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GeneaBlog Awards 2012

Tamura Jones is one of genealogy’s true techies — author of the original 1992 Undocumented Windows, a prolific blogger on genealogy software and technology, an independent thinker who has developed a framework for scientific genealogy, differentiating between legal genealogy (what the law says about family relationships), official genealogy (what the vital records paperwork says) and biological genealogy (what the DNA says).

Tamura’s framework defines legal genealogy well as “the genealogy of everyday life … how we know each other,” and offers two fundamental truths:

     • A well-researched genealogy documented with ample source citations is a legal genealogy, not a biological one.

     • A legal ancestry may not document your biological ancestors, but it does document your ancestral family.1

Cool stuff, as are Tamura’s frequent and often biting postings about genealogy software and useful hardware. It’s a blog The Legal Genealogist follows, and you should too:

And there’s one more thing Tamura Jones does. Every year for the past five years, the blog has presented what are called the GeneaBlog Awards. In 2008, the winners included Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings and Blaine Bettinger of The Genetic Genealogist.2 In 2009, The Graveyard Rabbit and footnoteMaven.3 In 2010, George Geder of Geder Genealogy and Linda McCauley of Documenting the Details.4 In 2011, Kerry Scott for some wondrously humorous posts on Clue Wagon and Pat Richley-Erickson for GeneaWebinars.5

Yesterday, the GeneaBlog Awards 2012 were announced. Dale McIntyre’s AQ will do was honored as the best new technology blog, and CeCe Moore of Your Genetic Genealogist was recognized for her reporting on AncestryDNA and for her series on DNA testing at

And there was one other honoree. Um… er… well… Me.

First, for Most Pronounced Genealogy Activism: SSDI Coverage on The Legal Genealogist:

“The Legal Genealogist” has written much about plans to limit public access to the U.S.A. Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and the Records Preservation & Access Committee’s Stop ID Theft NOW! campaign. The Legal Genealogist did not for a moment pretend to be an objective reporter, but emerged as The SSDI Activist, not just calling on genealogists to sign petitions, but even went so far as to declare Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, to be “Genealogy’s Public Enemy No. 1.”

Then for Best Uniquely Informative Series: Terms of Service on The Legal Genealogist:

The Legal Genealogist is a genealogy blog with a legal attitude.
Judy Russell started a series of informative posts about the Terms of Service (ToS) of various genealogy record providers. These blog posts did not only prove informative to readers, but were instrumental in getting vendors to make changes to their ToS as well.

And I was especially honored by one more sentence: “Apropos, The Legal Genealogist was started on 2012 Jan 1, and I have no hesitation in calling it the Best New Genealogy Blog of 2012.”

Uh oh…

Now what do I do for an encore…?


  1. Tamura Jones, “A Framework for Classical Genealogy,”, posted 18 Aug 2010 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
  2. Tamura Jones, “GeneaBlog Awards,”, posted 20 Dec 2008 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
  3. Tamura Jones, “GeneaBlog Awards 2009,”, posted 30 Nov 2009 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
  4. Tamura Jones, “GeneaBlog Awards 2010,”, posted 7 Dec 2010 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
  5. Tamura Jones, “GeneaBlog Awards 2011,”, posted 16 Dec 2011 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
  6. Tamura Jones, “GeneaBlog Awards 2012,”, posted 14 Dec 2012 ( : accessed 14 Nov 2012).
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