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I found that genealogy is never finished. There are always new discoveries. I learned that I am much more attracted to finding out who my ancestors were and not nearly so interested in dates and charts. My foggy idea that the blog could serve as "cousin bait" has definitely proved to be the case. Not only has it helped me forge new relationships with my first cousins, but I've discovered third and fourth cousins I did not know existed. Martha Darby Rutter, Betty Arnett, Barbara Pharo and the Biedermanns are just some of the cousins who come to mind.
I've become a better researcher. In striving to tell the story as accurately as possible, I've found myself reexaming records, searching for missing pieces, and actually toppling a couple of brick walls. I've submitted three articles to genealogical journals for possible publication. I was just notified that my latest submission will be published in the Ohio Genealogical Quarterly making it three for three.
I discovered that I have a real interest in and love for historical context. Thanks to my diverse ancestry, I've become much more knowledgeable about German, English, Welsh and Irish history. Since I'm a 5th generation Jones in Cincinnati, I've become even more appreciative of the city of my birth.
Lately I've even convinced a couple of relatives and friends to have their DNA analyzed for both health and ancestry information. I've stayed on top of some of the latest software advances such as google+ and I am scheduled to teach a series of classes on family history blogging at our library in the fall. I've become much more involved in my local and state genealogical organizations and now been accepted into four lineage groups and one group for Civil War ancestors.
And probably the most unexpected thing -- through Geneabloggers (a group of almost 2000 bloggers writing about their family histories) I've met new friends -- friends whose work I admire. I look forward to every one of their posts. I'm amazed that these contacts are spread throughout the United States and beyond. There is great diversity among our group and I've been exposed to traditions that are foreign to me.
So blogging has become a passion for me -- and I owe much of it to those of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my posts. I look forward to the next 200 posts.