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Reading the Blogs

Blogs are a great source of education on what's new in the world of genealogy, research techniques and new resources.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Gena Philibert-Ortega
Word Count: 873 (approx.)
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A blog, short for "web log", is an online journal that has the look of a web site but is updated much more frequently. Someone may have a web site with an attached blog that they update on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. When I look at all the ways to learn more about genealogy, it becomes clear that blogs are a simple, concise place to learn about all aspects of genealogy. The best part of this learning experience is that it is free.

One of the more well known genealogy blogs is Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN) at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter ; both EOGN and Everton's Genealogy Blog at The Genealogy Blog are great places to check on a daily basis for updates in the world of genealogy. You can learn everything from what new databases are available from online providers to future conferences.

Randy Seaver, the President of the Chula Vista Genealogy Society, near San Diego, California is the author of several blogs, both genealogical and non-genealogical related. His Genea-Musings blog, http://randysmusings.blogspot.com/ is a combination of thoughtful genealogical analysis of current events and postings of his own genealogical research, including his ancestor's journals and other records and updates from the world of genealogy. He also posts synopsis of presentations from Chula Vista Genealogy Society's meetings. Because Randy blogs so frequently, sometimes several times in a day, you are bound to find something that is useful to your research. What I especially like about his blog is that he provides a list of links to other genealogical blogs, down the right hand side of his blog. His blog is a great jumping point for learning about other blogs.

Dear Myrtle is a well known name in genealogy. Her blog at DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog can also be reached from her web site at Dearmyrtle's Daily Genealogy Column. Dear Myrtle's blog not only provide informative articles about genealogy but she is also great about updating her readers on what's new in genealogy. Just this month her posts have included updates on Family Search Indexing, HistoryKat.com, Epson, NGS and NARA. What's especially great about Dear Myrtle's site is that you can view her blog for frequent updates on everything genealogical, plus you can listen to her podcasts, read genealogy lessons, and past articles.

There are several other professional genealogists who regularly post to their own blogs. Arlene Eakle, Arlene H Eakle's Genealogy Blogposts educational articles on topics such as research strategies and records. You will definitely learn something reading her posts. George Morgan's "Along Those Lines" blog, http://ahaseminars.livejournal.com/, includes articles and announcements. A recent posting provided information on researching property tax bills. George's blog is linked to his web site that includes information on all the services he offers, seminars, classes, books and the "Genealogy Guys" podcast that he does with Drew Smith. Megan Smolenyak "Smolenyak's Megan's Roots World" and Rick Crume's "Internet Guy" blogs are hosted on Roots Television at Roots Television.

Some genealogy blogs are specific to a topic. The Footnote Maven, http://footnotemaven.blogspot.com/ provides detailed research questions and answers. The Practical Archivist, The Practical Archivist, the blog of Sally Jacobs, an archivist from the Wisconsin Historical Society, provides great tips on preserving heirlooms, scanning, and organizing photos. Maureen Taylor, "The Photo Detective" is featured in two blogs, one associated with her web site at The Photo Detective Blog and the other as part of Family Tree Magazine, http://www.familytreemagazine.com/photodetectiveblog/. In the latter blog, her posting for 31 July 2007 includes a tutorial on identifying children in photos. Joe Beine's blog entitled "Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols," http://cemeteries.wordpress.com/about/ is a great place to learn more about what those mysterious symbols, initials and such mean on older tombstones.

Some blogs are just plain fun. One of my favorites is Chris Dunham's "The Genealogue" at The Genealogue Blog. Chris must scour hundreds of newspapers everyday to find some of the most funny and bizarre news stories that help us poke a little fun at this genealogical pursuit we love so much. But there is a more serious side to Chris and that can be found on his genealogy blog finder, http://blogfinder.genealogue.com/. Currently 685 blogs are categorized into 28 topics including, Genealogy News, Technology, Single Surname, Locality Specific, Jewish, Obits, Professional Genealogists, and Humor.

Blog Carnivals are another way to learn more about genealogy. Simply, they are a compilation of blog postings on a pre-selected topic. Jasia's "Creative Gene" blog is the home of her Carnival of Genealogy, Creative Gene: Genealogy and More. A call for a topic goes out on the web site and then bloggers submit articles from their blogs that address that topic. Jasia has had everything from surnames, creative genes, and stories about home.

I would be remiss if I ignored these two last blogs. GenWeekly's blog, GenWeekly, which provides announcements of articles published in the online newsletter and happenings in the genealogy world. The blog serves as a nice addition to the newsletter. It allows you to get your GenWeekly "fix" in between newsletters. My own blog, attached to my web site, www.yourfamilyhistoryresearch.com provides my thoughts, links and information on genealogical research and resources.

Lastly, don't forgot to check out blogs on other subjects that are of interest to genealogists. Blogs on the Civil War, women's studies, photography, and scrapbooking are just some examples of what might be of interest to you. Check out the Google Blog Finder, http://blogsearch.google.com/ to find other types of blogs.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2007.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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