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Genetic genealogy rocks!

Genetic genealogy — using DNA testing to advance our family history — rocks.

It absolutely rocks.

It’s changing so much about what we know about our families, it’s bringing new people into the field, and… let’s face it… it’s just plain fun.

And if you had any doubt about just how much difference it makes in genealogy, the results of this year’s Genealogy Rockstar voting over at John D. Reid’s blog Anglo-Celtic Connections tell the tale.

Because just about everybody in the top positions in the voting, all over the world, is involved, deeply, in genetic genealogy — The Legal Genealogist included.

The rockstars are the people John describes as “those who give ‘must attend’ presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates.”1

And take a look at the 2017 folks…

Here’s the line-up according to this totally unscientific popular vote2 across three major categories:3

International, USA, Genetic Genealogy

Blaine T. Bettinger

Judy G. Russell

CeCe Moore

For all of us in the genetic genealogy community, this is quite the recognition of just how important DNA has become, as a tool, as a methodology, as part of the reasonably exhaustive — and exhausting! — research we all do as genealogists.

But there’s more. So much more. The voting honors and recognizes our colleagues around the world, as well, including our genetic genealogy colleagues Michelle Patient in Australia/New Zealand and Maurice Gleeson in Ireland and Debbie Cruwys Kennett in the UK. All the honorees — and all of the nominees — are folks we can all learn so much from, about genetic genealogy and more.

The winners around the world are:

Australia/New Zealand


Michelle Patient —


Jill Ball — Geniaus


Helen V. Smith — Dragon Genealogy



Gail Dever — Genealogy à la carte


Dave Obee — CanGenealogy


Lorine McGinnis Schulze — Olive Tree Genealogy



Janet Few — The History Interpreter


Debbie Cruwys Kennett — Cruwys News


Chris Paton — The GENES Blog



Maurice Gleeson


John Grenham — Irish Ancestors


Claire Santry — Irish Genealogy News

If we are indeed known by the company we keep, well, all I can say is … I am honored… and humbled … to be in this company.


  1. John D. Reid, “Rockstar Genealogist Nominations are Open,” Anglo-Celtic Connections, posted 9 Oct 2017 ( : accessed 24 Oct 2017).
  2. Yes, I know all about the problems of a poll like this. Really. See Kerry Scott, “The Rockstar Genealogist Contest is a Fiesta of Awkward. Let’s Change This,” Clue Wagon, posted Sep 2016 ( : accessed 24 Oct 2017).
  3. See John D. Reid, , “2017 Gold (Superstar) Genealogists,” Anglo-Celtic Connections, posted 24 Oct 2017, and “Rockstar Genealogists 2017: Silver and Bronze Awards,” posted 23 Oct 2017).
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