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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Write it down! Blog it!

If there is anything that I've learned in blogging about my family history, my roots, and genealogy, is the absolute importance of writing things down.  That is the point of this blog.

This lesson is not a strange concept in my Flanagan Family.  My ancestor, Richard Flanagan started writing things down in the farm account books in 1773 in Termonfeckin, Louth, Ireland.  The fact that those books were retained by the family is probably a bit of a miracle.  To his credit he must have set the trend in the family.  His son, Patrick Flanagan, continued with the farm account books.  The importance of the written word was not lost on Patrick's children or his grandchildren.

From Richard Flanagan (my 5th great grandfather) to his great grandson, Patrick Flanagan (my great great grandfather), there is an evident tradition in the ability and desire to write things down.  While my great great grandfather, Patrick, may have been a pretty busy farmer in Napa, California, information still flowed home to Ireland from another source.  Michael Flanagan, Patrick's brother, wrote letters and kept a diary in which he wrote of the events and experiences of his life.  

Michael Flanagan is definitely a huge inspiration for me.  Just to sit and read some of his letters is quite moving and motivation for me to continue blazing my family tree and "writing" it all down.

Whether my writing appeals to a wide range of readers or just to a select few relatives, I find that the torch has been passed to me.  Instead of having to pull out a typewriter like my grandfather's sister, Ellen Maxwell Flanagan, I can easily and quickly type my thoughts and post them here.  Aunt Ellen blazed away on our family tree with more of an emphasis on the McLaughlin side of our family.  I now understand her desire to find our family roots and have taken all of it on.

My hobby is sometimes a bit of an addiction but not yet an obsession.  Maybe someday this can become a full time job for me.   I've got to win that lottery!

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