Why I’m Doubling Down on PA Ancestors and What's Next

I believe PA Ancestors can help you make real progress in finishing your family history through regular posts, YouTube videos, and your continued feedback.

Why I’m Doubling Down on PA Ancestors and What's Next
Photo by David Dvořáček / Unsplash

Have you ever had a friend who struggles to decide on what to wear or what to order at the coffee shop?

That’s been me the past few months. I’ve been trying to decide whether to call myself a genealogist or something else, whether to keep spending the time to make YouTube videos, and even if there were enough people interested in finding their ancestors in Pennsylvania.

After a dozen conversations with the new Founding Members of the Inner Circle, I got fired up. (If you are reading this Founding Members, thank you!)

PA Ancestors is valuable, and I can create new ways for people to find their ancestors here in Pennsylvania.

For 50-100 years in Pennsylvania, there have been genealogical societies and historical societies in each county of the state. They’ve done yeoman’s work in collecting and preserving local records. What they haven’t done - because this was never their purpose - is teach people how to use the records.

If you are a genealogist in Iowa or Ohio or Arizona, making sense of Pennsylvania is hard. I’ve lived here most of my life and I struggle with it at times!(1) There has been no one here to work one-on-one with you on where to start and how to move forward in your research.

I believe PA Ancestors can help you make real progress in finishing your family history. Here’s how I'll start doing it:

  • Weekday publishing of posts on this website including: genealogy resources (more curation and evaluation of what is out there already), history, book summaries, archive visit walk-throughs, and tips and advice (based on my own successes and failures).
  • You can subscribe daily at PAancestors.com if you want. The default subscription is weekly PA Ancestors Discoveries on Fridays which will have summaries and links.
  • Continually using reader feedback and engagement metrics on posts and videos to know which content to make more of. Your views, likes, and shares help me know what you want. And that is what I will make
  • The podcast will be YouTube first going forward. I’m upgrading the look and content over the next couple of weeks. I have a two videos in the queue to release in the current style to finish Season 7. There will be no Season 8. The podcast will just be ongoing, with weekly episodes.
  • For those who want more in-depth help and community, there is the Inner Circle membership. For those that need fast answers, such as professional genealogists doing client research, I also have my one-on-one consulting.

It’s my hope that PA Ancestors creates even more value for you as I embark on this new journey of regular publishing and developing effective ways to do genealogy in Pennsylvania.

(1) “What the heck is a Prothonotary?” said by President Truman in 1948 sums it up nicely. It took me awhile to figure out how to even say Prothonotary.

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