Sunday, August 3, 2014

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 27 July to 2 August 2014

Hundreds of 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 daily blog prompts or 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:

*  IAJGS 2014: Assembled Jewish Genealogy Bloggers by Emily Garber on the (going) the Extra Yad blog.  Emily lists all of the blog posts relating to the IAJGS 2014 conference.

*  7 Ways to Build a Better Blog by Jenny Lanctot on the Are My Roots Showing? blog.  Jenny has excellent ideas on how to improve your blog.

*  10 Free Genealogy Downloads by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog.  Every researcher should be aware of these freebies, and use them, and share thel inks with their colleagues.

*  The Enjoyment of Washington,  DC by Tina Marie on the Worldwide Genealogy - A Genealogical Collaboration blog.  Tina Marie reports on her week in Washington attending NIGR and visiting repositories.

*  Who Do You Think You Are? - Cynthia Nixon by Janice M. Sellers on the Ancestral Discoveries blog.  Janice summarizes the first 2014 episode with excellent detail and commentary.

*  My Top Ten Canadian Genealogy Web Sites for 2014 by Ken McKinlay on the Family Tree Knots blog.  Ken takes the challenge to improve the Family Tree Magazine list.

*  My Margarine Cousin From Idaho by Tammy Hepps on the Treelines blog.  Tammy's relative was convicted of selling margarine as butter, and gave her talk at IAJGS this week about it.  A distant cousin, descendant of the relative, drove five hours from Idaho to meet Tammy and hear her talk.

*  5th Unlock the Past Cruise - One Thing Crossed Off MY Bucket List- Confectionery Stores, Genealogying and Getting Fit and - Comes to an End With a cocktail Party by Alona Tester on the Lone Tester HQ blog.  Alona describes her recent cruise days.

* Invergordon, then Off to the Highland Archives! Day Three, 5th Unlock the Past Cruise Continued: Kirkwall, Scotland Stornaway, and More: 5th Unlock the Past Cruise, Tobermory, Isle of Mull Dublin Next Stop on the Unlock the Past Cruise by Helen V. Smith on the From Helen V. Smith's Keyboard blog.  Helen's having a grand time on the cruise - lots of neat pictures, too.

*  Why Collaborative Genealogy Is Super Cool by Elyse Doerflinger on Elyse's Genealogy Blog.  What an interesting story about Elyse's start in genealogy, and some rules for collaboration.

*  David Rencher:  The Role of FamilySearch in a Worldwide Community - #BYUFHGC by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  This is an ice summary of David Rencher's talk at the BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference.

*  Ancestor Hate Mail by Kerry Scott on the Clue Wagon blog.  Funny letters to her ancestors.  I wish Kerry blogged more often.

*  The GeneaBloggers First World War Challenge:  Blogposts Pt1 and Blogposts, Pt 2 by Bill West on the West in New England blog.  Bill provides links to all of the entries for this challenge.

*  Too Poor To Trace by Elizabeth Shown Mills on the Evidence Explained QuickTips blog.  Elizabeth challenges us to research them anyway.

*  7 Genealogy Wonders by Kenneth R. Marks on The Ancestor Hunt blog.  Great list, Ken!

These genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week:

*  Monday's Muse for 28 July 2014; Whaddya Miss? Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by Eowyn Langhoff and/or Tammy Osmer Mize on the WikiChicks blog.

*  Follow Friday - My Favorites From the Last Week (Or So) by Christopher Shaw on the Diggin' for Family blog.

*  Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for August 1, 2014 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.

*  Genealogy News Corral: July 28 - August 1 by Diane Haddad on the Genealogy Insider blog.

*  Friday Funds -- 08/01/14 by Julie Cahill Tarr on Julie's Genealogy & History Hub blog.

*  This Week's Creme de la Creme by Gail Dever on the Genealogy a la Carte blog.

Readers are encouraged to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Feedly, another RSS 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 1540 genealogy bloggers using Feedly, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver 


Kerry Scott said...

Thank you for the mention (and I'm hoping to blog more when the kids go back to school).

Bill West said...

Thanks for the mention, Randy!

Tammy said...

Thanks for the mention! It really was one of the best moments of my genealogy career so far! :-)

Emily Garber said...

Thanks for noting my blog post, Randy!

Ken McKinlay said...

Randy, thank you so very much for the mention!

Janice M. Sellers said...

Thanks for including my blog, Randy!

Steve said...

Another resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as

But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)

Chris said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog Randy.

Helen V Smith said...

Thank you for the double mention Randy, there will be a couple more coming to complete the trip. We all had a ball aboard the 5th Unlock the Past cruise and onshore and can't wait for the future ones especially as so many of my American friends will be presenting and we go to interesting places.

Unknown said...

Thanks for mentioning my various posts relating to Unlock the Past's 5th cruise. It was a heap of fun for all. And Helen's right, those coming up in 2015 and 2016 will continue that trend. - Alona