Friday, January 01, 2010

Reflections 2009

re flec tion (noun)
A fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
A thought occurring in consideration or meditation. [1]

Those of you familiar with my blog know that every year, I reference the Roman god Janus in my Reflections and Resolutions posts. For my new readers, here's a little background from my 2008 Resolutions post:

In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. His most apparent remnants in modern culture are his namesakes, the month of January and the caretaker of doors and halls: Janitor.

Janus was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. Janus was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings.

Wikipedia contributors, "Janus (mythology)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed December 31, 2007).

I suppose if we genea-bloggers lived in Roman times, we would worship Janus. He would make a wonderful god of genealogy! He could see the past and the future, and was celebrated at births, marriages, and other beginnings, events we celebrate as well. Like Janus, we are the keepers of the gates, doors, and hallways into our family histories; those entrusted with the keys. We are janitors--custodians--of the past for the generations that come after.

Here are my reflections as I review 2009:

My post, Who Are Our Brickwall Ancestors, and Why Aren't We Blogging About Them Regularly? received high acclaim and morphed into the Madness Monday prompt. I started working on my own Brickwall Ancestors post, but soon realized my disorganization was a challenge. This was exacerbated by computer problems in May (more on that later). I started a series, Getting More Traffic to Your Blog. My big find for the month AND the year was getting the Civil War Veteran's pension record of my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi Edward McLALLIN. It was full of names, dates, and places that I desperately needed and hadn't been able to find anywhere else! I also celebrated my third blogoversary. Lastly, I taught a Beginning Online Genealogy Class at the Spokane County Library.

I began using Cover It Live as a new format for Scanfest. While it still has occasional blips, it's been much more reliable than the other chat formats I used, and an added plus is that those who miss Scanfest can go and read the event later! I taught my second Intermediate Online Genealogy Class for the Community Colleges of Spokane. I also did a presentation on Using Message Boards to Find Your Ancestors for my local genealogical society's computer education class.

Michigan death certificates for the years 1897 - 1920 were released at the SeekingMichigan website. I found records for 22 direct ancestors at this site! I spoke at the North Spokane Stake's Family History Conference on the Footnote and WorldVitalRecords website.

I taught my eighth Beginning Online Genealogy class for the Community Colleges of Spokane.

My Online Historical Directories Website was released to the public. I heard Colleen Fitzpatrick speak at the Kootenai County (Idaho) Genealogical Society. The motherboard on my main computer crashed, causing me to be without access to most of my digitized records, photographs, and files. My children's father was laid off (we had been notified two months earlier).

My daughter graduated from high school. We celebrated my mother's 65th birthday with a surprise visit from my uncle, who brought two packages from my grandparents' estates, one for me and one for Mom, full of documents and photos from my mother's, grandmother's, and great-grandmother's childhoods. Some of these included photographs of my great-great-grandparents, whom I had never "seen" before.

Because my computer was still down and my laptop's unreliability, I cancelled Scanfest until September. GenealogyWise ("Facebook for genealogists") became a huge hit.

I hosted the 77th Carnival of Genealogy. It was a disaster! I presented Frugal Genealogy for the Tri-City Genealogical Society.

After two years of intense planning, the Washington State Genealogical Society's state conference was held at The Davenport Hotel in Spokane, hosted by the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. Our guest speaker was Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. This was definitely the genealogy highlight of the year!

My desktop computer was repaired. I did a presentation on Using Podcasts to Increase Your Genealogical Knowledge for my local genealogical society's computer education class.

I spoke at EWGS's November general meeting on Using the Internet to Back Up Your Genealogy. I also did a presentation on Finding Your Swedish Ancestors Online for their computer education class.

My Online Historical Newspapers Website was released to the public.


It was an extremely busy and challenging year. I'm glad it's over, and I look forward to the new things 2010 will bring!

Source: 1. reflection. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: December 31, 2008).


Holly said...

WOW, Miriam!
I want some of that energy and enthusiasm...I think....I see...some is coming my way! (Just a little tho please!! How do you do it all!?)

Miriam Robbins said...

Um...stay up too late at night, let the e-mails pile up in my inbox, and allow the dust bunnies to breed!

On a night like tonight after two long days at work, I question your usage of the words "energy and enthusiam" when referring to me...LOL!