Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking Back on 2014

Me under the Christmas Tree 
Christmas is over and I've put away the last of the decorations. As I welcome in the new year, I find myself reflecting back on this past year. There have been both challenges and good things in 2014. 

Last year I took advantage of many opportunities to expand my knowledge in genealogy. In January I kicked off the year by attending  the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s course “Southern Research,” with J. Mark Lowe. In February I attended Rootstech  and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of what is touted as the largest genealogy conference. 

Definitely one of the highlights of my year was the trip my husband and I took in May to Richmond, Virginia to attend the National Genealogy Society's Convention where I took many wonderful classes and met new friends. 

In the fall I was invited to be part of the May I Introduce to You team at Geneabloggers and I've really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Thomas MacEntee,  Gini Webb, Wendy Mathias, Jana Last, and Tessa Kough. I have learned so much from each of them.  I have also really enjoyed interviewing and getting to know other genealogy bloggers.

This year more than in the past I stepped out of my comfort zone and did things I may not have done in the past and it has been wonderful! It's been a good lesson to me that risk brings with it growth, new experiences and new friends.

I've also learned a lot about my own family history in the process of writing the posts for this blog. Below are the top visited posts for 2014.

TOP 10 POSTS FOR 2014 

1.  From Murder Scene to Picnic Spot . As I looked at a horrific incident in an ancestor’s life, I was surprised to learn what this site looks like today and how it is used.

2.  Walking theSunken Road.   My trip to Virginia allowed me to visit many Civil War sites. Here I share my experience as I walked on the site where an ancestor had fought.  

3.  For the Love of Tula.  Thanks to several photos in my grandma’s little suitcase, I decided to step into Tula’s world where I learned about my great grandmother’s little sister.

4.  Tula’s First Child’s Casket.  These simple words on the back of the photo compelled me to take time to find the story and learn which of Tula's children lay within. 

5. More Than A Number.  As I visited an unmarked grave in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery,  I was taken by the fact that this ancestor's entire life was represented by a simple number, when his life was so much more.

6.  Ernest’s Final Return to Oklahoma. This post tells the story of Ernest Ganus who, after leaving Oklahoma several times to seek work and life in other states, made his final return home. 

7.  A Little Bit of Heaven.  This post was inspired by a picture of my grandpa and his brother on a small raft in the middle of a pond.

8.  Three Brothers, Three Roads.  I looked at the different paths taken by three brothers who were orphaned at a young age.

9.  He Never Came Home.  This tells the story of Reuben Ayers and what came of his family following the Civil War. 

10.  Will Our Children Need Paleography? This post was inspired by the realization that many of today's school children do not learn to read or write cursive. Will they be able to read anything I leave behind? 

Here's looking towards 2015 with hopes for many more good things to come! 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved


  1. Best wishes for a productive New Year, Michelle. It sounds like you have had many new items on your genealogical plate lately, and that seems to be a trend that is continuing! In the midst of all these new challenges, I still look forward to reading your unique perspective on your own Southern family--especially now, as I delve into my own Southern roots for the first time.

    1. I will be keeping track of you as well Jacqi. You blog is always a good read!

  2. Great reading as always! Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much Anne! Happy New Year to you as well and hope to see you at one of the upcoming conferences!

  3. Onward to 2015 when you are sure to push those boundaries of your comfort zone even further.

    I enjoyed going back over these posts. They are indeed good and worthy of top honors.

    1. It will be fun to see where things take us both Wendy. Thanks for your comments over the months and for your inspiration with your excellent blog.

  4. Happy New Year Michelle! It's a pleasure to be part of the MIITY team with you.