Not a Bad Genealogy Blog

UPDATE: Please see my post dated April 3 2009. Sources will be provided upon request.

Following the disagreement over this blog post I have decided to add sources to all of my existing family biography posts, before I add any more new content.

I make no declarations that my genealogy research is 100% perfect, but I am more than happy to demonstrate that I have made the effort to verify all data and encourage others to make their own verifications. I welcome any comments or corrections.

I have started with Ellen Firth and will add more this coming week. I’ll make every effort to update sources whenever possible.

If there are any Reunion 9 users out there, the easiest way to obtain the sources for an individual person is to create a Person Sheet and set the destination to TextEdit. Then you can copy and paste the sources for that individual.



Filed under Blog News, Genealogy, Tips

10 responses to “Not a Bad Genealogy Blog

  1. Thanks for the shout out – I think another option is this:

    at the end of each post which puts forth information that might help others searching those same family lines, put a statement such as:

    “Please contact me at _______ if you’d like citation sources for the above article”

    or something to that effect. Many don’t like putting the information out in public but will gladly share it with others upon request.

  2. Lisa

    Great blog and excellent post. Delighted to see that the article I posted on my own General Genealogy Blog has prompted you to think about how you cite your sources.

    Happy to provide you with a link back if you want one from my blog 🙂

    Take care


  3. Lisa,

    There are two primary reasons why I don’t usually include full source citations within my blog posts:

    1. I see blogs as a more informal method of presenting the information on families that I am researching. I do use the method suggested by Thomas on many of my posts.

    2. One of the reasons that I created a blog for posting family info was the hope that others related to my ancestor would contact me. If I provide them with full source data, would they contact me? I think not.

    If not posting full source citations on my blog makes it a “bad” Genealogy Blog, then so be it!

    • I agree with Becky. All over my site and blog I am asking people to contact me.

      When I don’t have a source, I’m very open about it, when I do have the source, I may not say it can be found on page 99 of XYZ book, but I am more than thrilled for people to contact me so I can give them all of the information I may have.

      Just this past weekend I was able to send a copy of a person’s great-great-grandmother because he took the time to contact me. (My great-grandmother was quite a pack rat and we have all kinds of stuff from all the lines of one family!)

      I think I can accept being a ‘bad’ blog, because what I’m looking for is more cousins, more conversation, and more connections.

  4. Lisa

    Becky and Hawksdomain, how can you be sure that withholding sources means that more people contact you?

    I’m on the fence about this issue. As a semi-professional genealogist, it seems irresponsible to publish information without sources.

    On the other hand, a blog is informal and I’m pretty lazy.

    Then again, it doesn’t take much effort for me to grab the sources and add it to a blog post. You’ll also notice that I didn’t take the time to connect each piece of information in the biography to each source. It’s more of a general “Here’s a list, folks”.

    • Withholding sources won’t ensure that someone interested will contact me, but human nature being what it is (and perhaps, I’m being a bit cynical) if all source information is provided I think people are more inclined to “harvest” the information off of the post (or website) and not contact me. Of course, it also depends upon the reader and their interest in a specific family.

      I have occasionally used full source citations through the use of footnotes for each piece of data but I’m a slow writer anyway and adding footnotes for every post would be extremely tedious. More often I’ll cite sources, such as census pages, “inline” with the text being written.

      I really think it is up to each individual as to how they want to handle sourcing on a blog. Since blogs are a more informal “platform” for presenting family data I personally don’t think that leaving those sources out makes a blog bad. If I were to convert one of my blog posts into an article for submission to a genealogy journal or other formal publication, sources would have to be included, without question.

    • There is no guarantee about anyone contacting me, and it’s really up to the individual looking for the information. I know when I find things I ask questions, if it something that means enough to me that I want to verify it. I am in the process of creating a website of a couple (my 4x great grandparents) married in 1811 who had 14 children, 11 of which lived to have children of their own. I work full time and have already put this site on hold once from it becoming too overwhelming. I’m more than happy to share my information, but I’m not going to stress myself out. The purpose of the site was more for there to be a ‘meeting’ place of sorts for all of the genealogists in my extended family, anyhow. Any other cousins we find along the way are just icing on the cake.

      I have a links page that shows where I’m finding things online. I have stated that I am not citing items I find on Ancestry, but will include digital copies of what I find, as I am able. To help ensure that things don’t get ‘lost’ as they tend to on the internet, I also have quite the Google Notebook crammed with more information than my site will probably ever see!

      As I’m writing this, I’m thinking that this is a pretty unusual conversation I’ve put myself in, because I wouldn’t expect anyone to cite my blog or my website without looking for some sort of verification anyhow. I am thinking, tho… I will probably be adding the fine print tomorrow.

      And, I agree with Becky again. If I was doing any sort of ‘formal’ writing for a journal or even as a guest post on another blog, I would write it formally, citations and all.

  5. I agree with Becky and Hawksdomain, I am a very busy person, it is hard enough to put a post together at times. For privacy reasons, I would rather be contacted by a family member and supply the sources directly than put it out over the internet for non-related. I would be more than happy to provide any proof, source or documents they request. Blogs are informal and a place to share, if I am a bad blog, as Becky said, so be it.

  6. Personally, I am not going to worry so much about completely citing my sources. If I cite my sources, fine. If not, that is fine too.

    To be honest, I write my blog for me – as a way for me to connect with other researchers and gather tips. In no way do I claim to be anywhere near a pro when it comes to genealogy and I am the first to tell you that my genealogy is far from perfect.

    My blog is a place for discussion – I don’t really use it to post actual genealogical information that I want someone to cite. I mainly post tips and helpful websites that I like.

    Honestly, I’d rather have the person contact me if they wanted a source. They don’t have to and I have no control over it, but I would hope that they would contact me.

    If I have a bad blog – then oh well. It won’t stress me out because I write my blog for me – not to please the entire genealogical community

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