01 March 2011

Give Your Story Some "Webness"

I recently heard an interview Lisa Louise Cook of Genealogy Gems did with Curt Witcher (from the Allen County Library) at RootsTech. It was well worth watching. He gave a little preview of the keynote speech he delivered the day after this interview was recorded. Watching them talk fired me up once more with gratitude for the wonderful time in which we live. Wonderful in many ways, but especially as a genealogist. As Witcher said in the interview and elaborated in his keynote address, this is the best of all times to be interested in family history.

Salt Lake County Infirmary in 1922.
Anna Beata Andreasson Graham Jorgensen was born
in Åhlgårda, Fjärås, Halland, Sweden 31 October 1844
and died in this infirmary 1 November 1931
(photo from Utah State Historical Society).

Lisa used the term "webness" in her comments. Perhaps she coined the word. I like it. She and Curt remarked on the fact that having a web presence doesn't take away from a mortar and bricks library or the various places that genealogical data is stored in hard copy. Curt cited statistics from the Allen County Library to prove the point. Their considerable "webness" has not only served their internet patrons, but has encouraged foot traffic as well. And Curt talked about the point that he would make in his marvelous keynote speech--having genealogy at our fingertips on-line, at least indexed and cataloged on the internet, makes shorter work of research and gives us additional time and energy for story-telling.

The on-line presence our family history committee has maintained has recently borne fruit. Imagine my excitement in receiving an e-mail from a distant Swedish cousin who had spotted her home village on our site. "I have photographs of the farm," she told us, "and information from people there back to the 1500s." Am I interested? Yes, indeed.

Thank goodness for our family history "webness" and for the talented nephew who established a place on-line for our stories to be found.


  1. I love this post on "webness". I've found over time that it is important to put relevant "tags" on your blog post. That way, when people google anything in a tag, they may be directed to you.

    It is so exciting to hear that you were contacted by someone in Sweden with that much history. Will we see posts about it in the future?

  2. Thanks Kathy--for commenting and also giving me the heads-up about putting tags on my posts. I sure hope there is more to that story.