Sunday, May 31, 2009

Best of the Genea-Blogs - May 24-30, 2009

Several hundred genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

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

* What is news in the context of genealogy? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. James has an excellent philosophical piece about what news is really important for genealogists. He also argues that knowing what is available in repositories and online can really help researchers minimize time and costs.

* Spread The Word – Part 2: Social Bookmarking Sites by Julie Cahill Tarr on The Graveyard Rabbit blog. Julie describes using Diigo, StumbleUpon, Digg and Delicious to bookmark web sites and blogs.

* A Festival of Postcards (Premiere Issue) Wheels – May 2009 by Evelyn Yvonne Theriault on the A Canadian Family blog. The first edition of this Carnival is excellent - 26 bloggers contributed postcards on the topic of Wheels.

* Traditional Genealogy Search Methods Are Often Needed For Virginia Records by Arlene Eakle on Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Blog. Arlene makes the case for obtaining and reading the original source document (or an image of it) rather than relying on indexes and online databases. Wise words here.

* Tech Tuesday: Tools for Transcribing Documents by Denise on The Family Curator blog. Denise tested several transcribing software programs to tackle her document transcription work resulting from her NEHGS trip.

* Countdown to Colorado - Blogging from the Field and Countdown to Colorado - The Truth Is Out There by Bernie Gracy on the HistoricalTownMaps Blog. Check out Bernie's "talking genealogy while driving" YouTube video - how does he do that? Read the content in these two posts too - I'm looking forward to hearing about Bernie's keynote speech in Loveland, Colorado.

* The VPL genealogy contest by John D. Reid on the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog. John provides the questions and links to find answers to 12 questions concerning the genealogy of Canadian personalities. The questions and answers were developed by the Vancouver (BC) Public Library. This would be a great thing for a local or regional genealogy society to create and thereby challenge their members. Excellent list of free Canadian resources too!

* Missing Branches - Found! by Abba-Dad on the I Dream of Genea(logy) blog. Amir was reading a book and thought about an online article that had information about his family. He gleaned some contact information and emailed, phoned, Facebook-ed and Geni-ed people to gather more data and found cousins too. Nice blend of traditional and online social networking!

* How to Enjoy the Family History Library by Ruby Coleman on the Genealogy Lines blog. Ruby has excellent suggestions on working at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Remember, the NGS conference is in Salt Lake City in May 2010.

* Protecting your Heirlooms: Adding a Codicil to your Will by Gena Philibert Ortega on the Gena's Genealogy blog. Gena provides an excellent example of a genealogy-specific codicil for a will - do you have one of these yet? If not, you should!

* My Social Family Tree by Amy Coffin on the We Tree blog. Amy describes her experience using Geni to contact and share information with her extended family.

* Making My Memorial Day!! by Linda Steinstra on the Lancaster Pennsylvania's Graveyard Rabbit blog. Linda does a wonderful thing by finding the burial place of a PA State Trooper who died in 1923 in the line of duty. Now the Troopers can put flags on this grave and honor one of their own.

* Browning v. Beck Pt 6 - Witnesses For The Defense by Patti Browning on the Consanguinity blog. Patti's fascinating series about a court case continues as she tries to figure out who testified for who and why.

* Top Ten Worst Lines From Obituaries by Chris Dunham on The Genealogue blog. Funniest post of the week, although Chris has several others in the running.

* Facts Not In Evidence by Janine on the Janinealogy blog. Janine wrote about the use of online resources without verifying facts. Interesting examples, too!

* Finding out if an ancestor is African American or Native American by Lorine Schulze on the Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question blog. Lorine answers an intriguing question and has suggestions for further research for her queryist. Did you click on the link to her article about sources? Well done!

* Gold in Your Drawers by Lee Drew on the FamHist blog. Lee went info-mining in the papers collected long ago and found some nuggets that settled a longstanding mystery. Excellent advice for everyone.

* 19th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy by Jessica Oswalt on the Jessica's GeneJournal blog. There were three submissions for the May 2009 Carnival - the topic was Food.

* Rites and Wrongs of Passage by Donna Pointkouski on the footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Donna's "The Humor of It" column deals with proms and graduations, and she has some great photos, stories and pithy comments that made me laugh.

* Free Art for your Blog by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John explains how to obtain and use "free" photographs and artwork to post on your blog. Good lessons here!

Whew! 20 excellent blog posts by gifted writers and researchers. Well done!

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

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 480 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Randy - thank you very much for the mention. I have a great deal of respect for your blog and visit frequently!

Amy (WeTree) said...

What a nice surprise! Thank you for selecting one of my posts for your "Best of." I look forward to it every Sunday.

Julie said...

Hey Randy,

Thanks for the shout-out 2 weeks in a row!


my Heritage Happens said...

Again Randy,thank you for doing this every week, so many of us look forward to it!

Linda in Lancaster said...

Thank you, Randy from myself and the Pennsylvania State Troopers! Several people were involved in this effort, I am the messenger for them. Our next effort is to find his family. We know there are grandchildren still in the city, and we are going to try to meet them. Look for a blog on that when it happens. Never forget our fallen, be it military, fire or police departments. They all serve for US!!

Abba-Dad said...

Thanks for the mention Randy.