Supreme Court to Determine Public Records Threat

The first Monday in October is traditionally the start of the U.S. Supreme Court’s annual term. During the first week, the Court typically hears a few cases, and announces some of the other cases they have chosen for review during the Term.  This amounts to something less than 200 cases out of thousands of petitions addressed to  the Court. So, …Continue reading →


The Reliability of Oral Histories–The Forensic Approach to Evaluation

Part 2 of a three-part series.  Part 1 is here. When last we met, we explored the issues associated with the reliability of “eyewitness testimony” in court and applied similar concepts to first-person accounts of historical and genealogical events. We discovered several issues that might make “eyewitness testimony” unreliable. Now we explore the 21st century approach to eyewitness testimony and …Continue reading →


The Reliability of Oral Histories Considered

[Music; loud with fast, heavy beat] [Baritone voice with emergency pace and tone]:“Eyewitness News! The [Valley’s][Metroplex’s][Tri-State Area’s][Ark-La-Tex’s][Bay Area’s][Central Coast’s][Middle Tennessee’s] Most Reliable Newscast! With the entire Eyewitness News Team! This is Eyewitness News at Six [o’clock]!” That voicer (or words and music to that effect) has been heard on television stations all over America at one time or another in …Continue reading →


How to Sell Your Grandmother Guilt-Free

In the last post, we told how our friend Sheri Fenley had been approached by a publisher who asked permission to use a photograph of her grandmother which had appeared on Sheri’s blog.  The publisher apparently had no intent to compensate Sheri although the publisher stood to make a fine sum of money from the publication on the cover of …Continue reading →


Grandma for Sale: A Cautionary Tale

A certain genealogist and  blogger (no names, please, but her initials are s.h.e.r.i.f.e.n.l.e.y.) a few months ago had an interesting proposition: she had a chance to sell her grandmother!  What would you have done? Here’s the tale: Sher, I mean, s.h.e.r.i., had some time ago written a post about her grandmother, Maryellen Harris Skillman, who as a young woman was …Continue reading →


Federal Court Research Useless to Genealogists? We Report, You Decide

Last week we reported about PACER, the federal courts’ Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.  We demonstrated how it works, and suggested that it may have some genealogical research value.  Reader Martin has some issues with that post.  In the comments Martin says: How many genealogical brick walls have been broken down via federal court cases?  Not many–possibly none.  …Continue reading →


Finding Federal Court Records for Free [Mostly!]

“Court records” can mean literally anything of public interest filed with the courts.  But some of the juiciest stuff is to be found in criminal cases and civil lawsuits.  Ron Arons has an excellent book out called Wanted:US Criminal Records–Sources & Research Methodology.  He describes the state and federal repositories for these records.  I’ve used his book several times in …Continue reading →


GeneaBlogie 2011

What’s coming up on this blog? It goes without saying that here at GeneaBlogie, we regard the passing of 2010 with the attitude, “good riddance!” It was certainly not one of our better years.  But as the great Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back, [it] may be gaining on you.”  So we look forward the to what’s coming up in …Continue reading →


The Book I’ve Been Waiting For

It was raining as it had almost everyday about the time the mail came.  There was the usual detritus of our not-yet-paperless society and a package that looked like it had been around the world a couple of times. “Hmm,” I thought, “this may be the book I’ve been waiting for.”  And indeed it was.  Seems I had given the …Continue reading →


The Discussion about Standards, Certification, Maturity, etc.: Useful or Divisive? Elitist Envy or Intellectual Inevitability?

Part I of Several Parts When  I say in in my profile on this page, that I “literally have a checkered past,”  that refers to both my ancestral background (as it would to most people) and to the fact that for complicated reasons, I have been in several different professions in my working lifetime.  I have been, among other things, …Continue reading →

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