Category Archives: Blogging

Midwest Geneabloggers – Fall 2012 Meetup

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hosting 8 genealogy bloggers for a day of research at the Allen County Public Library and a party at my house in the evening. This was the second event for the Midwest Geneabloggers and it was even more fun.

Some bloggers spent an extra day in Fort Wayne on Friday. So after some research we headed to J K O’Donnell’s.

Photo courtesy of Linda McCauley

Saturday was spent at ACPL searching for ancestors within their books, microfilm and periodicals.

Then it was time for my husband to defend our house with his new dagger.

And of course, party time!

We missed Diana Ritchie at this meetup. But she still sent her dad’s yummy cookies. Thanks, Diana!

Bloggers from left to right:
Susan Clark – Nolichucky Roots
Harold Henderson – Midwestern Microhistory
Carol Stevens – Reflections from the Fence
Linda Swisher – Round Tuit Genealogy
Linda McCauley – Documenting the Details
Jen Alford – Jenealogy
Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana – The Last Leaf on This Branch

me 🙂
Becky Wiseman – Kinexxions

Thanks to everyone who came. We hope to have another event in the spring. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.

And if anyone comes to visit again. Linda McCauley set the bar pretty high for bribing my husband. (Buffalo Trace Moonshine)

Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup – October 13

Last March was the first Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup in Fort Wayne. It was such a huge success we’ve decided to do it again.

Save the date for Saturday, October 13, 2013. The day will start with research at the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The library opens at 9:00 AM. If you’ve never been to ACPL before, you might want to take a look at my 10 Tips for Researching at ACPL list from last spring.

That evening, I’m inviting everyone over to my house for a pizza party. I’ll also have pop, water and salad. Please feel free to bring your own side dishes, desserts and drinks. There will be a $5 charge at the door to cover the costs of the pizza. And don’t think about not paying because my husband likes to scare people with his sword (or at least act scary while guests take his photo).

For those in town Friday night (October 12), head to ACPL to get a jump start on your research. When the library closes at 6 PM, we’ll probably head out to dinner at J K O’Donnell’s, the Irish pub a block from the library. It was a big hit with the geneabloggers in March.

A block of rooms has been created at the Courtyard by Marriott downtown for Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13. The room rate is $89 plus $7 parking. You can reserve your room by calling (866) 704-6163 and using the group code “MGB”. You can also make online reservations at The discounted rate is available until October 5.

October is also Family History Month. ACPL features a different class each day of the month. So check their events page to see if they are offering anything interesting when you are in town.

I hope to see many genealogy bloggers back in Fort Wayne this October. You don’t have to be from the Midwest to spend the day research and the night with your closest friends you only know online. More details can be found one the Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to See you there!

Geneabloggers attending Indiana Genealogy Society Conference

After a successful gathering of genealogy bloggers at the Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup in March, I’m looking forward to another group of bloggers gathering in Fort Wayne. This time everyone is meeting up to attend the Indiana Genealogical Society’s Annual Conference on April 28 at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.

Genealogy bloggers planning to attend are:

If you are attending the IGS conference and I left you off the list, please leave a comment or send me an email to and I will add you.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful conference and hanging out with my friends.

Midwest Geneabloggers Spring Meetup Roundup

Twenty genealogy bloggers gathered on March 24, 2012 for the first Midwest Geneabloggers meetup. Below are a collection of blog posts from the attendees to give you a taste of the day. Stay tuned for details for the next meetup in the fall of 2012.

Gen Wish List by Tina Lyons
Geneabloggers Invade Fort Wayne
Midwest Geneabloggers and the Sword Man

Finding Our Ancestors by Terri O’Connell
My Finds at ACPL
Good Eats in Fort Wayne

Journey to the Past by Brenda Leyndyke
Today’s The Day: Allen County Public Library and Midwest Geneabloggers Meet-Up

Nolichucky Roots by Susan Clark
Geneabloggers Rock!

The Shy Genealogist by Lisa
Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup!

A Sense of Family by Shelley Bishop
Basking in the Midwest Genea-Glow

The Last Leaf on This Branch by Laura Lorenzana
Madness Monday – Not Your Granny’s Genealogists

Jen-Gen’s Family History by Jennifer Alford
My Brain is Buzzing

2338 W. Washington Blvd. by Margel Soderberg
A Geneablogger Weekend

Looking4Ancestors by Kathryn Lake Hogan
There’s Nothing Mediocre About Midwest Geneabloggers

GeneaJourneys by Patricia Desmond Biallas
Midwest Geneabloggers Unite in Fort Wayne

Plus lots of photos on the Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page.

I tried to get everyone’s posts so far, but if I missed you leave a comment and I’ll add yours to the list.

Midwest Geneabloggers and the Sword Man

Everyone that has met me at a conference knows that I drag my husband along with me. Then I make him do crazy things like get me lunch and work the Indiana Genealogical Society table.

One day he found out via Twitter that I was hosting a party for geneabloggers in the Midwest. Then the number of people coming started increasing. Then he started buying things and telling me that I owed him, which I totally did. Then he told me he would use his sword to keep everyone out.

So I told our guests that there my husband would be playing bouncer at the door with his sword. I don’t think they really believed me. But this is how they were welcomed into our home (mostly because Harold Henderson wouldn’t enter without seeing the sword).

Photo by Lisa Ellam

He thought he was so scary, but everyone else thought it was hilarious and made him pose.

Photo by Diana Ritchie
Photo from Lisa Ellam
Afterwards, he fled upstairs and hung out with his friend Jack.
So thanks to my husband for letting me and 15 other genealogy bloggers take over our home for a night. (And for helping to clean the house).
Disclaimer: No geneabloggers were harmed during the meetup. But everyone had a ton of fun.

Geneabloggers Invade Fort Wayne

The first Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup was a huge success! Research at the Allen County Public Library combined with 20 bloggers and food makes for the perfect weekend.

The weekend started with bloggers arriving on Friday.

Left to Right:
Laura Lorenzana from The Last Leaf on This Branch
Shelley Bishop from A Sense of Family
Diana Ritchie from Random Relatives

Left to Right
Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers
Terri O’Connell from Finding Our Ancestors
Stephanie Fishman from Corn and Cotton: My Family’s Story
Jennifer Alford from Jen-Gen’s Family History

Then a fabulous dinner at the Irish pub, J K O’Donnell’s.

Left to Right:
Jennifer Holik from Generations: Piecing the Past Together (celebrating the release of her beautiful kid’s genealogy books)

Saturday started with a tour from the wonderful ACPL librarian Delia Bourne.

Lisa VonLanken from The Shy Genealogist
Pat Desmond Biallas from GeneaJourneys
Pat’s sister, Dorothy
Margel Soderberg from 2338 W. Washington Blvd
Derek Davey from Genealogy-Northwest Ohio

Then the craziest thing happened. The geneabloggers all found spots and researched…quietly.

Finally it was time for the party at my house.

Left to Right
Brenda Leyndyke from Journey to the Past
Kathryn Lake Hogan from Looking4Ancestors
Thomas MacEntee (along with his beads)


Linda Swisher from Round Tuit Genealogy

Left to Right:
Laura, Brenda, Margel
Susan Clark from Nolichucky Roots
Lisa Ellam from The Faces of My Family

Plus the yummiest cookies from Diana’s dad

It was such a fun weekend. Thanks to everyone who came. Thanks to Terri for helping to organize the weekend. And special thanks to ACPL librarians Delia, Melissa and Dawne for putting up with us. Can’t wait to do it again!

You can find more photos on the Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page and stay tuned for details of our next meetup this fall.

Radio Shows and Interviews

I’ve had the pleasure of being featured on another blog and even a radio show in the past week.

On Monday, I was featured as part of Gini Webb‘s “May I Introduce To You” series on Geneabloggers. Gini does a wonderful job introducing everyone to the numerous genealogy bloggers. It was  a pleasure to be a part of her series.

On Saturday, I was part of a panel on FGS radio – My Society. The topic for the show was “RootsTech Resources for Genealogical Societies.” It was a pleasure to join host Thomas MacEntee along with J Paul Hawthorne of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego and Tony Hanson of the Dallas Genealogical Society. I was there in my capacity as Vice President of the Indiana Genealogical Society. You can listen to the recording on the BlogTalkRadio website or subscribe to the show on iTunes.

The First Ever Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup

On Saturday, March 24, I will be hosting the first ever Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Part One:
Spend the day researching at the Allen County Public Library. Their Genealogy Center has the 2nd largest collection of genealogy materials in the country. The library will be open from 9AM to 6PM on Saturday.
While there, you could even attend librarian Steve Myer’s workshop on Irish research on Friday and Saturday. The workshop costs $50. (I attended part 1 a few years ago and it was great. I would be attending the second part if I thought I had a chance of finding my Irish roots in Ireland.)
Part Two:
At 4:00PM, we will start migrating the fun to my house on the north side of Fort Wayne. We will be ordering pizza for dinner. I’ll also pick up some salad supplies, pop and water. You are welcome to bring a side dish, dessert or additional drinks to add the the food on hand, but it is not required. There will be a $5 fee to cover the food.
The party will run until my husband kicks us out (which might be 4:05PM).
For those that want additional time at the library, ACPL is open on Friday from 9AM-6PM and Sunday from Noon-5PM. 
Please email me at if you plan to attend. Also send me a link to your blog and where you are from so that I can easily make a blog post of who is attending. (I also need to warn the library of how many crazy bloggers will be coming.) I’ll send you my address and other party details as we near the fun!
I can’t wait see everyone. It’s going to be a blast!

Watching Someone Analyze Your Blog Is Weird

Last Thursday I went to the Allen County Public Library to crash my friend Melissa’s class on genealogy blogs. (You may remember Melissa from FGS. She was the one causing trouble and blaming it on me.) She told me on Wednesday that she was using my blog in her presentation. Very cool! The class discussed the different blogging platforms, where to find genealogy blogs, how to read blogs and what to write on your own blog. Melissa did a great job and hopefully inspired some new genealogy bloggers.

What I didn’t realize was how weird it is to have someone discuss your blog. Melissa didn’t just show my blog and say how awesome I am and move to the next blog. Oh no, she analyzed all the features on my blog. Here’s where you can subscribe to Tina’s blog. Here’s where you can follow Tina’s blog. Here’s where you can see all the categories on Tina’s blog. Here’s the surname page on Tina’s blog. Here’s the archive on Tina’s blog.

Looking at my blog and all the features of it on the big screen got me thinking.

  • Why was my archive set up on a weekly basis? That was find back in the beginning when there wasn’t much time elapsed on the blog. But it makes more sense to set the archive by month now.
  • Should my categories by listed by frequency (as they are now) or in alphabetical order? Or in a cloud (even if Melissa isn’t a fan)?
  • When was the last time I updated my surnames page? And why haven’t I set it up like on my husband’s blog with the area where they lived?

So I went home from the class and did a little blog tweaking. Even the crasher learned something.

[It is also really fun to tweet while crashing a genealogy blog class. Then the presenter gets emails asking her what she’s doing with other people’s blogs.]

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to Gen Wish List

Today is the 2nd blogiversary for this blog that I started on 30 June 2009. I had another blog before that, but this is where I refined my blogging goals.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading. I’ve met wonderful genealogists through this blog. And the best part has to be all the cousins who I have found. I look forward to many more years of genealogy blogging and lots of new friends and relatives.