|Family History Jigsaw Puzzle|
I’ve written over 100 blog posts since I began “Village Life in Nineteenth Century Kreis Saarburg,” and I really enjoy it when someone leaves a comment. I am especially happy when someone says the equivalent of "good work" about a post. What a pleasure to find a "thank you" as was the case with this one:
"Thank you, Kathy, for sharing all this information. I am reading your blog posts and also starting to read your book which I recently purchased. You have done a great service to those learning about their German ancestry. Danke, danke, danke. Curtis"
In addition to compliments, people write a comment because they are happy to find the answer to a question they have never been able to find before. Others want to tell me their ancestors and mine may have been relatives or neighbors or want to know about a picture I used with the blog. Occasionally I get a comment that tells me I made a mistake and being human, I don’t like hearing that. Still I’m glad to know about it so I can correct my post. Most surprising is that some curious readers also check the entire list of comments from others and generously answer a question which I couldn't.
However, it has always bothered me that when I or some reader leave a reply to a comment, I don’t know if the commenter ever finds it, especially if it is posted months or even years after it was made. Most commenters do not leave their e-mail address and so there is no way to notify them.
That is a long explanation of my reason for writing this post; to try to prevent good information from getting lost. The following is an example of a recent comment that solved a problem mentioned by a much earlier commenter/questioner:
From A LOOK AT LE HAVRE, A LESS-KNOWN PORT FOR GERMAN EMIGRANTS
“Wow, this is great. I am working on some of our genealogy and am really running into a lot of stumbling blocks. One relative, now deceased, thinks that our Miller family came to the US (New Orleans) from Le Havre but I am having a hard time confirming it. All indications are that they were from "Kirberg Bavaria Germany" but I can't find a Kirberg in Bavaria, but only in Hesse.”
Sometimes I will be able to help with a problem like this, but in this case I evidently didn’t find Kirberg Bavaria either. The original comment was probably asked a short time after I wrote the post. In January of this year, 2018, I received a surprising comment on that Le Havre/Kirberg question from Klaus in Germany:
Thank you Klaus! I am sorry to say that well-known genealogical speakers, never give more than lip service to the port of Le Havre. My post on Le Havre is one of the few places to get information about the circumstances which caused ancestors from certain parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria to choose the Port of Le Havre in France when sailing to America. (My Bavarian ancestors left from Le Havre too). Since the Le Havre passenger lists can't be found, web searches continue to find my articles on Le Havre. Klaus didn't find it until seven years after I wrote it. Unfortunately, the links he gives are in German. But if you want to know how Kirberg became Bavarian around the time these ancestors came to America, this website in English gives an explanation: Kirberg in the Palatinate
Any of the comments about the 100 plus posts I've written, especially those that answer questions or give additional information, can be valuable but do they ever find the family history searchers who need them? I think the chances are slim, but they may be a little more findable if I highlight them.
That is why I’ve decided to post such comments as a separate entity; i.e. a separate post with the picture above, whenever I receivethem. It may make for a very short post, but at the very least, the regular readers of my blog will see them. There is also a good chance that Google and other search engines may turn them up as separate subject entities. That will be one more way to help searchers find another piece of the family history puzzle.
So thank you for reading comments and helping whenever you can.