Archive for the ‘Notable Genealogy Blog Posts’ Category

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 16 March 2013

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

James O’Toole, “A Research Exercise with the Watergate Tapes,” The Historical Society blog, posted 11 February 2013 (http://histsociety.blogspot.com : accessed 12 March 2013). Not genealogical, but a historical exercise in record analysis.

Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, “‘The Men,’” Brenda Dougall Merriman blog, posted 10 February 2013 (http://brendadougallmerriman.blogspot.com : accessed 12 March 2013). Brenda discusses a research case she recently had that benefited greatly from a study of academic history material. All genealogists should pay close attention to these resources.

Jeff Hurt, “Fostering An Extremely Powerful Tool At Your Conference: The Session Discussion,” Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections blog, posted 14 February 2013 (http://jeffhurtblog.com : accessed 12 March 2013). While I am not convinced that lectures do not serve an important role in education, I do believe that genealogy conferences should incorporate more discussions—panel discussions, small group discussions, etc.

Kelly James-Enger, “The Freelancer’s Bible–and How to Collect on Every Invoice,” Dollars and Deadlines blog, posted 18 February 2013 (http://dollarsanddeadlines.blogspot.com : accessed 12 March 2013). I have compared professional genealogy practice to freelance writing on numerous previous occasions. This blog post—written for freelance writers—contains lessons that professional genealogists can also learn from.

Dawn Watson, “Perfecting Society Publications,” Digging in the Roots: A Genealogical Odyssey blog, posted 18 February 2013 (http://genealogical.wordpress.com : accessed 12 March 2013). The subject of this post is one that I feel very strongly about as well. So strongly, that I will discuss it in a future post. But Dawn has definitely hit the nail on the head.

Nolan Haims, “Prezi Is Here To Stay,” PresentYourStory.com blog, posted 6 November 2012 (http://presentyourstory.com : accessed 12 March 2013). I have tried the Prezi presentation software before. I thought it was an interesting concept, but did not find it a natural fit. I may give it another look, thanks to this blog post.

Sarah Nerney, “Wills, Slavery, and Freedom in Augusta Co.,” Out of the Box: Notes from the Archives @ the Library of Virginia blog, posted 20 February 2013 (http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/ : accessed 12 March 2013). This is a very informative and interesting look at some Virginia records.

Craig R. Scott, CG, “A Publisher’s Point of View,” in Judy G. Russell, CG, “Keeping the lights on,” The Legal Genealogist blog, posted 8 March 2013 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 12 March 2013). The Internet has been almost solely responsible for the closure of bookstores across the nation. Sadly it is also affecting the genealogy publishing industry in a negative way. The owner of Heritage Books, Craig is a prominent national genealogy book publisher. We definitely do not want to lose the valuable resources publishers offer!

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 20 January 2013

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

Ron Coddington, “2012 Images of the Year,” Faces of War blog, posted 24 December 2012 (http://facesofthecivilwar.blogspot.com/ : accessed 20 January 2013). The Civil War was one of the first major events–and the first American war–documented with photographs. These images are striking.

Judy G. Russell, CG, “The returns of the season,” The Legal Genealogist blog, posted 26 December 2012 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 20 January 2013). Judy writes about supporting local genealogical societies, a subject I have also addressed on numerous occasions.

Maria Popova, “Richard Dawkins on Evidence in Science, Life and Love: A Letter to His 10-Year-Old Daughter,” Brain Pickings blog, posted 28 December 2012 (http://www.brainpickings.org/ : accessed 20 January 2013). This post quotes from a letter discussing evidence–a very important topic in science as well as genealogy.

Harold Henderson, CG, “Perfectionism: Is the Best the Enemy?,” Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 31 December 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed 20 January 2013). Harold questions whether every article published in genealogy journals has to be a perfectly-proven case.

Eric Schultz, “When Do We Forget?,” The Historical Society blog, posted 10 January 2013 (http://histsociety.blogspot.com/ : accessed 20 January 2013). Mr. Schultz takes a look at what percentage of today’s U. S. population might remember some of the most important–and memorable–events that occurred in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Harold Henderson, CG, “So You Want to Re-Invent Genealogy? Here’s How,” Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 11 January 2013 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed 20 January 2013). The standards in genealogy have been developed through decades of experience. Do you think your research experience has inspired better standards?

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 23 December 2012

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

I finally caught up on most of my blog reading. I missed a lot in the past few months. The following posts are those that were still showing up in that “1000+” in Google Reader, presented in no particular order.

Harold Henderson, CG, “Dueling Birth Dates: Is Your Database the Solution or the Problem?,” Midwestern Microhistory blog, posted 22 October 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed 18 December 2012). I have been highly critical of most genealogy database software in this blog and elsewhere. Part of the reason for my criticism is the design of these software programs after tools for recording conclusions, yet the use of these programs as tools for recording conflicting “facts.” This article explores another aspect of this phenomenon.

Harold Henderson, CG, “What Does It Mean to Be ‘Out of Date’?,” Midwestern Microhistory blog, posted 13 December 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed 18 December 2012). In this post Harold discusses the classic book on American Genealogy by Val Greenwood. Some have argued that Greenwood’s book should be updated to reflect online research. I agree with Harold’s conclusions.

Chris Stevenson, “How Important is an Index?,” Family History Publishing blog, posted 28 November 2012 (http://sgenealogy.com/blog : accessed 18 December 2012). Indexes are arguably the most important thing a genealogical author can include in his book. This article discusses several electronic means for creating your index.

Hari Jones, “The ‘Interpretive Choice’ in Spielberg’s Lincoln,” African American Civil War Memorial blog, posted 23 November 2012 (http://afroamcivilwar.blogspot.com : accessed 19 December 2012). Hari Jones, with the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC, defends the history in the new Lincoln movie. The author is one of the most engaging lecturers I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, and a lot of it stems from his ability to provide specific details and statistics from the Civil War without any notes.

I doubt I really need to recommend these articles. Who would expect anything less than the best from this author? But I will point them out anyway:

Kassie Nelson, “Reflections of a Grad Student,” Cedar Tree Genealogy blog, posted 19 December 2012 (http://cedartree.blog.com : accessed 20 December 2012). I have not directly witnessed the anti-academic attitude that Kassie discusses in this post. Sadly, I do not doubt that it exists, and I hope that we—as a field—can move past it.

Randy Seaver, “Watch Out for Early Dates in Ancestry’s ‘Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988′ Collection,” Genea-Musings blog, posted 13 December 2012 (http://www.geneamusings.com : accessed 20 December 2012). This post discusses a very important aspect of colonial research that still causes a lot of confusion: the Julian vs. Gregorian calendars. In this case, Ancestry.com indexers made the mistake of misunderstanding the dates, which will undoubtedly cause a LOT of erroneous family trees.

Betty Lou Malesky, CG, “Genealogy Today: Take time to produce well-sourced, quality work,” Green Valley News & Sun, posted 10 December 2012 (http://www.gvnews.com/opinion/columnists/genealogy_columnist_betty_malesky/ : accessed 20 December 2012). In the flurry of critical blog posts surrounding Sharon Tate Moody’s recent Tampa Bay Online column, Ms. Malesky defends the position that genealogists should produce accurate work.

Roger Courville, “Five #TED talks every virtual presenter should study,” The Virtual Presenter blog, posted 24 November 2012 (http://thevirtualpresenter.com/ : accessed 18 December 2012). I love TED talks, and I love webinars. With more and more genealogy presenters becoming involved with webinars, this post (and the blog in general) has a lot of lessons that should be learned.

Kevin Levin, “Interpretation of Slavery at Civil War Battlefields,” Civil War Memory blog, posted 4 December 2012 (http://cwmemory.com/ : accessed 22 December 2012). Mr. Levin posts a video from a 2002 University of Richmond panel discussion about historic interpretation at Civil War battlefields. I found it interesting to watch, in part due to my continuing involvement with Monocacy National Battlefield, researching the lives of African Americans enslaved on the former plantation.

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 8 July 2012

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

Duncan Watts, “The Importance of Studying the Obvious,” Harvard Business Review Blog Network, posted 25 June 2012 (http://blogs.hbr.org/ : accessed 2 July 2012). Duncan Watts is one of my favorite authors for the work that he has done on the science of networks. Here he discusses the importance of researching the liberal arts in addition to the “hard sciences.”

Taneya Koonce, “Death Has a Preference for Birthdays,” Taneya’s Genealogy Blog, posted 12 June 2012 (http://www.taneya-kalonji.com/genblog : accessed 2 July 2012). Ms. Koonce discusses a very interesting study about the prevalence of people dying near their birthdays. I have noticed this phenomenon as well—I wonder why.

Judy G. Russell, CG, “Intro: primary law resources,” The Legal Genealogist blog, posted 25 June 2012 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 2 July 2012). Ms. Russell proposes the compilation of online resources for state laws, and …

Diane L. Richard, “Genealogy Community Encouraged to Create a Primary Law Resources Library,” UpFront with NGS blog, posted 25 July 2012 (http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/ : accessed 2 July 2012). Ms. Richard responds to Judy’s post, offering several sources for North Carolina law.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, FASG, “QuickLesson 8: What Constitutes Proof?,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (http://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-8-what-constitutes-proof : accessed 2 July 2012). Ms. Mills offers a concise description of what proof actually means and how one achieves it.

James Tanner, “What is an original?,” Genealogy’s Star blog, posted 21 June 2012 (http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/ :  accessed 2 July 2012).

James Tanner, “Comments on the Original Document Dilemma,” Genealogy’s Star blog, posted 23 June 2012 (http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/ :  accessed 2 July 2012).

In the two above articles, Mr. Tanner discusses the use of original records (as opposed to copies) in court and in genealogy.

Kathleen Nitsch, “The Sailors Index to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database,” in Randy Seaver, “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database – Part 1,” Genea-Mustings blog, posted 25 June 2012 (http://www.geneamusings.com : accessed 2 July 2012).

Kathleen Nitsch, “The Soldiers Index to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database,” in Randy Seaver, “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database – Part 2,” Genea-Mustings blog, posted 26 June 2012 (http://www.geneamusings.com : accessed 2 July 2012).

Kathleen Nitsch, “Confederate Soldiers in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database: Special Considerations,” in Randy Seaver, “Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database – Part 3,” Genea-Mustings blog, posted 27 June 2012 (http://www.geneamusings.com : accessed 2 July 2012).

The three above articles, hosted on Randy Seaver’s blog, dive into the National Park Services’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database. If you are using this database for information on Civil War veterans, it is important to know who is included and who is not included.

Harold Henderson, CG, “Professionals and amateurs, together forever,” Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 29 June 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com : accessed2 July 2012). Genealogy shares certain qualities with driving and writing: many “do it,” but only a few do it professionally. Standards exist to separate the two groups. Harold offers a great comparison of the fields.

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 18 June 2012

[Please forgive the premature posting of an empty list yesterday. A case of auto-scheduling and sleeping in on Father's Day gone wrong. I have compensated by spending the day reading over a month's worth of blogs, so this list is longer than usual.]

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

Ramona Martinez, “Unknown No More: Identifying A Civil War Soldier,” NPR, posted 11 April 2012 (http://www.npr.org/sections/around-the-nation/ : accessed 18 June 2012).

John F. Cummings III, “Still Unknown… Despite Diligent Detective Work, NPR Story Makes Critical Error,” Spotsylvania Civil War Blog, posted 11 April 2012 (http://spotsylvaniacw.blogspot.com : accessed 18 June 2012).

Ramona Martinez, “Photo Mystery Solved, Then Doubted, Then Deciphered, Thanks To Readers,” NPR: The Picture Show blog, posted 17 April 2012 (http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/ : accessed 18 June 2012).

The three above articles/blog posts are brilliant examples of some historical detective work used to identify the subject of a newly-acquired Civil War tintype at the Library of Congress. Start at the beginning, and don’t neglect the comments.

Barbara Mathews, CG, “Follow Friday: Resources for Studying Genealogical Standards,” The Demanding Genealogist blog, posted 24 May 2012 (http://demandinggenealogist.blogspot.com/ : last accessed 18 June 2012). Barbara has created a new website discussing standards in genealogy research, writing, and teaching. The site will be in constant development, but provides invaluable information to those who want to study these standards.

James Tanner, “Community or Communities? That is the Question,” Genealogy’s Star blog, posted 29 May 2012 (http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/ : accessed 18 June 2012). James Tanner discusses the genealogy “community” as a series of overlapping affinity groups. I love the sociological theory of networks!

Lynn Palermo, “Mind Mapping for Genealogists,” The Armchair Genealogist blog, posted 30 May 2012 (http://www.thearmchairgenealogist.com/ : accessed 18 June 2012). I have been using mind mapping for over ten years. I usually hand-draw my mind-maps for articles I am writing or presentations I am creating, but I have also used mind maps in the way Lynn describes. A mind map provides a different way of organizing and reviewing the information you have and the information you need.

Angela McGhie, “Elizabeth Shown Mills Ten-point Study Blueprint,” Adventures in Genealogy Education blog, posted 6 June 2012 (http://genealogyeducation.blogspot.com : accessed 18 June 2012). Angela reprints, with permission, an educational blueprint that Elizabeth Shown Mills had submitted a few years ago to the Transitional Genealogists Forum (TGF) mailing list. It is interesting to note that several of these then-non-existent opportunities have since been created: notably the ProGen Study Group of which Angela has been the major engine driving it forward.

James Tanner, “Navagating [sic] the Maze,” Genealogy’s Star blog, posted 8 June 2012 (http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/ : accessed 18 June 2012). James presents seven rules for searching for information online. My favorites: Rule One, “Assume the information you are looking for is on the Web” and Rule Three, “Look for categories of records and sources rather than individual documents.”

Elyse Doerflinger, “The Genealogy Generational Disconnect,” Elyse’s Genealogy Blog, posted 8 June 2012 (http://elysesgenealogyblog.com : accessed 18 June 2012). Elyse responds to a post from the TGF list (which I have mentioned on numerous occasions) in which a young 20-something genealogist reported being largely dismissed by older genealogists. Many of you may be familiar with Elyse, whose YouTube genealogy videos while still a teenager were a huge hit. As a “younger” genealogist myself–though less so every year–I would like others of the “under 40″ ilk to start making our impact.

Marian Pierre-Louis, “The Complexity of Online Digital Records,” Marian’s Roots & Rambles blog, posted 12 June 2012 (http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com/ : accessed 18 June 2012). Marian discusses the five main types of online genealogy content, and some considerations for each.

Marian Pierre-Louis, “The Complexity of Online Digital Records – Part 2,” Marian’s Roots & Rambles blog, posted 13 June 2012 (http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com/ : accessed 18 June 2012). Marian discusses the three “views” of content: index view, record view, and image view.

I noted several other posts of interest, and have only made it through half of my unread blog posts in Google Reader. Now that I am back home from my “world tour” I hope to be able to list many more next week. Stay tuned…

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 13 May 2012

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

NOTE: As this post appears, I will be driving from Ohio to Delaware, coming home from the National Genealogical Society annual conference. Since I have been there all week, there are only a few posts noted here.

Anne Morddel, CG, “Sourcing and Annotating the French Way,” The French Genealogy Blog, posted 2 May 2012 (http://french-genealogy.typepad.com/genealogie/ : accessed 6 May 2012). Ms. Morddel discusses the work of a French genealogist to describe sources in France, using original records. Though Evidence Explained holds a dear place in the hearts of American genealogists, it does fall somewhat short on international records. (That could take another 800 pages!) But standards in genealogy are not unique to American genealogy, so I love to read about similar efforts in other countries. The post refers to …

Sophie Boudarel, “Comment utiliser les sources en généalogie ?,” La gazette des ancêtres blog, posted 18 April 2012 (http://lagazettedesancetres.blogspot.com/ : accessed 6 May 2012). Finally those seven years of French instruction (and a healthy dose of Google Translate) come in handy. Ms. Boudarel does a very good job discussing the use of sources. And she points me to another French blog …

Roland, “Les sources en généalogie,” Lorand.org blog, posted 17 April 2012 (http://www.lorand.org/spip.php?rubrique44 : accessed 6 May 2012). I love that these French genealogy blogs have been talking about the nature of sources, etc.—topics close to my own heart as any reader of this blog knows.

J. H. Fonkert, CG, “Why do Editors ask You to Write?,” Four Generations Genealogy blog, posted 6 May 2012 (http://fourgenerationsgenealogy.blogspot.com/ : accessed 6 May 2012). Jay responds to Harold Henderson’s post “Why We Don’t Write” (see last week’s Notable Genealogy Blog Posts), from the point of view of the managing editor of the Minnesota Genealogist, a publication of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Very good input for those who love to write.

Notable Genealogy Blog Posts, 6 May 2012

The following recent blog posts are those that I consider important or notable. Unlike other similar blog lists, I cannot guarantee that they will all be from the past week. (Some weeks I simply do not have time to read any blogs.) But I will try to write this on a fairly regular basis.

Harold Henderson, “Why We Don’t Write,” Midwestern Microhistory blog, posted 6 May 2012 (http://midwesternmicrohistory.blogspot.com/ : accessed 6 May 2012). This is the best blog post I have read in some time. I have written quite often about the need to form written conclusions in our research, but here Harold describes why so few genealogists appear to do so–or at least why they don’t submit this research to the local society newsletters and journals that are starving for content.

Jill K. Morelli, “Do you ever go back and re-read reference books?,” Genealogy Certification: My Personal Journal blog, posted 15 April 2012 (http://genealogycertification.wordpress.com : accessed 15 April 2012). Jill discusses her recent re-reading of Professional Genealogy, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Now further along in her genealogical career than the first time she read it, Jill notes how her perception of various parts of the book has changed.

Chris Staats, “Fixing Your Genealogy Jalopy: A Metaphor,” Staats Genealogical Services blog, posted 29 April 2012 (http://www.staatsofohio.com : accessed 30 April 2012). Chris uses the metaphor of car repair to illustrate genealogy education vs. experience.

Thomas W. Jones, “Dr. Thomas W. Jones on Research, Teaching, and SLIG,” Utah Genealogical Association blog, posted 1 May 2012 (http://ugagenealogy.blogspot.com/ : accessed 3 May 2012). Dr. Jones discusses some of his “favorie” ancestors, and how he uses them in his teaching.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze, “Assumptions vs Working Theories – The Good and the Bad,” Olive Tree Genealogy blog, posted 28 April 2012 (http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/ : accessed 3 May 2012). Ms. Schulze uses one of the most common assumptions in genealogy to express why we cannot assume anything, instead looking for evidence to form conclusions.

Ed Payne, “Unionist Naming of Mississippi Children–Revisited,” in Victoria Bynum’s Renegade South blog, posted 21 March 2012 (http://renegadesouth.wordpress.com : accessed 15 April 2012). This is a very interesting study of the naming of children in Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods–and what these patterns might say about Union sympathies in the Deep South. Very interesting for anyone researching in the South during this era, and anyone interested in the Civil War.

Jeff Hurt, “Small Groups Of Friends Are The Key To Influence Not Swaying Influential People,” Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections blog, posted 20 March 2012 (http://jeffhurtblog.com : accessed 15 April 2012). This article’s intended audience are marketers and those involved in education, discussing one aspect of social networks (the real-life ones, not the online ones like Facebook).

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