Reflections on 2019 A-Z Learning From Civil War Pension Files

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge

This is the 7th year I have participated in the A-Z. As usual, I did not prewrite. Although I had all the records on hand and was familiar with them, I didn’t actually choose which I would use until the weekend before the challenge. I did change a few as I went along. Most of the testimonies and documents spoke for themselves and I did not have to do a lot of writing aside for an introduction or concluding paragraph.

In the past year I have done two series on my blog that consisted of over 40 posts each. I didn’t do them in alphabetical order, but did post them daily. Maybe that made this year easier, although at first I found it a challenge to have to skip around to different people instead of doing one person’s story in order. It did get me to look closely at 26 testimonies and during the next year I will probably post the stories of the various people featured in those posts in more depth.

It seemed to me that comments were down this year, so I decided to check my comments from all the years. They were actually pretty consistent. I visited back everyone who visited me. I checked out some new people from the list and some from comments on pages I visited. I didn’t look at the fb links this year and probably missed some interesting posts that way. My favorite new blog this year was Sonia’s Musings about the nerve wracking process of entering her three year old in a new school.

Other blogs I followed were:
Anne’s Family History “Visiting England, Scotland & Wales”
The Old Trunk in the Attic “Ancestors in Newspaper Clippings”
The Multicolored Diary “Fruit Folktales theme”
Anne E. G. Nydam’s “Fantastical Creatures”
Sarah Zama‘s “Berlin Cabaret”
Nilanjana Bose‘s “Bengali history and music”
Tell Me Another “Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles”
Tasha’s Thinkings “Ghost Stories”
Jollett Etc. “Family Heirlooms”

I’ll probably do A-Z next year and it will undoubtedly be connected to my family history research. Thanks to all those who make it happen!

You can find links to all my 2019 A to Z posts at A to Z Challenge 2019

The series I wrote this year outside of the challenge were: Katie Cleage’s story told through her pension file and My Grandmother Pearl’s Letters 1903-1905. In the coming year I plan to write a series of posts about finding my great great grandmother Susan Rice Ragan and what her life was like.

20 thoughts on “Reflections on 2019 A-Z Learning From Civil War Pension Files

  1. Even though I didn’t participate in the challenge and came late so I had to play catch up, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was glad to get back to reading your blog again.

  2. Multicoloured Diary seems to be a common favourite, and not surprising, since Csenge’s fairytales are always brilliant. I have occasional borrowed one for the basis of one of Willoughby’s stories, but then as they are all borrowed from a common tradition, I’m not worried!
    I’m always fascinated by your posts, congratulations on finishing your seventh AtoZ 🙂

  3. The A to Z certainly forces us to focus daily on our research and writing. Helped me a lot.
    Your in-depth posts are an inspiration to many of us.

  4. Kristin, I always enjoy the way your posts give me such a window into a world I know very little about. Also, I’m very glad to have my blog on your list. I stupidly didn’t think to list my favorites in my reflection, so I’ll have to go back and add that. Thanks for the nudge.

    1. I enjoyed your mythical monsters. And your you-fund-it was amazing!

      I think my research is in an area that most people are not familiar with. Thank you for reading and commenting so regularly.

  5. Thank you for following along for another year.

    I found it fascinating how much information was in those testimonies and how the voices of the witnesses came through and their stories sounded very credible to me. It must have been a nerve wracking process to go through to assert your entitlement.

    You are creating a marvellous resource for all those who share or are researching the Cleages.

    Best wishes
    From Bath, England 😉

    1. Yes, it’s wonderful how the testimonies, especially when they are in their own words and not a form, are so personal. It was a nerve wracking process and so many men died before or while they were applying for their pensions.

  6. Congrats on acing another Challenge! The research that goes into each of your posts blows me away every time, but I think I’ve told you that already a million times 🙂

    The Challenge was quiet this year. But I always enjoy it. Thanks so much for the shout out and for the support.

    1. If we were forward thinking, we’d start planning and writing earlier, right? I don’t see that happening though. I want to share anything I write up soon as I write it!

  7. Thanks for calling by on my reflections post. I do remember passing by during the A to Z and thinking WOW that is some seriously hard work. So I congratulate you on a job well done. I cheat I just ramble about something a bit abstract which is something I can do fairly easily. My weakness is typing spelling and grandma (sorry grammer).

    And I do like that you have added a list of blogs you liked, I have done that in the past but not for couple of years now. I dont think I get to visit as many blogs these days due to limited time.

    Rob Z Tobor

  8. I didn’t even know about the Facebook page until I saw it mentioned in someone’s reflections post haha. I thought it was a one off for the year they didn’t have the master list

  9. I am so behind with everything, but I’m trying to catch up on the Challenge (shame on me on negletting being active over the challenge).
    Congratulation on finishing it, besides I had no doubt 😉

    I think it’s awesome that you used the challenge as part of your normal activity on the blog. this is the best way to use it, in my opinion, rather than a one shot a year.

    You did a great job! Congratulations again.

  10. Congratulation on finishing the A to Z. What a wonderful collection of blog posts you put together and hopefully they will catch some distant cousins and the help you with your research.

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