Follow Friday: Mavis Jones and her “Georgia Black Crackers” / “Conversations With My Ancestors” blogsFriday, March 26th, 2010
I tend to use three primary criteria in picking genealogy blogs to add to my Google Reader subscription list:
- Are they fun to read? [Like most of us, I like to be entertained!]
- Do they teach me new skills and resources that can assist me with my own research? [I'm acutely aware of how much I have to learn to become a more serious amateur genealogist.]
- Do they lead me to crucial local repositories and researchers that I think Genlighten users should get to know? [Forgive me for thinking strategically from time to time!]
- Her posts are well-thought out and organized, divided up into bite-size chunks, yet still flowing comfortably from one idea to the next. Even when she’s covering fairly technical topics, her writing remains warm, personal, and engaging.
- I’ve learned a lot from her about Ancestral DNA and about Slave Schedules. Hers are the first posts on genetic genealogy that I’ve actually been motivated to read all the way through. Perhaps that’s because they’re written from the perspective of someone new to the field, as I am. Also, it was her recent posts mentioning Slave Schedules that got me to look to see if my Merryman ancestors from Baltimore owned slaves. Though it was highly unpleasant to discover that they did (more on that in another post) it was information I needed to learn eventually, and it was Mavis that motivated me to do so.
- Mavis is from North Carolina, and she keeps separate blogs about her paternal (North Carolina) and her maternal (mostly Georgia) ancestors. Both of them feature attractive designs, lots of photos, and in-depth step-by-step discussions of her research processes. Her posts show a great deal of care and attention to detail. She highlights key resources (both online and offline) and even mentions knocking on doors in communities where her ancestors lived in order to get to know them better.
Already in the few months I’ve been reading her blogs, Mavis has taught me a great deal. I suspect she’ll do the same for you, and I heartily recommend you explore both of them and add them to your feed reader.