May I Introduce To You . . . Jennifer Wilhelmi

Jennifer Wilhelmi

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jennifer Wilhelmi of The Erudite Genealogist blog. Jennifer describes her blog as follows, “The blog covers everything from my experiences doing genealogy, to special projects such as transcribing a scrapbook, to posting my own family research.”

How Jennifer Got Started in Genealogy

Jennifer’s genealogy journey began when she was about ten years old and in the 4th grade.  “I still have the first tree I drew, complete with little kid handwriting and horrendous spelling!”

Jennifer’s great-grandmother passed away during her 4th grade year. Her grandmother was the youngest of 13 children. When Jennifer went to the funeral, the entire church was packed – standing room only.  Jennifer recalls, “There were so many cousins!”

Jennifer’s great-aunt, child number 12, was the family archivist and historian. She would send Jennifer dolls in traditional Bohemian clothing. Her aunt also put together booklets, including everyone from her great-grandparents through her great-great-grand nieces and nephews. For Jennifer, that started it!  Jennifer had to know more, so all of her grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, started getting “in-person” questions and phone calls. “Thank goodness for my parents who helped me out and encouraged my interest! Ten year olds have a somewhat short attention span.”

Jennifer’s Family and Her Blog

Jennifer’s parents, in-laws, and her husband, all think her blog is “great!”  She is not quite sure how the rest of the family feels about it though.

Both Jennifer’s husband and her mom, follow her blog regularly. Jennifer’s mother-in-law will check her blog from time to time, however, most family members rely or ask Jennifer for compiled genealogy information instead of referring to her blog.

How Jennifer Follows The Rest of Us

Jennifer uses Google Reader to keep up with her fellow bloggers. She also has a “Droid” (Motorola Android) mobile phone, which allows her to check email and read blogs whenever she has a few minutes. Otherwise, as Jennifer says, “I don’t think I would be able to keep up!”

Jennifer currently subscribes to about 185 blogs, most of which post at least once a week and she reads everything on most days. Jennifer also likes to make use of “starring” posts in Google Reader that she would like to go back to – posts that may be particularly helpful or that really get her thinking.

Jennifer does not use her email to receive post updates; however, she does use email to receive comments posted on blogs.

Jennifer’s Thoughts on Blogging

At first, the thought of no one reading Jennifer’s blog did cause a temporary hesitation for her towards creating a blog. Jennifer was also concerned whether or not she would be able to come up with enough “. . . how-to, methodology, or timely topics.”  Jennifer is thankful she has gotten past those particular concerns, “. . . now I am of the mind that it will help me think through my research and become a better writer and genealogist, even if no one reads it.”

Jennifer’s blog title came from her favorite word, “. . . erudition, I love those 25-cent words! It means, ‘well educated’ primarily by books. I think being erudite is a great goal, and I want to be an erudite genealogist. Having the goal as my blog title is a great reminder. The URL is a little different, it’s erudice genealogy.”  Erudice is the Czech form of the word erudition: “I rather like the nod to a part of my heritage.”

What Jennifer Loves the Most About Genealogy

“I love the hunt and solving the puzzle.  I really want to learn more about the people who came before me, and what their lives were like. Their personalities, mannerisms and experiences formed the personalities and mannerisms of their children right on down the line.  That’s how I came to be who I am. I always wonder if I look like or act like them.”

Jennifer’s Time Capsule Message

“Learn about your predecessors. Let their accomplishments and courage help you to accomplish more.”

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Please take a moment to head on over to Jennifer’s blog. Leave her a message letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Jennifer, 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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