This is my 500th blog post. I wrote the first eight years ago, on 25 April 2012.
In Australia 25 April is ANZAC Day, the memorial anniversary of the WW1 landings by Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli in Turkey. Looking back it surprises me a little that I did not make this day of remembrance the topic of my first post, for I had written elsewhere at some length about the war and its affect on a small Victorian town. It is an interesting subject and I still had (and have) a lot to say about it.
Nevertheless, my first topic was not ANZAC Day but the blog itself which, I explained, I had established ‘to share the stories I discover while researching my family history’. My blog was to be only indirectly about great historical events and movements. Its real focus was the lives of people with whom I have a family connection.
My second post concerned two distant relatives, my first cousins four times removed George Kinnaird Dana and Augustus Pulteney Dana. This set the pattern for most subsequent posts, and the blog in effect became an online research journal, supplementing with richer detail the bare record of facts – the names, places, and dates of people – in my family tree.
I have continued to move from here to there in my family tree, writing about what takes my fancy. My system, to the extent that I have one, is to tag posts with the surnames and places they concern. In eight years I have accumulated many tags. The surname I have written about most frequently is, perhaps not unexpectedly, the one I was born with, Champion de Crespigny. Most of my place-tags are set at the Australian state or British county (or similar) level, with the most frequent Victoria and Cornwall.
Most of my posts are prompted by my current family history research, but now and then they are written in response to themes suggested elsewhere. For example, every week the Sepia Saturday blogging group publishes an historical image, inviting its members to write an item related to it. The prompt image becomes a launching-pad for all sorts of interesting journeys. Similarly, since 2014 I have participated in an event called the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Every day in April (except on Sundays), with A for 1 April, B for 2 April, and so on, I write a post with the prompt that day’s letter of the alphabet. It is a lot of work but very satisfying. Through these and other blogging communities I have met many family history bloggers in virtual blog-space – sometimes called the blogosphere – and I have been entertained and encouraged by reading their posts and their comments and support of mine.
After 500 posts have I run out of topics? Not at all. I’ve got much more to say and many more posts to research and write.