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Genealogy blogs can be a wealth of information for family historians, as the immediacy of content is just an upload away. Jill Ball looks at the growth of blogs, and the best 50 to follow.


s a blog writer and reader I use blogs to share and learn about news, resources and events in Australia and overseas. I can publish anecdotes about my ancestors and read stories about fellow bloggers’ forebears. As a member of the geneablogging community ( I have forged relationships with people who share my passion for genealogy. Blogs allow me to connect with other genealogists on a daily basis. I do not feel as though I am working in a vacuum. Blogs are like diaries that one publishes on the internet using free software such as Blogger ( or Wordpress (www. The software uploads “posts” that appear in chronological order. The collaborative nature of blogs allows readers to add comments to individual blog posts thus initiating online



conversations. Blogging provides an easy and efficient way for genealogists to share information online. The greatest percentage of genealogy blogs are written by individuals but there is also a huge collection published by societies, institutions and commercial organisations as vehicles for sharing news. I find it disappointing that more societies do not use blogs to communicate with their members and market their resources, events and services. Some blogs allow one to subscribe by email so that when a new post is published an email alert is sent to one’s mailbox. I subscribe to 301 genealogy blogs, which I read at my leisure. Sometimes, if I’m busy, I choose to ignore them. One cannot let one’s blog reading become a chore! With that in mind, here are my top 50 blogs every genealogist needs to follow. These are not in any ranked order, but are grouped by topic.

Libraries Institutions such as libraries and archives produce blogs of interest to the genealogist to keep readers informed of indexing projects and new record sets. Local public libraries may have general blogs; search their website for links.

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The State Library of Western Australia,


State Records NSW Archives Outside,

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The John Oxley Library,

National Library of Australia,

The Public Records Office of Victoria, Yarra Plenty Genealogy, Victoria, Kintalk at Auckland City Libraries,

Societies Here is a selection of societies in Australia that use blogs successfully to promote their collections, news and events.

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The Orange Family History Group, Moonee Valley Family and Local History, www.



Helen V. Smith’s Keyboard,

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Twigs of Yore,


The Tree of Me,

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Family Tree Frog, Tracking Down The Family,


My Genealogy Adventure,


Queensland Genealogy by Judy Webster,


Family History across the Seas,


Genealogy in New South Wales by Carole Riley,

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Western District Families, Victoria,


Alona Tester,

Speciality blogs Some bloggers specialise in a particular subject, such as technology, local cemeteries and ď ľ

Carnamah Historical Society,

Image iStock

Personal blogs There is an active geneablogging community in Australia. Members of this group blog about their families, their activities, and their special interests. The collaborative nature of blogging should not be underestimated; bloggers get a real buzz when someone makes a comment on one of their posts! If you read and enjoy a post please take the time to make a comment. My favourite personal blogs are:


Shauna Hicks, www.diaryofanaustralian

Inside History | May-Jun 2012 |


genetics. Here are some good examples of niche topics.

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Mawbey Family, Genealogists for Families,

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Carol’s Headstone Photographs, www.


Hunting Kiwis,

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The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger,

Tech Tips from Family Search,

The Tiger’s Mouth,

Dictionary of Sydney,

International blogs Readers should not restrict themselves to reading blogs written by Australians or New Zealanders. These are my must-reads from overseas:


The Borders Family History Society,


The National Archives,

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British Genes by Chris Paton,

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Genealogy’s Star, Jayne Shrimpton, The Family Recorder by Audrey Collins, We Tree Genealogy, Olive Tree Genealogy,


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Stardust ‘n’ Roots, Footnote Maven,

Organisation blogs Many companies use blogs to disseminate news. By subscribing to these blogs genealogists can keep upto-date with developments in the products they use:

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Unlock the Past,

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Inside History magazine,,

Legacy Family Tree,

Gould Genealogy and History News,

Most bloggers do not set out to educate their readers, but they do. I have learnt so much about other races, times and lands by reading posts from my genealogy buddies. I’m sure other bloggers would agree that reading and writing genealogy blogs enhances one’s researching experience.  ✻ Jill Ball was recently the official blogger for two Rootstech conferences in the US and the 13th Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry. Her blogs:

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Geniaus, Android Genealogy,

complete our top 50 list of blogs you need to follow! ✻ Want to visit these blogs now? You can find our interactive version of this story on our iPad edition, or free on Issuu at

Top 50 genealogy blogs