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The Legal Genealogist’s top posts for 2022

If anyone had posed the question even an hour ago — what were the top 10 posts at The Legal Genealogist in 2022? — the answer would have been exactly what it was this time last year and the year before and…

The answer would’ve been: “I have absolutely no idea.”

This year — 2022 — exactly like 2020 and 2021 before it — has just been too weird. Too many times, it’s just been too hard to focus, too hard to think, too hard to look at genealogy and the joys of family history when separated from family itself by pandemic and travel woes and more.

Add to that the stresses and strains of a year in which I built one house, sold another, moved to a new state and… well… seriously, if anyone had posed the question even an hour ago about the top 10 posts for this blog in this crazy year of 2022, there’s just no way I could have even come up with a list of 10 posts — much less a list of the top 10.

Thank heavens for metrics and analytics! Looking back this crazy year, metrics and analytics tell me there are at least 10 I’m willing to admit having written.

top 10 2022 posts

So, here they are, in a reverse countdown, the top 10 posts of The Legal Genealogist in this once-again-very-weird-year of 2022:

10. Welcome to 1926!, posted 3 January: “For many Americans, this is the first Monday and work day of 2022. For The Legal Genealogist, it’s the third day of 1926. No, that’s not a typo. I really do mean 1926.”

9. The courage of their convictions, posted 1 July: “George Morgan and Drew Smith are The Genealogy Guys — educators, writers, speakers, and producers of the popular podcast by the same name. They have long been counted among The Legal Genealogist‘s friends. And never have I been prouder of that fact — prouder of them, and their courage — than I am today.”

8. No assumptions!, posted 17 April: “So Ancestry launched a new DNA testing feature this week that caused quite a buzz. Called SideView, it gives testers a view of what Ancestry calls “ethnicity inheritance” — the estimated portions of each geopolitical region included in its admixture percentages that were inherited from each side of the family, whether paternal or maternal, without having tested either parent…. What SideView doesn’t do — what it can’t do — is tell us which parent is which.”

7. Rumsey Maps to be text-searchable, posted 7 March: “… So… you’re a Union commander in 1862. … What tool is going to be the single most important thing you can have? The Legal Genealogist submits that the right answer to that question is… a map.”

6. Reprise: TNSTAAFL, posted 20 January: The Legal Genealogist can usually get through 18 months to two years before the issue heats up to boiling again…. ‘There’s an Important Document about my family on Subscription Website that I’d like to have but I’m not a subscriber,’ the inquiry begins. ‘Would someone who is a subscriber please get it for me?’”

5. Getting it right, posted 16 August: “So it’s August, which means Ancestry can be expected to come out with its annual updates to its privacy policy and terms of service. Which is why it was no surprise when the email landed in The Legal Genealogist‘s inbox: ‘We’ve updated our Terms and Privacy Statement.’”

4. Change at Find A Grave, posted 11 January: “Find A Grave yesterday announced a new system for the posting of memorials for the ‘recently deceased’ (defined as anyone who has died within the past year) in an effort to give the families some greater opportunity than they have had to control the death reports and memorials for their own loved ones.” (Note: It didn’t work very well… see this year’s Number 1 top post, below…)

3. Ancestry launches SideView, posted 13 April: “Ancestry has launched a new feature today that gives DNA testers information about their parents — without having tested their parents. Called SideView, the feature gives testers a view of what Ancestry calls ‘ethnicity inheritance’ — the estimated portions of each geopolitical region included in its admixture percentages that were inherited from each side of the family, whether paternal or maternal, without having tested either parent.”

2. NYC historical vital records go online!, posted 16 March: “It’s not for nothing that New York in general — and New York City in particular — is called the black hole of northern genealogy. From records loss on one side — can we say ‘New York Capitol Fire,’ boys and girls? — to records access limits on the other (‘sure we have it but you can’t see it at all or maybe if you pay a big fee…’), well… let’s just say that research in the Empire State and the Big Apple isn’t the easiest thing to do.”

And the top spot for 2022 was taken by a post that shouldn’t have had to be written and addressing a problem that isn’t fixed yet:

1. Ancestry, this one’s on you, posted 31 May: “The Legal Genealogist has run out of words. I could give you the list from the thesaurus: aghast, appalled, confounded, disgusted, dismayed, horror-struck, nauseated, repelled, repulsed, revolted, scandalized, shocked. None of them comes close to the feeling I had — and still have — knowing that the ghouls of Find a Grave couldn’t even wait until the blood had congealed in Uvalde before upping their stats by adding the deaths of nineteen fourth graders and two teachers.”

On to 2023…! Well, almost…

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “2022 top posts,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 28 Dec 2022).

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