Who am I? Why am I here?

While this may be a deep and meaningful philosophical question, I’m really only asking “Why am I here blogging?” I started this blog about two years ago and I post occasional musings when I think of something interesting, or at least that I think might be interesting, to write about.

To some extent, my blog was to document my progress on my Complete Unst Family Tree, but if that’s all I wanted, it would be a private journal, not a public blog. So, Why am I here?

Behind it all is a hope that I’m not the only one that would find this interesting. I know that family history is a huge business now with hundreds of thousands of people digging into their own history. I enjoy reading the blogs of other amateur genealogists and so I hope the same is true when others read mine. I know that there are common problems faced by those who try to follow their ancestors, and so writing about problems I find; strategies I use when searching for people; tools I come across; or just general hints may help others. To this end, when I write a post, I share it with Ancestry.co.uk facebook for other amateur genealogists to read. There may be other places I should share links too – all suggestions gratefully received.

I also am writing specifically about the family history of part of Shetland – Unst specifically, and there are people originally from Unst all over the world, who like to read a little bit about their distant home. Whether it is recognisable place-names with maps to peruse; photos of places they may recognise; or occupations that their ancestors may have had, I hope to spark memories of the Auld Rock to far-flung ex-Shetlanders. I very occaisionally share links to my posts in the Stories n Photos fae Unst Group facebook if I think it is of interest to non-genealogy people.

New Years ResolutionsSo I guess my target audience is other amateur genealogists and people with a Shetland connection. In the cases where a reader is both, then even better, but I hope some of my posts appeal to one or the other without the need for an overlap – otherwise it’s a much smaller set of people! For those readers who are interested in both, I share my posts with the Shetland Genealogy and Family History Group facebook.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Morag, and I come from the island of Unst in the very North of Shetland – hence the blog name “Unst Morag”. I don’t live in Shetland anymore as I got a job further south, but I’ve always been interested in family history since I was a teenager. After years of not thinking about it, I got started again a couple of years ago, prodded to some extent by the plethora of TV adverts for Ancestry and a well-timed trip home to visit my parents in Unst where I fell upon the old paper family tree.

I’m starting 2015 with an aim to write posts a little bit more frequently. Looking at my stats (which WordPress helpfully provides) I can see that on average I post something once every month. When I look back on this post in a years time, I think I will be happy if I’ve managed to post, on average, twice a month, i.e. doubling my writing rate. I don’t want to write something if I have nothing interesting to write about, but I’m sure I have more things to write about than I currently do. I’m hoping to get a little more inspired this year.

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18 thoughts on “Who am I? Why am I here?

  1. Hi Morag, I have four blogs, all with very few visitors, they are all very amateurish hence my starting on the 101 course. One of my blogs is my family history . I love Scotland so I will pop by again soon.

  2. Hello again, Morag. Blogging also offers the opportunity to connect with distant relations through marriage or blood. I had the blessing of that last year. These branch family contributions have enriched the family tree and my personal life.

    • I’ve had a very small amount of such contact so far – whether as a result of the blog or through the Ancestry web-site I’m not 100% sure, but I do hope for more. It is wonderful when an as-yet unknown cousin turns up in your in-box 🙂

      • I think you’ve got the right approach to posting. When one has a full-time (or maybe two part-time) jobs, a quality blog post doesn’t happen every week. Once or twice a month is a very realistic goal.

  3. My husband is very interested in his families genealogy. He has census records and other data compiled. When I was a child I used to travel to cemeteries with my grandparents and they would rub headstones for the Maine Genealogy Society. I was fortunate to receive a book of our family tree from my grandmother before she passed away.

    • I do love the idea of a family tree book. Perhaps I’ll be able to produce something similar for my relations from my research. It’s much more tangible than just looking at a web page online.

      • Had there been an internet at that time she might have used it to. But then I wonder would I have a copy of it, hmmm. It is a nice thing in my hope chest (which was my grandfather’s mothers) to pass on to my children. Just realizing how blessed I am for these things.

  4. Morag, do you get much interest in your posts over in Shetland? My sister Deb came back again, with many photographs of the artists gathering. The Shetland communities continue to be active promoting their products – jewellery, knitting, painting. Keep your site going because we need to stay in contact girlfriend from the other side of the earth. Maggie from Australia

    • Hard to know for sure. My biggest audience according to the WordPress stats is the USA, with the UK a close second. I can’t drill into the UK to see any more detail than that however.

      Don’t worry, the site isn’t going away although I must get back into blogging on here, I haven’t written anything for a while! My mum (Rhoda) is keeping up with the blogging better than me at the moment.

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