Genealogy Blogs – A Bad Source?

Over at Genealogy and Family History there is a post entitled 5 Bad Genealogy Sources which, in my opinion, expresses some generalities about blogs which are, simply put, irresponsible.

In mentioning various sources of genealogy information, including wikis, personal websites, historical novels and movies, the author makes this statement about blogs:

“Just like personal websites, blogs are a good source of unreliable information simply because anyone who can type and use the internet can make a blog site. And since the credentials of most bloggers are questionable especially when it comes to history, blogs will provide no help in your genealogy research. So when looking for a historical account, stay away from blog sites.”

I’d like to invite the author – whose own blog post conveniently has comments disabled – to take a look at many of our over 367 blogs and then perhaps recouch his or her statement.  

Among our genealogy bloggers we have some who actually cite their original sources for blog posts about their families or research that they’ve performed. We also have many bloggers that specialize in very specific areas of genealogy and offer information that, while perhaps not appropriate as a cited source, can help break down a researcher’s brick wall or give them a jump start on their research.

I think Genealogy and Family History does not serve the genealogy community well by ignoring the growth of Web 2.0 technology usage in the genealogy community.  Irresponsible statements, such as the one posted on March 29th, only serve to misinform amateur genealogists and others new to the family history field and lead them to believe that only “traditional” methods of genealogy research are acceptable.  As many of us have stated previously, Internet-based research is not a substitute but a supplement to the more traditional (archive  and library-based) methods of research.

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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