Blogging …. Millstone or Pleasure Dome?

Our blog is changing into one of genealogy, ancestry, family history. It began with a focus on our aid work in Kathmandu, morphed into a personal travels blog, then into one related to our general interest in wine. Sometimes there would be a post about philosophy and the occasional political rant. Our goal was never to strive for more and more followers, nor was it to collect like like likes from passers by. Originally it was a store of our efforts and research to develop Nepal’s primary education system to update the 1000 or so professional connections we had on LinkedIn, then it was a means to keep friends and family aware of and share in our travels around America, Asia, and Europe. An increasing number of followers was a by-product, NOT a primary achievement and regular readers will know that I have occasionally ranted about the lack of engagement from our hundreds of followers with the regulars being countable on the fingers of one hand!

So, it has become clearer by the day that articles we create merely float off into the ether, whatever we write about, be it wine, politics, literature, philosophy, history ….. and therefore writing them has become a millstone rather than a pleasure dome. I suppose it’s akin to talking to oneself and as a psychologist I’m well aware of the downsides of such behaviour. There’s only one solution!

I’m currently writing a book, it’s about Nepal, not a guidebook, but a year of personal experiences covering culture, family, religion, mountaineering, corruption, all with anecdotes and images ….. I intend to try and publish it on Amazon digitally, it’ll be free as I have no need to earn money from it.

Tracing one’s ancestry is now much easier with digital sites like

I’m also researching my family tree and have gone back ELEVEN generations to Queen Elizabeth I time in the 16th Century with most of my maternal family being tin and copper miners from Cornwall. Many migrated to America during the Gold Rush, and most were clearly affected by the Poor Law which may account for one entry where it appears that a brother and sister married! But I need further confirmation. My father’s side of the family is a mystery, I cannot seem to get beyond his date of birth, date of death, and the fact that he was a Coldstream Guardsman. But I will unravel this genealogy mystery eventually without having lived in Baker Street …… Sherlock!

Our blog will remain open, though new posts will be made only about the Ancestry search; I realise that they will mostly be only of interest to family and others researching similar lines of ancestry and we intend to make those posts private and only accessible to those we give a password. We are already finding and linking with such people and groups …… a definite common interest with plenty of room for engagement.

Strand of DNA offering a useful trace on one’s ancestry

We will shortly be visiting Cornwall for a week and hope to see some of the places where my ancestors lived, worked and died, especially the old tin mines. I’ve also sent off a sample of my saliva for DNA testing to find out as much as I can about my “original home”, results back in a month or so, and who knows …. I may be of Asian origin like my wife, but I strongly suspect more Celtic blood than anything else.

To summarise, future posts will be about ancestry searches and family history, some will be general posts on process and history, whereas some will be specific posts on family. Most will be private.

Categories: Ancestry, Genealogy

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. Speaking as a person who has been blogging on and off since 2004, I can tell you that blogs always change – they change as their authors do, it’s a natural process. As for the followers who don’t engage, that’s because most of them are probably spam followers who really should be removed so that you can see the wood for the trees. (One blogger I follow got rid of 80 percent of her followers and now has active comments from people who she knows actually read and enjoy her blog). There’s a way to remove them if you want. Some followers follow too many blogs and simply won’t see your posts, and some have probably given up blogging. Try not to be disheartened by it.

    Have you tried using ‘Cyndi’s List’?- it’s a vast genealogy resource that’s been going for years. Might help you find info from angles you hadn’t thought of.

    Your book sounds interesting. And you’d be surprised how many people completely unrelated to you will be interested in family history. I love it and follow many bloggers who write about their family history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your encouraging comment Val. I do know how to remove followers but it would take a long time! I’m sure that most of them have given up blogging though some are undoubtedly spammers. Good luck to them, WordPress picks them up quite easily and I never see them! I may do it one day when I’m sitting in the garden and feeling grumpy 😂😂. My book by the way is about my times in Nepal mountaineering, education aid work, wife’s family etc etc. It’s on hold at the minute as I’m obsessed with the family history stuff. And, yes I’ve accessed Cyndi’s List, a mammoth resource site, but as a newbie I started to feel overwhelmed by so much. I’ve almost completed an online course, created a search strategy, and paid a professional genealogist to peruse a cluster of four of my ancestors for verification and/or addition so I can judge how I’m doing. It’ll take a couple of weeks so I must be patient!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand, as a blogger, hoping to reach a few more people, not getting comments or input, how it can become a millstone. The temptation just to quit is huge. Thank you for visiting my blog site at Your genealogy quest is also a passion of mine (and of my son) so please continue posting. I share an English heritage as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems to be some kismet here. Thanks for the like at my newest blog, all my ancestors. I, too, have been blogging for years at Sonnystone Acres, a journaling blog, and decided to make a new blog for my genealogy because it is such a different audience. I will be writing about the process, as well as family history and I’m sure I can learn from reading your posts What is your criteria for what you keep private? .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jo, I did consider starting a new blog for my genealogy but decided against it even though it will generally be a different audience. The fact is I enjoy writing so much that I’m not so interested in having a large audience and in this case the main “client” for my writing is our daughter so she has something remaining of us after we’ve departed …. all in one place. This includes our aid work in Nepal, our travels, wine tasting, and now writing about ancestry. I’m actually unsure about what will be private or password protected but I’ll know it when I see it such as criminality, maybe even actual trees and charts I copy down from which may be unavailable after my subscription ends. I’m sure I’ll learn from you too 👍


    • I have done just as you said and I think it’s fixed. You are a fine teacher. As you said…Blogging: Millstone or Pleasure Dome?! Thanks!


  4. I will miss the political rants. They were a pleasure to read… Looking forward to eventually find your book on Amazon. Do let us know when it has been published. Having had a fair few interesting experiences with cultural differences whilst working and travelling in South East Asia, I am curious to read about yours…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I’m currently lurching between the book and my ancestry with the latter seemingly taking over my life, I’m now back to the 1500s on my mothers side and it’s like drug addiction to see if I can get back to The Domesday Book 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • To add a little more, my Nepal life has been a roller coaster from pleasure to pain. The pleasure of a new Nepalese family, Buddhism, festivals, family rituals and some serious mountaineering …… but also the absolute misery of corruption amongst government and district officials, the carelessness of primary school teachers and the utter arrogance of DFID/UKAid!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Au revoir! It was fun while it lasted. Good luck with the book and your research.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good luck with the book and have fun with the research.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have enjoyed your chameleon like blog Brian especially the philosophy and the travelling but I confess that I have struggled with the wines. If you are to reduce your output then I shall miss you!

    Ancestry is so frustrating, I have been successful tracing my father’s line because the family had a distinctive name and lived in Leicestershire but I have struggled with my mother’s side as the family had a common name and came from London. I found her lineage a bit like quicksand!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Andrew, I’ll still be commenting on other good blogs I follow such as your own. It’s just that how I spend most of my time now has been diverted so it makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Is this goodbye then? 🥺 Best of luck with your genealogy search and your book, let me know when it’s available on amazon!

    Liked by 1 person

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