With so much fervor and passion for genealogy online, it’s hardly surprising that the community of genealogy bloggers is lively and always growing. And as with everything on the internet, there are so many options it’s hard to know where to begin. We consulted a few very useful lists—Family Tree magazine’s Fab 40 and 40 Best Genealogy Blogs 2011, and ProGenealogists’ 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs 2009—and came up with our own shortlist of essential reads.
Bear in mind that it may be worth your while to read genealogy blogs that don’t line up exactly—or even partially—with your areas of investigation. Genealogy work is detective work, and learning methodology from resourceful genealogists is invaluable.
A Daily Must
Genealogy Tip of the Day
Michael John Neill’s indispensable tips range from the arcane to the obvious, and are often delivered with sly wit. These bite-sized pieces of advice will get you thinking like a genealogist and may send you back into your source material with a fresh perspective. If you subscribe to just one genealogy blog, this is the one.
About.com Genealogy Blog by Kimberly Powell
Kimberly Powell has been the genealogy guide for About.com since 2000, which makes her one of the elder statesmen of online ancestry experts. Her posts can be about resources specific to her own research (for example, “Civil War Era Letters of the Stoner Family”), but as an 11-year veteran she knows the landscape of internet genealogy better than anyone. If, say, you’re an Ancestry.com reader, don’t miss “Dig into Ancestry’s Card Catalog.” She’s also the author of About.com’s “Learn How” genealogy pages.
Genealogy Insider at Family Tree Magazine
Diane Haddad runs a useful genealogy blog that has been posting since 2007 and provides an entertaining mix of news, tips, and timely just-for-fun stories. Examples of that last category, both posted within the last week, include “Resources for Researching Your Royal Roots” and a genealogy-based Mother’s Day gift guide.
Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
Lorine McGinnis Schulze’s blog is an offshoot of her massive free resource site Olive Tree Genealogy, which has been a project since 1996(!), but it’s plenty entertaining and informative on its own. She finds good stuff—we were particularly fascinated by the link to an item about laws forbidding the sale of alcohol to Indians called “The Indian List – A Revelation”.
The Genetic Genealogist
As we mentioned, DNA-based genealogical research is the hottest topic in genealogy. It’s also way confusing, drawing as it does on biology, chemistry, sociology, history, ethnography, and a bunch of other fields you probably haven’t mastered. The Genetic Genealogist knows his or her stuff, and although this isn’t the most frequently-updated blog, the material is instructive and if you read it carefully you just might get the hang of haplogroups and admixtures. Two recent posts also caught our eye: “Sequencing the Genome of Sitting Bull and Other Famous People” and “Additional Native American Haplogroup Discovered by Genetic Genealogists”.
Information overload can be crippling—but if you’re in the throes of obsession (or you just have insomnia) more is more. GeneaBloggers collects news, posts from blogs on its exhaustive blogroll, conference information, event listings, and a bunch more. Another interesting feature is the daily themed posts submitted by bloggers: “Surname Saturday,” “Black Sheep Sunday,” “Amanuensis Monday,” etc.
American Indian Genealogy
Black and Red Journal
Blogger Terry offers “Opinions and Commentary on issues pertaining to African-Native American history among the so called Five Civilized Tribes, and anything else that comes to mind…” His meticulous posts are fascinating reading and he’s particularly good at supplying supporting documents and photos. If you’re thinking of starting a blog about your own family investigations, Terry’s would be good to emulate.
GWILODWÔGAN – exploration, research, investigation
Created by Nancy Lecompte, or Canyon Wolf, this blog follows her journey to reveal the history of her Wabanaki Ancestors. Her posts read like a real life detective series, investigating a singule Wabanaki family at a time and divulging the results of her research as they come to her each day. This is a blog that will keep you highly intrigued.
As a “true” Cherokee descendent, known only as The Granddaughter, this blogger strives to reveal fraudulent Cherokee Tribes while assisting other “true” Cherokees find avenues to connect with their heritage. Thoughtsfrom Polly’s Granddaughter is filled with endearing family stories, Cherokee pride, and plenty of attitude and sass as well. A must-read for the Cherokee descendent; just make sure you have the paperwork to back your heritage up.
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
Dick Eastman has studied genealogy for over thirty years and his daily newsletter, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, is fifteen years strong. Having used one of the first computers available to the public forty years ago, it is no surprise that Eastman’s blog would meld is two passions together. His posts range from genealogical news to all things tech. So if you’re wondering when the newest and latest family tree generating app for your smart phone is coming out, this would be the blog to follow.
The Armchair Genealogist
Lynn Palermo’s down to earth blog gives essential genealogical tips in a language that we can all understand. This is the type of blog that will make you feel right at home with Palermo’s own family recipes and photos. With The Armchair Genealogist’s help, you’ll be building your own family tree without ever having to get out of your seat.