When I first created this blog three years ago, I did it to entertain my budding yet amateur interest in genealogy.
I toyed with several blog titles trying to find something catchy that illustrated my interest. I reflected on what I enjoyed most about genealogy and family history research. I kept coming back to the thrill of the ancestor hunt - the detective work. It was the sleuth work that excited me, and so I quickly settled on Family Sleuther.
Months later, when my burgeoning interest in genealogy became more serious and I decided to lock in my social media accounts and domain name, I discovered that FamilySleuther.com had been created in 2011 and was already owned by someone else. Frustratingly, the page sat unused - taunting me in its dilapidated state with digital tumbleweeds drifting across the screen. I was disappointed, but didn't want to relinquish my growing brand and decided to set up shop under a .org domain.
Why a .org? Admittedly, the .org was unusual for a personal genealogy website, and did elicit questions from readers who were curious about the domain choice. Simply put, it was available, cheap, and familiar (I work for an international non-profit organization in my day job).
I decided that I would have to play the long game in order to secure the .com. Three years ago, I found out when the ownership of the .com domain was slated to expire and set a calendar reminder. On May 6th, the domain quietly passed its expiration date, was not renewed, and went to auction.
I had set up a backorder on the address just prior to its expiration, which gave me a heads up that the domain had not been renewed. My backorder also secured me an initial bid on the address at auction. On June 10th, the domain went to auction. For weeks there had been no competing bids. I thought I had it locked in - the domain would finally be mine!
With just minutes to go before the auction closed, a competing bid was submitted. I was outbid! Fortunately, I was on email and received a notification. I quickly logged in and submitted an updated bid. A small bidding war - that I was determined to win - played out, but I emerged victorious (Yes, it really felt like I was going into battle. After all, I'd been after this domain for three years!).
Despite my auction win, the owner still had another week to decide if they wanted to renew their ownership. I was anxious all week. Yesterday, the clock had finally ticked down. It was mine. The domain was transferred to my ownership, and FamilySleuther.org became - at long last - FamilySleuther.com.