My recent article “The Genealogy Paradigm Shift: Are bloggers the new ‘experts’?” was apparently not the only response to Thomas Macentee’s Geneabloggers post entitled, “Open Thread Thursday: Do We Eat Our Own In The Genealogy Industry?“
James Tanner posted the article, “Well Said Tom, Here’s My Response,” on his Genealogy’s Star blog. In this article, James writes,
I don’t think that historically there has been a “genealogical community.” I believe that the bloggers are in the process of creating such a community. Before there was the “professional, journal writing” genealogical group but I don’t think you could view them as a “community.”
I hope that James will further explain this statement. No genealogical community?
How about the National Genealogical Society? It has been around since 1903! Or any of these societies:
- The New England Historic Genealogical Society (est. 1845)
- The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (est. 1869)
- The American Society of Genealogists (est. 1940)
- The Board for the Certification of Genealogists (est. 1964)
- The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (est. 1977)
- The Association of Professional Genealogists (est. 1979)
Or any of the hundreds of local, county, state, or regional historical and genealogical societies throughout the world?
When I was corresponding with distant historical societies and genealogical societies or other researchers working on the same families, on paper with envelopes and stamps, I felt like part of a community.
Certainly, this was a small community, especially if compared with the thousands of GeneaBloggers and members of the “online genealogy community.”
But it was a community.
To me, a community is a group of people with common interests and common goals, working together, offering each other support. How can anyone look at the accomplishments of genealogists of the past, including the organizations that they formed and progress that they made together and claim that “historically there has [not] been a ‘genealogy community’”?
Without the genealogy community of the past, we would not have the online genealogy community.
 James Tanner, “Well Said Tom, Here’s My Response,” Genealogy’s Star blog, posted 14 Dec 2011 (
: accessed 18 Dec 2011).
If you would like to cite this post:
Michael Hait, CG, “No ‘genealogical community’?,” Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog, posted 18 Dec 2011 (
: accessed [access date]). [Please also feel free to include a hyperlink to the specific article if you are citing this post in an online forum.]