Web-based genealogy learning is a wonderful and effective way to expand your family history knowledge. In previous articles, I have discussed the different formats in how genealogy learning presents itself online. We have reviewed podcasts, webinars, and online genealogy courses.
Today, we are going to add yet another online learning opportunity for armchair genealogists, the genealogy blog.
There are many genealogy blogs and this community is growing daily. Individuals start genealogy blogs for many reasons. They use it as a way to put their family information out on to the internet in the hopes of drawing out individuals who are searching the same ancestry. Others create a family history blog to share their research, with their own family members. However, some use their own personal experiences to create a genealogy blog in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with the online community.
Do not discount genealogy blogs when it comes to advancing your learning. Written by numerous family historians, at all levels of expertise, their collective knowledge is immense. Since many of these family historians are already well connected to this industry, they have their pulse on the genealogy news and can keep you informed on new developments in the area of online databases and software programs.
Step 1- Determine Your Focus
The first step to finding a blog that will be of value to your research is to determine what information you wish to learn and then focus in on the blogs that post on that specific data. You can narrow your focus by your heritage, Canadian, Irish, German, African-American, or you can narrow your choice by geographic location. There exists many blogs for specific regions and individual states. You can also focus in on specific areas of learning, for instance writing a family history book, internet genealogy, or learning about cemetery research, or dating old photos.
Your choice of genealogy blogs should be just as unique and individual as your family history.
Step 2 – Use a Blog List
The best way to choosing a blog is to use a blog list. Blogs lists will often already have done the work for you and categorized these genealogy blogs into their specific areas of expertise.
The following three genealogy blog lists offer plenty of choices to get you started.
Geneabloggers by Thomas MacEntee
Cyndi’s List by Cyndi Howell
The Genealogy Blogfinder by Chris Dunham
Step 3 – Read and Subscribe
Once you have chosen a few blogs that have captured your interest then start reading. Try to set some time aside each week to seek out and read new blogs as part of your ongoing learning. Find a blog or blogs that addresses not only the content you are seeking but also offers a style of writing that appeals to you. Can you relate to the writer? Once you have found a blog that resonates with you then subscribe to its feed and let the learning begin.
Below are a just a few examples of many genealogy blogs, the few mentioned below, I personally learned from in recent weeks.
Elyse’s Genealogy Blog – Elyse offered a wonderful 3-part series on organizing your genealogy. It helped me to re evaluate and fine tune by own organizational skills.
Nick Gombash’s Genealogy Blog – Nick provided a great list of Latin words and their English translations. I have struggled through translating some marriage certificates recently, and Nick’s list I snatched up for future reference.
Brophy's Irish Genealogy Blog - Michael informed me through his blog of a new free website that is putting Irish church records online.
Genwriting - Phyllis confirmed by belief in how citations should be handled when writing your own family history book.
WeTree- I haven't yet attended a family history expo, so I live vicariously through Amy Coffin's experience.
As your knowledge and experience in genealogy blossoms your interests may change, which will create a need and desire to search a few more blogs and start learning again. That is the wonderful thing about learning, it never ends. If you experience brick walls in your family history research then deem this merely as an opportunity to learn and consider a genealogy blog as a valuable resource.