Letter T: Twentieth of twenty-six posts in the April 2016 Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Wish me luck and please join me on the journey!
Tomorrow will mark two years since Molly’s Canopy first appeared as a family history geneablog on 24 April 2014. Since my Second Blogiversary falls on an A to Z Challenge rest day, I decided to celebrate early and reflect on the blog’s development since my First Blogiversary one year ago.
At the start of my second blogging year, in May 2015, I was finishing up the last posts about my great, great grandfather Arthur Bull’s Union Army service during the U.S. Civil War.
The Civil War Sesquicentennial was drawing to a close and I attended and wrote about a ceremony marking the war’s conclusion 150 years before.
Over the summer of 2015, I finally had an opportunity to research in the U.S. Sanitary Commission collection at the New York Public Library — and came away with two more details about my ancestor’s medical treatment during the Civil War.
Then it was on to peace time and Embracing the Empire State, as Arthur Bull returned home to New York State and I began exploring his back story.
Spending a year and a half focused primarily on a single ancestor’s experiences taught me the value of taking a deep dive into one particular family on my tree and drawing lessons from the history they lived through. Subsequent posts unfolded in serial format, as my focus turned to the Bull family and their civilian lives before and after the war.
Cousins come calling
Perhaps the most exciting development in year two of Molly’s Canopy was the arrival of cousins — first my Dempsey cousins and soon thereafter cousin Don from my Bull line, whose ggg grandfather was likely a brother of my ggg grandfather Jeremiah Bull (Arthur’s father).
Through blog comments and email, we got to know one another and shared information about our respective research — making the family history journey so much richer.
The other development in year two was cameo appearances by individual ancestors and collateral relatives. First was my maternal Aunt Rita for Veteran’s Day, then my paternal grandmother Mary Frances (Owen) Charboneau for the holidays and most recently my maternal grandparents Tony and Elizabeth (Stoutner) Laurence for Valentine’s Day.
My readers particularly enjoyed these portraits — which provided a break from the longer saga of the Bull family and allowed me to introduce new ancestors who will appear again on the blog when their family’s stories are told.
Two landmark events turned the end of my second genealogy blogging year into a new beginning.
On April 18, I was honored to be introduced to the genealogy blogging community as part of the GeneaBloggers interview series profiling family history bloggers.
May I Introduce To You…Molly Charboneau could not have appeared at a better time, since this is my Second Blogiversary week!
In my challenge post for Letter P — Proud to be a family history blogger — I shared my tremendous sense of validation to be recognized by my peers in this way.
And now I am heading into my third year of Molly’s Canopy by participating in the April 2016 Blogging From A to Z Challenge — and a challenge it is, but an satisfying one.
Blogging daily, except Sundays, has allowed me to share shorter, single posts about individual relatives, research techniques, past discoveries and the joy of the search on the theme Ancestors From A to Z.
And I am meeting so many wonderful bloggers in the process — family historians; genealogists; writers of narrative and memoir, and other fellow travelers who show up at the page (or screen) and write passionately about the subjects that move them.
How wonderful to have them along as I celebrate Two Years: Second Blogiversary — joining my loyal readers who have accompanied me from the beginning — to usher me into year three.
Thank you all for making my family history journey so much more enjoyable!
Up next: Undergarments and Aunt Kate. Please stop back.
© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.