They apparently like it.” Craig gets requests from older relatives to send them “hard copies” of his posts so they can share them with the “less-computer savvy” among them.

Quite a number of family members follow Craig’s blog. “And honestly, I am constantly surprised about who follows it. I got a call from my wife’s 88-year-old aunt once who said that she had enjoyed a recent post and could I please write a follow-up so she could know more of the story! I didn’t know she even knew how to get online!”

How Craig Follows the Rest of Us

Craig uses Google Reader, Bloglines and his email to keep up with his blog reading. Craig also relies on NetworkedBlogs via Facebook. “There are so many great blogs out there that it’s tough to keep up. I used to get to 10 or 15 a day, but now I’m lucky if I can hit 5 a day.”

Craig’s Thoughts on Blogging

Craig had no hesitations when it came to starting his blog, “Perhaps foolishly, I went into this fearless. Since then, however, I’ve developed a sensibility about what should be written about and what shouldn’t. My libertarian streak cuts both ways: bloggers should be free to write about anything they want; but other people have a right to be left alone and not be dragged into the public spotlight against their will.”

Before the blog, Craig had a family newsletter called “Our Lifetimes [on the now-defunct Yahoo Geocities services – it can still be found cached via Google]. It was meant as a way to keep family and friends updated about my research discoveries. In the early days, some of my conclusions were drastically off track! But the newsletter was fun; although the layout and design every month were time-consuming. Then I heard about blogs and saw that that’s what I really needed. Again, the purpose was to keep family and friends updated on the last research.”

The last 18 months has been difficult for Craig and GeneaBlogie, “ . . . as we’ve dealt with personal medical issues, elder care for parents, etc. We haven’t posted as much as we wanted to nor with the quality we want. Although I conceived of the blog as something personal to me, once an audience developed I felt an obligation to keep them interested and entertained. There’s a bit of ham in every lawyer and law professor (and I’ve been in the legal profession for 30 years now!). So this year, I’m steering a middle course-reinventing and refurbishing the blog to do what I think is fun and I’m doing it on a timetable that’s comfortable for me. I greatly respect and genuinely appreciate those in and outside of the genealogical community who continue to check in on GeneaBlogie every so often. GeneaBlogie has a motto: ‘Learn, Share, Enjoy, Appreciate’ which reflects my philosophy that all though all history is personal, history happens to us all.”

How did Craig’s blog title come about? “I was looking for a play on words, like ‘genealogy + blog’ and also thought it should sound vaguely evocative French.”

What Craig Loves the Most About Genealogy

“I love the fact that I’m helping to preserve history, so that future generations will remember how they got where they are. I love meeting fellow researchers and discovering new family members. I especially love the fact that genealogy has taught me more about history, geography, psychology, and political science than any class I took in all my formal education.”

Craig’s Time Capsule Message

“I would tell them that the technology of our present era presented the best chance of world peace since the beginning of recorded history and they have the chance to take it to the ultimate level. But they have to remember the road trod to get there. If you don’t know where you’ve been, then you can’t really know where you are.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Craig’s blog. Leave a comment letting him know you stopped by. Welcome Craig, 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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