Sunday, January 13, 2008

Best of the Genea-Blogs - January 6-12, 2008

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week.

My criteria are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy, address current genealogy issues, are funny or poignant. I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or my own posts (hopefully, others will do that!).

* "Presidential Privacy" by Janice Brown on the Cow Hampshire blog. Janice address privacy, identity theft and more. One of the interesting points for me was that Mike Huckabee is a cousin of Amelia Earhart!

* "Living People" by John Newmark on the Transylvania Dutch blog. John responds to my post on searching for living people, with additional thoughts and comments.

* "I Want to See Living People, I Want to see Dead People" by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Thomas offers his observations and comments on vital records access and searching for living people.

* "Genealogical New Years Resolutions" by David Allen Lambert on the blog. He passes a resolution list, from the elusive ancestor's point of view, from another David Lambert. Funny - almost takes the place of the Genealogue this week.

* "Will the Real Julia McDavid Please Stand Up?" by Craig Manson on the Geneablogie blog. Craig follows up last week's post with commentary about evaluating and analyzing evidence and sources, and making a proof argument.

* "Steve Morse: Always Improving" by Schelly Talalay Dardashti on the Tracing the Tribe blog. Schelly highlights recent changes to Steve Morse's One-Step web site, including the English front-end to a Russian language database, the addition of DNA tools, and a Polish index search. I had missed this until Schelly's post.

* "Kids and genealogy" by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE blog. Pat answers a reader's question about getting children interested in genealogy, and gives some excellent advice and examples. I can use this - I always thought my grandsons wanted to hear their ahnentafel - I think I'll take them to the cemetery instead!

* "If At First You Don't Succeed ... Keep Searching!" by Donna Pointkouski on the What's Past Is Prologue blog. Donna describes her great find in the Naturalization Records on Great catch, and thanks for telling us about it, and I'm looking forward to findingo ut why the Pointkouski name has so many variations.

* "Saying goodbye on our own terms" by Larry Lehmer on the Passing It On blog. Larry touched my heart with his post about dying peacefully, and encouraging people to write about their feelings and thoughts when loved ones die.

* "What will Happen to My Records?" by Lee Drew on the FamHist blog. Lee offers his wisdom to this problem, and provides an example of a Genealogical Codicil for a Will. Good material here!

I received some emails recently about ignoring some blogs and also about picking the same bloggers week after week. Part of my problem doing this post is that I have over 200 blogs on my Bloglines list (not all bloggers post regularly, however). For some reason, Bloglines only shows me three lines of text for some blogs, even if I select "Complete Entries" when I subscribe to the blog. I'm more aware of that now and will try to do better. The second point is that, with reading probably 500 or more blog posts each week, I miss some due to inattentiveness or busyness.

To create this post, I make a list on a notepad for the week, and rarely go back to specific blogs to see if I missed something. Bloglines is an imperfect tool - there are blogs that don't provide an acceptable feed (Megan's Roots World, for example, which I get by email). There are times when Bloglines doesn't pick up blog posts for days (e.g., Steve Danko has posted three articles since Friday, and none of them have shown up yet on Bloglines).

What has happened to The Genealogue? Is Chris Dunham buried under his pile of Christmas presents, or is he having too much fun with them? Is he stuck in the snow or without power, or is he vacationing in someplace sunny and warm? I hope it's the latter! His last post was 24 December - something about a turkey and hobos!

Please go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add the blogger to your Favorites, Bloglines, reader, feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - we all appreciate feedback on what we write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me!


Terry Thornton said...

Thanks, Randy, for another super list of articles. I especially enjoyed Lee Drew (FamHist) on "What Will Happen to My Records?" He offered a solution worthy of all our considerations. While I don't worry about my notes, there are a few artifacts here which I hope will be "thoughtfully" placed in good hands after my death.

I appreciate your efforts to find and select and call to our attention some good reading. As you know, I often offer such a similar list. There is nothing democratic involved in selecting what one's likes or enjoys --- and there are no rules which say I have to select different folks each time so that everyone gets a chance to be recognized. Keep on giving us your take on what is good based upon your likes and desires. You haven't steered us wrong yet!


Becky Wiseman said...

Randy - I agree with Terry on this. After all, it is YOUR list. As such it should reflect what you think is the best out of what you read. No one can read all of the blogs out there, not even us retired folks ;-) and you almost always mention a post or two that I haven't read. Thank you for taking the time to put a list together. 'Tis appreciated.

I use bloglines too and have also found that it sometimes lags behind on displaying posts. FYI - some bloggers do not allow the full feed. If they don't you will only see the first few lines of the post even if you've set bloglines to full feed.

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dew said...

Hi Randy,

I too miss my Genealogue. So I emailed Chris through his site to see if he was okay. He quickly replied that a family situation, not life and death, had demanded his complete attention. He said that all not seemed to be under control and that he should be back to blogging soon.

I agree with others who say it's your blog pick what you like. I found many of this week's choices insightful and entertaining. And he who doesn't like your choices should pick their own!


cm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...


Thanks for including my post - I really appreciate that. I also appreciate the time you take to put the weekly "Best of" list together. I agree that it should be whatever YOU found useful - it's your list!! What I enjoyed the most this week is that I was unfamiliar with several of the blogs you highlighted, so now I have more to subscribe to. Thanks again,