May I Introduce To You . . . Michelle Goodrum

Michelle Goodrum

I have the wonderful pleasure of introducing you to Michelle Goodrum of The Turning of Generations blog. “Initially I created The Turning of Generations to share some of the adventures of my family in turning over the contents of the family home to the next generation. We have several generations’ worth of genealogy and family history stories that have accumulated in the family home.  These are items of historical significance to our family that can further our research on the family tree and add depth to the story of our family. I hope to share some of them with my readers and together we can learn how to further our research and organize all of those wonderful treasures for future generations.”

Michelle has been researching her family history since about 1994. Originally, Michelle’s seventh grade social studies teacher planted the seed.  Michelle was given an assignment to compile a family tree.

Michelle contacted her grandparents and uncles and her mom went through the information that she had on hand. Her assignment resulted in a tree made with blank labels placed on butcher paper with the “branches” drawn in. Michelle remembers being very intrigued with the variety of locations from which her ancestors originated.

Shortly after Michelle married, she attended her husband’s family reunion. “He is from a huge family that absolutely loves to sit around and tell stories about growing up and the people in their lives.”

One of the cousins had compiled an incredible amount of research and she copied her pedigree charts for Michelle.  Michelle was so “enthralled” that she started taking notes and asking questions about some of the people in the charts.  Michelle recalled, “as genealogists, we all have heard over and over again the advice to talk to the oldest family members before it’s too late, well, that is unwittingly what I did!”

All of this information sat in boxes until 1994, when something seriously had peaked Michelle’s curiosity.  One day, after she had been talking with her mother-in-law about how to get involved in family history research, Michelle’s mother-in-law pointed out an announcement in their local paper for a meeting of the Family History Society of Arizona. Michelle attended that meeting; she recalls how the members were so incredibly helpful in getting her started . . . and the rest is history!

Michelle’s Family and Her Blog

Michelle’s family follows her blog from time to time and stays very interested in many of her finds.  One of Michelle’s cousins had become a faithful follower.  Other family members read her blog on occasion but are not regular followers.

How Michelle Follows the Rest of Us

Google Reader is Michelle’s way of keeping up with her blog reading. There are about 300 blogs to which Michelle subscribes. She knows that it’s hard to read all of them, so Michelle does a lot of skimming and picks and chooses which posts to read in depth.

Michelle’s Thoughts on Blogging

Michelle’s interest in creating a genealogy blog came when one of her favorite podcaster, Lisa Louise Cooke, of Genealogy Gems and Family History Made Easy, did a series on blogging that planted the seed.

Initially, Michelle thought it would be very difficult to start a blog. Fortunately, Thomas MacEntee, owner and author of GeneaBloggers, eliminated that hesitation during his presentation at the Family History Expo.

It was at the Family History Expo in Mesa, Arizona this past January, that Michelle attended Thomas MacEntee’s presentation, “Become A Genealogy Blog User” which really sparked Michelle’s interested.  In Michelle’s own words, “what pushed me over the edge was a conversation I had with Amy Coffin of the “We Tree” blog. She was incredibly encouraging and I realized there was no reason to fear jumping in with both feet!”  It was then that Michelle went home and set up The Turning of Generations blog.

Michelle had concerns that her writing wouldn’t be very good. Michelle realized that in retrospect, that was silly considering that part of the reason she had decided to blog was to improve her writing skills.

Another concern she may have had initially was if anyone would read her blog. Again after Michelle considered her real reasons for blogging “which do not include fame and fortune,” this concern wasn’t an issue any longer either.

One of Michelle’s favorite blog posts was her four part Photo Archiving & Digital Sorting series she did on her mother’s family photo album, or the Time Capsule series she did on a small suitcase containing some of her great grandmother’s belongings. Not only did Michelle have fun creating the time capsule, but she learned a lot from the process of sorting, organizing, and properly preserving those very precious items.

What Michelle Loves Most About Blogging

“The one thing about blogging that I didn’t realize is the support and connections one makes with others who have the same common interest. Research can be a lonesome activity without someone to share it with. We don’t always have family members or significant others who are as enthusiastic about family history or genealogy as we are. For me, blogging has provided that support and encouragement that was needed. Genealogy/family history had become a collaborative endeavor thanks to the GeneaBloggers community.”

* * *

Head on over to Michelle’s blog and take a look around, leave her comment to let her know you stopped by.   Welcome Michelle, it’s great to have you here.

© 2010, 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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