May I Introduce To You . . . Donna Catterick

This I Leave

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Donna Catterick and her blog, This I Leave, described as, “ . . .  Genealogy of my Duncan and Claycomb families, diary transcriptions, family stories and photographs, and my thoughts on these things.”

How Donna Got Started in Genealogy

“I’ve been doing genealogy for over 50 years – since I was a teenager.  In those days you had to mail all requests.  And wait.  Or go to the location.

My parents told family stories of their grandparents and great-grandparents.  I wanted to fill in some of the blanks and make a written history.

There was a time when I wanted to follow my lineage as far back as possible.  Now my focus seems to be on filling out the three generations before me with the stories and photos as well as the facts.”

Donna’s Thoughts on Blogging

“I started a blog called AlwaysBackroads over two years ago to have a place for my photography and family information.  I had little idea of what a blog could be or the extent of the blogging community.  It became clear that this blog should be split – that the photography and genealogy were separate and attracted different readers.

I started This I Leave two months ago to focus on the family research, stories including my own story which is as alien to my grandchildren as my great grandparents’ story is different to mine.  I have a great wealth of family information.  My grandfather kept diaries and I transcribe and post weekly.  I have years of research information and bins of photographs.  And no one in the family currently is interested.  Their eyes glaze over when ‘genealogy’ is mentioned.  So I write for the great-grandchildren who I’ll never know and the distant cousins that haven’t yet been discovered.”

Donna’s Favorite Blog Post

“I’m going to list one from each blog.  My favorite on the older blog is the story of my Mother’s 80th Birthday Yard Sale.  It’s a story that I want her descendants to know.  And from This I Leave, I would choose the guide to my father’s hometown .  I get so many ideas from other blogs that it feels good to have one to share.”

Donna’s Tips for New Bloggers

“Find a balance between the bare-bone facts and the human interest in the stories.  Tell the stories as if your readers are sitting on the porch listening to you.”

How Genealogy Has Improved Donna’s Life

“It connects me to my family and to history in a deep, personal way.  It also helps me appreciate all that I have because I see folks who had much harder lives.”

Donna’s Favorite Ancestor

“My favorite ancestor is Cassie Ann Rosenberry Patchen Gallagher Abbott.  I haven’t written about her yet.  She lived during the Civil War and survived three husbands.  I think her story should be told.”

What Donna Loves Most About Genealogy

“I love finally finding and fitting that missing piece of the puzzle, or recording someone’s story that had been overlooked.”

Donna’s Time Capsule Message

“I would give them a detailed description of my typical day or week.  Nothing extraordinary necessarily.  What I ate, what I wore, who I saw, how I travelled, what I said or heard.  I would do this because this is what I would love to have from my ancestors!”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Donna’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Donna, it’s great to have you here!

© 2013, 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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