New blogger introduction: John Smiley

John Smiley joins AFHS blog as a regular contributor.

John Smiley joins AFHS blog as a regular contributor.

Visiting the Alberta Family History Society website last week, I saw the plea for help with the AFHS blog. As I am an experienced blogger, am interested in genealogy, love digging up and sharing information and, most importantly, am looking for an anchor that will help me to gain more focus on developing this passion and pastime, it seemed like an opportunity I should take. And so here I am.

For 2 1/2 years, I wrote a now-defunct Calgary-focused events blog, sharing with Calgarians all of the amazing things that can occupy one’s time in this city. Earlier this year, I had to wrap it up since my day job workload was becoming overwhelming and I knew I didn’t want to just continue on with the blog in a half-hearted manner. After some soul-searching, I have decided that I’ll not be reviving that particular blog, as my interest has waned and there are other projects I would like to take on. Throughout the summer, I did find myself missing a writing outlet, so this seems like an outstanding place to feed that need.

I am not new to either genealogy or to the AFHS. Well, that’s not entirely true; I just bought my first membership a few months ago. However, I attended my first meeting some four or five years ago, but simply didn’t make the time to develop this particular interest. I have been examining family records that my mother has in her possession for about 20 years, put my first post on the GenForum site a decade back, and am pretty comfortable with the basics of endeavours genealogical.

With that said, I’m best classified as a beginner genealogist, and you can expect that you’ll see information from me that tends to occupy more that level of expertise. I am adept with technology, and love how it can make our lives easier (and often more challenging at the same time), so you will see technology-driven topics from me with some frequency as well. As I make and take the time to further develop my knowledge and proficiency, I’ll also be happy to share what it is that I find. Many of you will find what I share to be old news, I’m sure, but I’d imagine that I’m not the only beginner coming up the ranks who can benefit from links to and descriptions of resources beyond those that advertise incessantly on the History Channel.

If you have any topic ideas, or information that you think is worth sharing, or just want to ask me how I manage to stay so youthful, please do e-mail me at I’d love to hear from you. I plan to post to this blog every Monday, so I hope that you’ll pop back frequently.

Oh, one more thing… you see that link right below that says, “Leave a comment”? Use that, and use it with great gusto and tremendous frequency. A blog is a place where people should feel welcome to talk back. Whether it’s a question, an opinion, or a pertinent brag, I ask you to please use that link at every possible opportunity.

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