50 genealogy blogs you need to read in 2013!

1 Posted by - 14 July 2013 - Feature stories

Inside History’s 2nd Annual Genealogy Blog Awards are here! With the help of geneablogger Jill Ball, we’ve compiled our best 50 blogs from around the world. Get ready for “a glorious and unforgettable ride”. Drum roll, please…

What makes a geneablog great? Many people’s responses to this question via Twitter and Google+ have guided the choices here for Inside History’s 2nd Annual Genealogy Blog Awards.

Top 50 blogs banner web

The suggestion that most struck a chord was from Caroline Pointer who wrote, ‘Ones that take me on a glorious and unforgettable ride. And all the other stuff everyone else suggested.’ Our respondents looked for elements such as accuracy, commitment, consistency, content, originality, photographs, tone and writing style, while a few people touched on the technical aspects of a blog like a clean appearance, and no junk ads. Alona Tester suggested, ‘useful bits like blog archives [and] search, subscribe and share buttons’. Blogs that are easy to find, access and navigate rated highly here; blogs are a collaborative medium so bloggers need to make it easy for readers to interact with their audience. The relevance of these features varies from blog to blog depending on their style and purpose. Surprisingly, no-one suggested passion, which is an extension of commitment. When examining the blogs for this list, commitment from an institutional or commercial blog, or passion from a personal blog rated highly. A blogger does not have to post daily to have commitment, but it needs to be on a regular basis be it daily, weekly or monthly.

Readers also need to know what to expect, and this should be communicated in an About page on a blog. Other static pages such as calendars, contact details, disclosures and other relevant information also add value. Originality was the feature that received the most mentions and this has been a big factor in determining the awards. In the words of one respondent, we were looking for blogs that contain more than ‘simply press releases’. It’s great to see new blogs being launched all the time in the geneablogging world, and some of these are included here, such as Auld Genealogy, Irish Genealogy News and Jax Trax.

The following list of Inside History’s top 50 blogs for 2013 is divided into categories and is listed in alphabetical order rather than rank or order of merit. So without any further ado, let’s reveal which blogs from around the globe made it onto our must-read (and must-follow) list for 2013…

Stay up to date with what some of our leading institutions are doing when it comes to family history. Here are a few that we like to read:

1. Archives Outside, State Records NSW, archivesoutside.records.nsw.gov.au
2. Australian War Memorial, www.awm.gov.au/blog
3. Dictionary of Sydney, trust.dictionaryofsydney.org/category/blog
4. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/jol
5. Kintalk, Auckland City Libraries, kintalkfamilyhistory.blogspot.com
6. Manly Families, Manly Library, manlyfamilies.blogspot.com
7. Moonee Valley Family and Local History, mooneevalleyfamilylocalhistory.blogspot.com.au
8. Perth History Centre, community.perth.wa.gov.au/historycentre
9. Public Record Office Victoria, prov.vic.gov.au/publications/blog
10. The Eloquent Page, National Library of Australia, blogs.nla.gov.au/the-eloquent-page
11. The National Archives, blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Want to be the first to know when new records or techy features are released? Here are our favourite blogs from genealogy organisations:

12. Ancestry.com.au, blogs.ancestry.com/au
13. Billion Graves, blog.billiongraves.com
14. FamilySearch, familysearch.org/blog
15. findmypast.com, blog.findmypast.com
16. Geneanet Genealogy Blog, genealogyblog.geneanet.org
17. Gould Genealogy and History News, www.gouldgenealogy.com
18. Legacy Family Tree, news.legacyfamilytree.com
19. MyHeritage Blog, blog.myheritage.com

Niche topics and societies
Some blogs are smaller in scope, but have a largesse of informative posts on the topic at hand. Here are some good examples:

20. Genealogists for Families Project, genfamilies.blogspot.com
21. Local History Newslink, Maitland NSW, localhistorynews.blogspot.com
22. The Empire Called and I Answered, empirecall.blogspot.com
23. Genealogy World, Genealogical Society of Victoria, genealogyworld.blogspot.com.au
24. Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, kuringgaihs.blogspot.com

Personal genealogists
As every researcher knows, family history is a labour of love, whether it’s a hobby or a career. Here are our favourite personal blogs:

25. Anglo-Celtic Connections, anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com
26. A Rebel Hand, rebelhand.wordpress.com
27. Auld Genealogy, auldgenealogy.blogspot.com.au
28. Australian Genealogy Journeys, ausgenjourneys.blogspot.com
29. Backtracking, boobookbacktracks.blogspot.com.au
30. Chloe Okoli, chloeokoli.com
31. Dear Myrtle, blog.dearmyrtle.com
32. Family History Across the Seas, cassmob.wordpress.com
33. Family History Fun, scotsue-familyhistoryfun.blogspot.com
34. GenBlog, genblogjulie.blogspot.com
35. Genealogy’s Star, genealogysstar.blogspot.com
36. Geniaus, geniaus.blogspot.com
37.Jax Trax, jackievanbergen.blogspot.com
38. Kylie’s Genes, blog.kyliesgenes.com
39. Lonetester HQ, lonetester.com
40. Mad about Genealogy, madaboutgenealogy.com
41. Now and Then, lynnwalsh.wordpress.com
42. Strong Foundations, shazlex.blogspot.com.au
43. Stumbling Through the Past, stumblingpast.wordpress.com
44. Western District Families, mywdfamilies.wordpress.com

Professional genealogists
We love these blogs that offer a regular glimpse into the work being done in the family history world:

45. British Genes, britishgenes.blogspot.com
46. Diary of an Australian Genealogist, diaryofanaustraliangenealogist.blogspot.com
47. Geneabloggers, geneabloggers.com
48. Irish Genealogy News, irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.com
49. Jayne Shrimpton, jayneshrimpton.tumblr.com
50. The Family Recorder, thefamilyrecorder.blogspot.com



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  • avatar
    Judy Webster 15 July 2013 - 7:27 am Reply

    Congratulations to all! It was a thrill and an honour to see our Genealogists for Families Project, genfamilies.blogspot.com, on this list – and many of the other blogs belong to members of our team.

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    Jacqui 16 July 2013 - 12:49 pm Reply

    Smythe Family Website http://www.smythe.id.au

    Contains original letters and diaries from WWI.
    1850’s life of early settlers in Australia.
    Complete history of the convicts and free settlers from Ireland.
    Autobiography from 20th century and so much more

  • avatar
    Chris Owen 16 July 2013 - 5:39 pm Reply

    Thanks for this list.
    I find it interesting the number of institutions whose blogs have no capacity to subscribe via email and only allow RSS feeds. Feed Readers etc have lost a lot of followers which is why contemporary blogs offer both RSS feed subscription and email subscription. Demonstrates how little understanding they have of the evolution of blog technology and its users, Web 3.0 and social media communications!
    Sadly some of the personal genealogy sites also fail on this front as well. It’s a pity because they’d be much more widely read if they were to grasp these minor technical developments.

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    ScotSue 17 July 2013 - 1:33 am Reply

    What a surprise! I was so delighted to get your e-mail and discover you have chosen my blog for your top 50 listing – the first time I have received such an accolade.

    I must thank you, compiler, Jill Ball, and all your Australian readers, especially those who I have got to know through the blogging network.

    As requested, I will be featuring “Inside Story” on a blog posting.

    With best wishes for the future success of your magazine.

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    Jill Ball (GeniAus) 28 July 2013 - 11:41 am Reply

    I’ve just blogged about the process we went through to come up with this list. http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/im-not-harry-s-truman.html

  • avatar
    Jill 5 August 2013 - 8:53 am Reply

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

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    Buzz 27 October 2014 - 10:15 pm Reply

    Really Wonderful History of 50 genealogy blogs of Australia.

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