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.
Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist blog (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 23 January 2012). I can’t recommend a single post on Judy’s blog. I have to simply recommend them all. Understanding the laws that created our records, and the meanings of the legal terms that appear in them, is an essential step in our understanding of the information we find in records. Judy, who has a law degree, discusses these and other legal issues vital to genealogists.
Dawn Watson, “More, Please!,” Genealogical Research: A Hobby or an Obsession? blog, posted 20 January 2012 (http://genealogical.wordpress.com : accessed 21 January 2012). Dawn discusses how research is not just about “finding the records,” but about what the researcher does with those records–how the researcher looks at those records. This is a very important point that gets lost on many beginning genealogists (and sometimes forgotten by more experienced genealogists).
Judy Hynson, “One Slave’s Story,” Stratford Hall Projects Blog, posted 6 January 2012 (http://stratfordhallprojects.blogspot.com : accessed 21 January 2012). Judy is the Director of Research at Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and familial home of the Lees of Virginia. This post is a response to a published story in the Detroit Free Press relating the oral history of an African-Canadian family that claims to be descended from an enslaved sister of Robert E. Lee (that is, the daughter of Robert E. Lee’s father and one of his female slaves). Judy discusses the records that relate to the slaves of Stratford Hall, in an attempt to discover the truth of the family’s oral history.
Susan Farrell Bankhead, CG, “The Proof Is In The Pudding: Citing The Source,” Susan’s Genealogy Blog, posted 12 January 2012 (http://www.susansgenealogyblog.com : accessed 27 January 2012). There are a lot of blog posts that touch on aspects of source citation. (Heck, I’ve written at least a dozen myself.) What is special about this one? The last section of the post discusses a common problem genealogists encounter: what do you do if you do not have direct evidence? I won’t reveal the answer – visit her blog to find out.
Daniel Hubbard, “The Path of Logic,” Personal Past Meditations blog, posted 8 January 2012 (http://www.thepersonalpast.com : accessed 27 January 2012). In this post, Hubbard discusses the logical–and often illogical (or more appropriately alogical)–paths that we take to discover the evidence that leads from our problem to our conclusion. A very good meditation on the nature of our research.
Robyn Smith, “A Strategy for Researching Freedmens Bureau Records,” Reclaiming Kin blog, posted 20 January 2012 (http://msualumni.wordpress.com : accessed 28 January 2012). Robyn has long been one of my favorite bloggers (and a close “real-life” friend. This blog post is an excellent example of why. Freedmen’s Bureau records are not widely available online, and there are few legitimate indexes–none of which are all-inclusive. Despite the difficulty of working with the records, there are no more useful records for researching African Americans during the Reconstruction era, ca. 1865-1875. In this post Robyn describes her strategy for using the record groups. Well done.