Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bowing Out
Another one of the pillars of the genealogical blogging community is bowing out. The Ancestry Insider, for an unstated reason other than the time commitment involved, is saying goodbye. The Ancestry Insider joins Thomas MacEntee of in retiring from the online blogging world. See "Major Changes At" Actually, from my perspective, the field of active bloggers dating back to the time when I started is looking pretty thin. Many of those original bloggers are still officially onboard, but their blogs have not been active for some time.

Back in 1776, Edward Gibbon (b. 1737, d. 1794) published the first volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The last volume in the series was published in 1789. Quoting from the Wikipedia article on the book:
Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of primary sources, unusual at the time, its methodology became a model for later historians. This led to Gibbon being called the first "modern historian of ancient Rome"
Interestingly, a six-volume set of the hardcover book is for sale from Barnes and Noble for $1,176.88.

I mention this book for several reasons. I am beginning to think that I am chronicling the rise and fall of genealogical blogging. On the other hand, given the number of blog posts I have written (currently 4831), I believe I may have passed The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the number of words written. By the way, I usually give a citation to the book, but there are well over a thousand different entries for the Gibbon book in and I don't think I can guess which of the citations is the most common one.

I am still not ready to concede that blogging about genealogy is a dead issue. I am still online in most of the major social networking programs and I am approaching 100 online videos on the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel. For reasons I have stated previously, I am not about to abandon the blogging venue for Facebook which I still find to be highly annoying at times. Genealogy as a pursuit is going to be around for a long time and probably a lot longer than I will be alive. But as long as I am still able to sit up and take nourishment, I will keep writing.


  1. James. I completely agree with what you've said. While I'm an avid Facebook user, it cannot take the place of our blogs. I belong to many FB groups that link me to various communities, subjects, county's etc. They are all wonderfully helpful and have been over the years. But, in my opinion, we cannot tell our stories properly on a FB page or in a group. I believe those places are best used for exchanging information and inquiries. This is a very unsettling time in the blogging community and there's a buzz right now. I, for one, have no plans to stop sharing my ancestor's stories. I'm happy to hear that you will also keep writing.

  2. I also intend to continue my genealogy blogging for the same reasons that Diane outlined. It is worth noting that quilting blogs seem to be as popular as ever, and quilting is an equally tedious hobby. Quilting more naturally lends itself to Instagram and Facebook than genealogy does because it is a very visual, image rich hobby. Blogging is a much more effective and flexible format for genealogy information than Facebook. The real question is why more genealogists have not seized on blogging as a way to publish their work. Is is a fear of technology? Is it a fear of writing? Is it a fear of having their work challenged? There needs to be a way of encouraging more researchers to blog. It's the best and most inexpensive form of cousin bait on the internet.