Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jumping into the Gene Pool

Well, I've finally done it.  For weeks I've dithered about starting a family history blog.  I didn't know if anyone would be interested in what I had to say.  I also didn't want to take away from my precious research time.  I just didn't know if I could justify starting a new project when I already have so many irons in the fire.

Lately I've been listening to old episodes of Lisa Louise Cooke's podcast, Genealogy Gems.  She encourages her listeners to blog for a variety of reasons.  I finally decided I'd give it a try, hoping that if nothing else, it would further my genealogy research.  And if it helps other researchers in the process, so much the better.

You see, I have a fatal flaw for a family historian - my memory is atrocious!  When cousins ask me about my research, a fog descends over my brain and suddenly names jumble, locations migrate, and family lines cross.  By posting some of my findings here, I will simply be able to refer relatives to the blog.  Perhaps unknown relatives will find me here and make connections, too.

I'm planning a research trip to Tennessee in the fall to interview an uncle on the Norton side, so lately I've been revisiting my Oleson - Norton research.  This line immigrated to the United States from Norway some time between 1848 and 1852.  I've been reading The Emigrants by Wilhelm Moburg.  The book chronicles the emigration of Swedish peasants in 1850.  It is fascinating to imagine my Norton ancestors going through almost the same experiences as the book characters.  I've always been a fan of historical fiction for its ability to bring history alive, and this well-researched book is an excellent example of the genre.  Anyone wanting to learn more about Scandinavian immigrant ancestors would enjoy reading this book.  I'm looking forward to reading the three sequels to learn more about life in America for new arrivals.

Subscribe to my blog if you'd like to be notified when I post new findings, beginning with the Nortons, but also including these surnames:
McEwen, McLeod, Lyons, Green, Campbell, Tuttle, Turner, Meaks, Matkin, Spurgeon, Hale, Grimsley, Price, Beasley, Smith (of Ireland), Plemmons, so far...