Modern Software Experience


Genealogy Blog Awards

GeneaBlog Award


Genealogy blogs come and go, but overall their number seems to increase. Many blogs are aimed at beginners; bloggers either chronicle their own steps as they start researching their genealogy, or try to help beginners by writing articles that explain the basics. Quite a few blogs focus on research in a particular region or topic. Some bloggers fill their blog by continually posting press releases, but few write about genealogy technology. I am always on the lookout for new genealogy & technology blogs, and this year was better than most; I am happy to highlight three new technological blogs.

GeneaBlog Awards

Best Open Source Blog: Smoky Cogs

Smoky Cogs is a blog by Serge Meunier. It is not only about genealogy. A quick look at the tag cloud shown to the right of the blog posts makes it clear that this blog is about programming, the web, blogging and few others subjects. What makes this a great genealogy blog is that Serge did not only start developing a new open source genealogy application called Family Traces, but that he's also writing about this on his blog.

Best New Genealogy & Technology Blog: RumbleFische blog

Tim Forsythe is the creator of ADAM, GRenDL and VGed; ADAM generates websites from a GEDCOM file, GRenDL is an alternative for GEDCOM and VGed is GEDCOM validator. All this can be found on his RumbleFische site. He started blogging this year about genealogy and technology, with a strong focus on GEDCOM. This blog is not strong on quantity, but on quality.

Update: The RumbleFische blog has found a new home at AncestorsNow

Best GEDCOM alternative blog: Build a Better GEDCOM

There have been quite a few attempts to replace GEDCOM in the past; GEDCOM Alternatives provides an overview. This year saw the introduction two new ones, first OpenGen and then BetterGEDCOM. Most activity happens on the BetterGEDCOM Wiki, but there is also the Build a Better GEDCOM blog. On this blog, the four bloggers behind BetterGEDCOM blog about the problems they encounter using GEDCOM.

Best Opinionated blog: Geder Genealogy

George Geder was the first genealogy blogger to move his blog to the posterous platform. His blog focuses on African American genealogy and everything that relates to that, ranging from research techniques and tools to American history and he knows what a blog is for; he is not afraid to give his opinion. For example, in the past months he wrote about different family structures and how genealogy software is wrong for not supported it,  and revisionist Civil War history in American history textbooks.

Best Unofficial Company Blog: Footnotables

If you're thinking that I should have selected The Unofficial Footnote blog, it is no more. The Former Unofficial Footnote blog has been archived. Footnotables is a blog about (now owned by Blog topics are diverse, but tend to be about American history, as that is what is about. Most posts highlight some of the unique content that offers, just the thing an unofficial company blog should do.

Special Awards

Most Controversial Blog Series: The BCG Series by The Slovak Yankee

Martin Hollick describes his The Slovak Yankee blog with the by-line A little Slovak, a little New England, and a whole lot of footnotes. It is an excellent blog, full of real genealogy information, such as records transcriptions and genealogies. Besides, you have to admire a guy who admits to being a genealogy snob.

In July, he posted a series of posts about how experiences with the Board for Certification of Genealogists turned him off genealogy altogether. He writes that he has a non-genealogical job now, but he luckily, he stills post about genealogy. The posts about his BCG certification contain interesting facts and opinions.
The series sparked some discussions, sadly mostly outside the blogosphere. A few days later, James Tanner chimed in on his blog Genealogy's Star with the post What about certification of genealogists?, in which he relates two of his experiences, followed by a post about the ICAPGen Emeritus Status.

Most Fearless Newbie: Documenting the Details

Linda McCauley isn't intimated by big company marketing. She started her Documenting the Details blog about a year ago, in December of 2009. In May, MyHeritage caused controversy with their MyHeritage Top 100 of English genealogy blogs (MyBadges contains a list of blog posts about it). Many bloggers were very surprised that some of the best and best-known blogs were not included.
The MyHeritage list did include Documenting the Details, and Linda responded by writing Is an Award Always an Award?, in which she emphatically states that Documenting the Details isn't one of the top blogs. It could have been just another post remarking on MyHeritage's odd ideas about best blog, but she went on to describe that MyHeritage had previously attempted to get her to post a review about MyHeritage written by MyHeritage. Carol Stevens and Kathleen Brandt both commented that MyHeritage had contacted them with the same offer. So now there were two issues that people were blogging about. MyHeritage left a comment too, and that comment provoked a second post, MyHeritage Goal to "Democratize Genealogy". Huh?.

Best Community Event: Carnival of Genealogy

The Carnival of Genealogy is a blog carnival for genealogy blogs. The Carnival was set up in 2006 by Jasia Smasha of Creative Gene and has been going strong for more than four years. Each Carnival may have a different host. Each carnival sets a topic, that participants can interpret freely. The hundredth Carnival of Genealogy just completed with more than one hundred bloggers participating.


2011-01-04 Smoky Cogs

Smoky Cogs has its own domain now. The link has been updated.

2011-04-23 Slovak Yankee

Martin Hollick deleted several posts from his Slovak Yankee blog, including the Genealogy Snob post. The broken links have been removed. Added link to his fairly recent blog post Internet Genealogy Is Still Not Scholarly.

2011-04-23 RumbleFische

The RumbleFische domain is no more. All content has found a new home at AncestorsNow. All RumbleFishe links have been updated.

2012-05-22 BlogCarnival

The site is no more. The broken link has been removed.



The BCG Series

The Award Posts

also mentioned

previous years