Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why I Blog

I put a significant amount of time and effort into this blog.  I try to post twice a week, although that doesn't always happen.  So why do I have this blog--and why do I continue to post?  There are several reasons.

Show It Can Be Done

I'd heard so many people saying that all of the Jewish records were destroyed in WWII.  By demonstrating the types of documents I have on my family, I hope that others see what may be out there.  I try to show that these documents do (in many cases) exist, and researching Jewish ancestors in Eastern Europe is possible.  Because I'm writing about my own family, most of whom were just simple non-famous people, it (I hope) shows people what is possible
The Tolchinsky Family in an 1882 Russian Empire Census--An Example of the Type of Documents Available

Relative Bait

Oftentimes, people google their name.  Especially if they have a relative uncommon surname, they may google that surname.  And if I posted about one of their ancestors, they may find it--and they may have information that I do not.
Photo of Meyer Leffand (courtesy of Marilyn Leffand Lehman)
Meyer Leffand was my great-great grandmother's brother.  Meyer's granddaughter found a post that I'd written and commented on my blog.  She had several photos that I'd never seen, including this one of Meyer.  Without my blog, we'd likely never have connected.

And just this past week, after I posted about my Garber family, I got a comment and an email from Harry Garber's granddaughter!

Relative Engagement

Believe it or not, most of my relatives aren't as genealogy-obsessed as I am.  (I know; I don't get it either.)  But when I blog, I put things in a short and concise article, and many of them actually read them.  And some of them comment or send me Facebook messages when it's about their part of the family.  These small bites allow some others to appreciate the research and the story behind that research without having to get fully invested.

Think Through Problems

When I write a blog post, I try to show all of the evidence I have.  Sometimes when I'm writing that up, it makes me think through a problem more and identifies gaps--which I can then fill.  Sometimes I know where the gap is already, but writing things out helps me to close that gap.  I had that happen just a few weeks ago.

Readers' Suggestions

Sometimes I have a puzzle which I just cannot figure out.  And often readers give suggestions of places to look that might help to solve that.  I so appreciate those readers (and commenters)!

Do you blog?  Do you have other reasons?  Are you thinking of getting started?  And for those of you who are regular readers, what brings you back?

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Feel free to follow me (@larasgenealogy).

Want to get future blog posts emailed to you automatically?
Enter your email address:


  1. Lara, I love reading your stories and seeing how you piece together documents that aren't the easiest to find or read. You do a fabulous job.

  2. All of your points are so true. That's why I blog, too. Just wish I did it more often.

  3. I thought it was to make money from the ads.

  4. I get a great deal from your blog and always enjoy reading it. I blog for all the reasons you mentioned, although I've had almost no luck finding records on my maternal side (Galicia and Romania). I do hope that what I share helps people in other ways. I think the only other reason I blog in addition to these is to create a record for my family---my parents, children, and grandchildren most importantly. I know they'd never bother to look at the family tree, but if I can tell the history in story form, I am hoping they will be interested.

  5. Lara,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!