Well, here we are. 2012 is quickly drawing to a close. This time last year, this blog didn’t even exist. I was working feverishly to get everything set up on the back end, not to mention finalizing the Jordan’s Journey book. I opened the blog to the public on January 1st, 2012. And it’s been going strong ever since. Here’s a little overview of the past year…
After I opened the blog, the trailer was the main attraction. A few posts later, I revealed the book cover for the first time. By February, the book was officially available and out in the world. This included my submission of Jordan’s Journey to the National Genealogical Society’s award for excellence for a Genealogy & Family History book. Unfortunately, Jordan’s Journey didn’t win that award. For any of you who have seen the book, you know it’s a radical departure from a typical genealogy book. I imagine NGS didn’t know what to think of it. When I met some people from NGS in October at The Genealogy Event here in New York, I showed them the book and mentioned how I entered the contest but did not win. “Well, in terms of design, if there were such a category, you certainly would have won.” This shows that while Jordan’s Journey is viewed primarily as a genealogy/local history book, it is much more than that, just as I intended. The visual aspect of the work is what draws people in.
The most rewarding part of this year with Jordan’s Journey was when I brought it back to Georgia and appeared in the Rome News-Tribune, the Summerville News, the Walker County Messenger (front page!), and the Dalton Daily Citizen. My lectures at The Summerville Public Library and the LaFayette-Walker Public Library followed in June (including an exhibition of my photos at the Summerville Library). Sharing Jordan’s Journey with everyone back home is an experience I will always cherish.
I am also pleased that Jordan’s Journey has found a home in at least six library collections across the country:
- Denver Public Library
- LaFayette-Walker Public Library
- Library of Congress
- New York Public Library
- Saint Louis County Library
- Wisconsin Historical Society
Of course, there is this blog–which has been ongoing ever since it was first opened to the public. It’s been a challenge to get readers engaged, but when one of you leaves a comment on the blog, please know that it means a lot to me.
Beyond the writing, I also posted several Jordan’s Journey videos this year. These videos have been a labor of love. It takes a lot of time to put them together. But I feel they communicate something about our local history that has never been done before. I imagine what I would like to see if my ancestors could have made such videos, and that’s what I try to do. Local history needs to be entertaining–otherwise, you lose everyone’s interest–and I hope my videos help accomplish that.
Jordan’s Journey has been more than just the blog, too. I was able to branch out with my writing and published my first piece in Georgia Backroads. Working with Georgia Backroads has been a blessing. You can look forward to more from me in this way in 2013!
But what else does the future hold for Jordan’s Journey? To be honest, I’m not sure. I want to take it further–and I have many ideas. But this type of work cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. It takes contributions from both family and the broader community. So many people have helped me out, and I sincerely thank all of you (there are much too many of you to list everyone here). I want to write more about the allied families of the region–those that I do not necessarily descend from but that play a role in the history of Armuchee Valley, Dirttown Valley, and beyond. After all, we’re all connected, and we’re all part of the story.
I will continue writing posts and sharing photos here in 2013, but things will be slightly different. To focus some energy on more extensive research and writing–such as my articles for Georgia Backroads–I will not commit to posting here on the blog weekly. I have some new and unique things planned for you–at least a couple of guest posts should go up in the first month or two after the new year. If any of you are interested in writing a guest post, please let me know. Jordan’s Journey is about much more than just my own family. It’s about building our collective history.
Thanks to all of you who have followed the blog throughout 2012. I hope it has been a worthwhile trip into the past and that you will visit often in 2013. I wish you a very happy new year.
I took the above photo in May 2012 in Subligna, Georgia.