If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that each Friday I inform my readers of new-to-me blogs I come across. Most of the time, these are new blogs that have only been up for a few weeks, maybe a few months. Other times, my list includes blogs that I somehow missed when they debuted, which could have been months, or even years before.
If you know anything about me, it takes a lot to impress me. I follow numerous genealogy blogs and I don’t normally highlight a specific blog (actually, I don’t know that I have ever done so), but this one has compelled me to do so. I hope you take a few minutes to read through this post to learn a little more about A Family Tapestry and the author, Jacqi Stevens. And by the end, I hope that hop on over and subscribe to this wonderful blog.
In January of this year, I came across the blog A Family Tapestry, which Jacqi Stevens created in May 2011, and I’ve been following along ever since. Her passion for genealogy, which she’s been pursuing “forever,” definitely comes through. This blog is a wonderful example of how to put together a successful genealogy blog. Jacqi’s posts are a blend of family stories and how-to articles. Most recently, she’s been taking us along on her journey of applying for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her unique voice and well-crafted prose is marvelous. Jacqi has such a way of pulling you in, even if you have no research interest in her specific family members. While you learn about her family, you also learn about resources, research strategies, and other useful tidbits that can easily be applied to your own genealogy. This is the one blog I look forward to reading everyday. I always walk away with something, whether a new resource to pursue, an idea to try, or just a smile.
Jacqi’s passion for storytelling comes from her family. She says, “My dad was a performer—stage musician in New York City during the heyday of the Big Band era. He was a great storyteller. In her younger years, my mom was an actress and dancer, and was quite dramatic, herself, even in day-to-day life at home. Her flair for storytelling translated into pursuing a doctorate in English literature and In teaching. (Unfortunately, she didn't complete her doctoral program owing to my father's death, but it was in her heart. That's just who she was.) My brother is still in acting, as well as historical pursuits, seeking to preserve the classics of twentieth century film—for instance, his quest to preserve the works of Laurel & Hardy. He's spent a lifetime in storytelling through his own work.”
Like me, Jacqi is a huge supporter of genealogy blogs and bloggers. And I think that’s why she has put together such a stellar example of what a genealogy blog should be. As she says, “Blogging gives researchers an online outlet to share their research progress. It serves as a means for encouraging writers to tell the story—seek out and express the story behind all the dull, dry names and dates that cause all our living relatives' eyes to glaze over in the reciting of it.”
Let’s face it, she’s right. I know that when I talk about my research with disinterested parties (family or otherwise) they just sit there and nod and agree out of courtesy. But, as Jaqci puts it, “isn't blogging all about honoring our ancestors and recognizing their contribution to our lives and the lives of others?” I certainly agree and I believe that’s why most genealogy bloggers blog. I think these closing words from Jacqi sum it up nicely:
“We are not just telling the stories. We are passing them to another generation. We need to inspire that next generation to grab that baton and run with it.”