Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs


I was truly surprised and amazed to find my little log of pontification listed among the nominations for the Family Tree Magazine’s 40 best Genealogy Blogs. Around my household, we get a little tired of those who know everything, and want to share it with everyone. It is no wonder I started writing about my genealogical research, the household residents have heard it all, and they are not impressed. My oldest daughter has asked (more than once), “So, do we have any relatives who are living?”

I do spend too much time moaning about missing people, and their missing events, facts, residences, births, deaths, and burial places. All this moaning, combined with tons of surfing for ancestors, and library, archive and courthouse trips, led me to wonder if anyone else in this mortal world was also searching for the same elusive documentation.

A blog is an easy way to share information, and my everyday personal blog was soon filled with information about my genealogical research. One day, I woke up and noticed that the personal genealogical blogs I was reading did not usually combine personal and genealogical topics, at least to the extent mine did. After digesting that revelation, I started a new blog, named it, and copied my genealogical posts to it. Build it and they will read, or something. And it seems to me that a few people have been marred, scarred or perhaps impressed with my little effort, at least enough to type the name of this blog into nomination for the Top 40 honor.

I appreciate the nomination more than anyone could realize. Reading down the list of nominations on the ballot brings the realization that the majority of the nominees are seasoned writers, researchers and educators. I feel a little out of place among such lofty competition. It turns out that I am a little out of place; my blog has been categorized in the “Cemetery Research” section. According to the Genealogy Insider, “Cemetery – These blogs focus on cemetery research, gravestone photos and the like.” I digested what I think is a mis-categorization for a few days, and on April 5th, posted a comment on the Insider blog at Family Tree Magazine. Here is my comment, and the follow-up comments which are displayed with the post announcing the opening of voting:

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 10:12:43 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

As much as I appreciate the nomination for “Top 40”, I am surprised to see my Family History Blog classified as a “Cemetery Blog: These blogs focus on cemetery research, gravestone photos and the like”.

I checked, and 59 of my 475 published posts relate to cemetery research and gravestone photos. The balance also uphold my stated purpose which is posted at:, “I’m researching my way through local records, near and far, in a quest to find out about those that come before me on this earth, in a effort to understand more about them, and more about me. What you find here may be useful, interesting, or just a documentation of that effort.”


Monday, October 12, 2009 5:51:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

I wanted to e-mail you to make sure you’d see this, but was unable to find your address on your blog. When we looked through the nominations and did categorizing (at the very end of September), we included Granny’s Genealogy in the cemeteries category because almost all the posts for August and September were cemetery-related. There definitely were some difficult categorization decisions, and I hope you’ll still enjoy being among the Family Tree 40 nominees. Congratulations!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:31:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

Thanks for the reply, Diane. I will move my contact link so it is more prominent, that is certainly a great suggestion.

So what happened here? I started the year with some resolutions, among them was the one in which I promised myself, “I will finish posting all the data from my “old” genealogy site to Granny’s Genealogy.” Just before some of my blogging buddies submitted their nominations, I finished a very long series about the items in Belle’s Box. Remembering my goals, I turned my attention to the data from my old genealogy site, and started at the top, as I often do. Magically (and alphabetically) first was the folder labeled “cem”, and contained all the photographs and information from the cemetery section of my old site. You can see the results above, Family Tree Magazine took a look at my recent activity, concluded that my blog was about cemeteries, and categorized me that way.

All this got me thinking about the way we find information on a bog. More specifically, how my readers might be finding information on my blog. Watch for more on the fascinating topic of organizing blogs. I’ll get to it as soon as I organize my thoughts.

And even though I am filed under cemeteries, I would appreciate your vote, and I know the all the other worthy bloggers on the ballot would, too!


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    • Apple on October 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I was unhappy when I saw the category they placed you in (as well as several others) but figured they just didn’t dig very deep. I’m still voting for you anyway and figure they can rearrange the categories next month!

  1. Congratulations Pam – I too noticed the way in which FTM categorized your blog and wish they had done a better job of surveying your overall posts.

    In my recent presentation Build a Genealogy Blog at the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland, CA, I mentioned Granny’s Genealogy – and I place it in my Diaries category mostly based on the power of the Belle’s Box posts which have been excellent.

    Congratulations on your nomination and hopefully your genealogy blogging colleagues will vote (and vote often) to push you to the head of the pack in the Cemetery category.
    .-= Thomas MacEntee´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday October 14, 2009 =-.

  2. I found a few new blogs to add to my reader through this contest, a great result. The erroneous placement of several blogs may tell us more about the limits of resources in business than the ever absent, overworked waitress at our favorite restaurant. Thanks for the reply, and I’m voting for you, too. I especially value the fact that you have stuck to transcribing your interesting family letters. I feel that we have the same love of detail and the real history of our families.

  3. Thomas, I was flattered to see my humble little cabin on the net listed among others in your presentation. Your comment here is also very gratifying to me. I appreciate your support, it means a lot coming from someone who has done so much to support Geneabloggers. I read several of your blogs regularly, and also voted for Geneabloggers in the top 40 contest. Thank you, and my best as you continue spreading the word!

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