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The overall winners of 2017

So, putting the top DNA posts of 2017 aside after Sunday’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 2017.

There 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 what may just be the best genealogy ad ever made (by Ancestry) to how annoyed we are with that same company for an app that keeps trying to tell us what just isn’t so.

So… without further ado … the top reader choices for general posts for the year 2017:

Best genealogy ad ever (3 July): “This may be the Best Genealogy Ad Ever. In capital letters. Bold. And italics. Seriously.”

Recording the post (23 August): “Six hundred and eighty-three rolls of microfilm. Now digitized, available online, from the National Archives. And absolutely chock full of goodies for genealogists. So… The Legal Genealogist had some fun last night, talking about research at the National Archives for the Association of Professional Genealogists. … One set of records I’ve always found amazing are the records of the Post Office. It’s been part of the scene here in America since colonial times and the records created over the years can be enormously useful to genealogists.”

The end of microfilm (29 June): “We all knew this day was coming. The Legal Genealogist and everyone else who has been watching the slow but steady demise of the microfilm business over the past several years could see the handwriting on the wall. FamilySearch and the Family History Library have been moving over from microfilm to digital for years now. Cameras out in the field copying records today are all digital, more and more of the microfilmed record sets are being digitized — and it’s been more and more trouble to keep microfilm readers working and even to find raw microfilm to make new copies of microfilmed records. So it’s really no surprise that the end of microfilm as a medium for records access was coming.”

Don’t just take!!! (29 September): “It’s come up yet again in our community and The Legal Genealogist is going to try, one more time (and as often as needed in the future) to get this straight. It’s generally not okay to take something we find online and simply use it. A colleague in the genealogical community posted on Facebook that an image he had created had appeared, without credit or permission, on a page of another member of the genealogical community. It wasn’t that he objected to its use: had he been asked, he would have given permission. But he wasn’t asked, and the way the image appeared on the other page, it looked like it might be the work of the other person. In every possible way, that’s wrong.”

Becoming unAmerican (16 September): “One hundred and five years ago tomorrow, a young couple married in Tarrant County, Texas. The bride: Maud Lillian Cottrell. Born 26 January 1890 to Martin Gilbert and Martha (Johnson) Cottrell and, thus, older sister to The Legal Genealogist’s grandfather, Clay Rex Cottrell. The groom: Morris Gottlieb. Born 14 October 1883 to Isaac and Friederike (May) Gottlieb, a jeweler. The license was issued five days earlier, on 12 September 1912, by Charles H. Rose, deputy clerk of Tarrant County. The marriage itself was performed by R. F. Peden, a Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1 in Tarrant Coiunty. He filed the return on the 20th of September and it was recorded on the 24th. All properly recorded in the county records there in Fort Worth, Texas. What isn’t recorded in those Texas county records is the other thing that happened 105 years ago tomorrow, when my grandfather’s sister married the love of her life.”

Sanborn online at LOC (26 May): “The genealogical community got the first installment of what’s going to be a fabulous gift for research when the Library of Congress announced yesterday that nearly 25,000 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps have gone online and can be accessed free. The News from the Library of Congress published yesterday tells us that what’s online now is only the first part of what will ultimately be a collection of some 500,000 maps …”

Sticks and stones (2 December): “Arrogant. A snob. Elitist. Close-minded. Not considering the interests of the community. And… worst of the worst… no fun at all! These are just a few of the names hurled at The Legal Genealogist for daring to diss the app We’re Related. On the grounds that, well, no, actually, we’re not, and the app saying so doesn’t make it so.”

A deadly term (25 May): “On the 20th day of July in the year 1861, a New Zealander by the name of Charles Trick executed his last will and testament. In many ways, there’s really nothing unusual about the document. It’s got the usual language about “by the Grace of God” the testator “being of Sound mind.” It’s got the usual two witnesses: Carpenter Arthur and John G. Arthur, both of Pit Street in Auckland. It’s got the usual bequests, to a whole bunch of nephews and 10 pounds to his mother. And it’s got the key bequest — the bulk of the estate was to one particular nephew who lived there in Auckland and who, it appears, was named for his uncle: Charles Trick Hosking, who was also named as executor.”

On to 2018… with one last side trip to review this blog’s top 10 posts ever.

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