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The overall winners of 2016

So, putting the top DNA posts of 2016 aside after yesterday’s post, The Legal Genealogist continues the look back at this crazy tumultuous year with a review of the top posts overall from all of 2016.

top10.2015There are some interesting choices here, judged solely by the amount of reader attention they drew. And this blog’s readers are an eclectic bunch! The top posts (DNA excluded) focused on just about everything from issues our annoyance with a new Ancestry app to our concerns for records access, included a couple of repeats and — to my delight — included one of the top family posts of the year.

So… what were the top reader choices for general posts for the year 2016?

Let’s do the Top 10 countdown:

At Number 10 for 2016:

Repeat: an image citation how-to (17 March): “Two years ago, The Legal Genealogist wanted to show off a favorite program, and so ran a how-to post rather than a why-to post. The question is how to save source citation information on an image, and have that information readily available. We need a permanent way to keep the citation data on the image, and questions persist on how to do this. Saving the information to metadata (the hidden documentation of an image) won’t always work, because some systems strip the metadata out of an image when it’s uploaded, and it doesn’t necessarily transfer from computer to computer depending on operating system. Renaming the file with the complete source citation often makes the file name too long (although a short rename, such as 1850-UScensus-Cherokee-AL-D.Shew-Ancestry.jpg is a good idea).”

At Number 9:

NYPL images free to use (7 January ): “The Legal Genealogist is heading off to Salt Lake City later today, in advance of next week’s Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), but can’t leave without taking a quick moment to highlight a brand-new announcement by the New York Public Library. It has just enhanced its NYPL Digital Collections offerings of public domain materials by offering them as high-resolution downloads we can all use without any copyright concerns. As the announcement said: ‘No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!’”

At Number 8:

LVA needs our help (18 October): “It is one of the finest and most important research facilities anywhere in the United States — home of the records of one of America’s earliest colonies and gateway for so many of our ancestors into this new land. It is the Library of Virginia (LVA) — the state library and archives in Richmond. And its very future is at risk because of Virginia budget cuts.”

At Number 7:

Today, in the west… (28 June): “The Legal Genealogist is in Pittsburgh this week, at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in a new course on the hidden members of our families called Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family. But my heart and my thoughts are 2000 miles west. And I’d like to invite the entire genealogical community to join me in wishing two very special people a little bit of luck today.”

At Number 6:

Top 10 genealogy websites (19 August): “The Legal Genealogist has to play along. James Tanner started it, in his ‘My Top Ten Genealogy Programs for Now’ post on his blog, Genealogy’s Star, on August 14th. Randy Seaver joined in with his post, ‘My Top Ten Genealogy Research “Programs”,’ on August 16th, on his blog, Genea-Musings. Pauline Cass joined the fun from Australia yesterday with her post, ‘My Top 10 Genealogy Gateways,’ on her blog, Family history across the seas. And I can’t resist. Because, of course, I’m looking at this from a somewhat different perspective. I always look at the law.”

At Number 5:

Those who served in the CCC (16 November): “So yesterday the U.S. National Archives features a look at the Civilian Conservation Corps… In color! Great photos of the Dalton Wells Camp DG-32, located about 15 miles northwest of Moab, Utah, and due west of where Arches National Park is today — and a good explanation by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives at Denver, of how these color photos came to exist.”

At Number 4:

Ordering the SS-5: redux (6 January): “Yesterday’s blog post about what may and may not have been recorded in an application for a Social Security number — the SS-5 form — prompted a rash of questions about ordering the form, how to do it, and what the risks are. So today The Legal Genealogist repeats this post, originally posted in 20131 with a few extra caveats tossed in for good measure. The original inquiry, in 2013, asked for guidance in exactly what to order from the Social Security Administration, how to order it — and ‘whether we will spend the money and get nothing.’”

At Number 3:

Sunset in Rising Sun (11 June): “It’s never entirely unexpected when the news comes of the end of a life lived long and well. Any time you can honestly say that someone was vibrant and with it and dynamic almost to the age of 97, loved by her family and her friends and generations of children whom she taught, that’s a life that goes into the books for sure as one lived long and well.
But oh… how it hurts when such a life draws to a close.”

At Number 2:

No, actually, we’re not related (20 October): “The Legal Genealogist refused to trade her lederhosen for a kilt just because the AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates might have said so. And I refuse to add cousins to my family tree — even cousins I might like to be able to add — just because of some app from Ancestry either.”

And the Number One general post for 2016:

No right to sharing (18 February): “Reader Ruth is offended when people post things on the internet and don’t make it easy for others to use them. … some people claim ‘ownership’ of photos of documents– they either claim the photo is copyrighted, or they somehow superimpose something over the photo that shows they ‘own’ it… She explained that: ‘in part anyway, I just don’t understand the POINT of it. I frequently make trips to the branch of the National Archives near me, and I take photographs of documents for people who are hoping to find information about their ancestry, ALL THE TIME– and when I send them the photos, I don’t write my name across it and ruin the photo for them, nor do I claim to ‘own’ the photograph or try to copyright it.’ The Legal Genealogist understands this viewpoint… but doesn’t entirely share it.”

On to 2017… with one last sidetrip to the top 10 posts ever.

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