Ooh La La! FREE Checklist for French Ancestry Research

American Genealogist in Paris

Great news from Anne Morddel who authors The French Genealogy Blog:  in honor of her blog’s 1st birthday, she is giving away a helpful 5-page checklist entitled Preparing to Research an Ancestor in France.

I’ve looked at this resource and now I just wish I had French ancestry!  Anne has done a great job of explaining terms and pointing out what you can do to find records in France.

To get your FREE copy, email Anne at amerigen AT yahoo DOT com and request a copy.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Wordless Wednesday April 28, 2010

Today is Wordless Wednesday. If you have your own genealogy or family history related blog, you can participate in Wordless Wednesday. What is it?

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Wordless Wednesday simply create a post with the main focus being a photograph or image. Some people also include attribute information as to the source of the image (date, location, owner, etc.). Some have begun doing a “Not So Wordless Wednesday” with the main focus still being an image but there is a backstory to the image.

Here are the latest Wordless Wednesday posts from our member genealogy bloggers:

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Trackbacks and Backlinks

Trackbacks and Backlinks

Several bloggers have asked  for more information on the concept of trackbacks and backlinks: what’s the difference between the two and how do they work with blogs especially for Blogger and WordPress platforms.


Trackbacks: a method of being notified when another blog links to one of your blog posts. Trackbacks require a software and/or server element in order to generate the notification. The use of trackbacks has also been called “remote commenting” since the blogger linking to your blog doesn’t go to your post to leave a comment.

By using trackbacks, a blog author can track who is linking to and referencing their posts. Why is this important? Not only is it a method of expanding your readership (since the linking site provides a link to your post and can help drive traffic there), but it can also help you keep tabs on the types of sites linking to you. It is important in maintaining the reputation and focus of your blog – if sites that you deem “inappropriate” are linking to your posts or even perhaps appropriating your content, you should know about it.
Unfortunately, trackbacks – like many other Web 2.0 mechanisms – have become the haven of spammers. Many splogs feed off of the content of other bloggers and their posts. To help manage trackbacks, consider using one of many free websites such as Haloscan.


Backlinks: similar to trackbacks except trackback notifications are generated using an automated program and backlink notification usually comes from search engines such as Google.

While WordPress supports the use of trackbacks, Blogger does not and instead pushes the use of backlinks.

Setting Up Backlinks On Blogger

1.  Under Settings, click Comments.

2.  Scroll down to the Backinks section.  Mark Show and then in the field Backlinks Default for Posts select New Posts Have Backlinks.  Click Save Settings.

How Backlinks Are Displayed

Scroll to the end of a post and you will see the backlink under Links To This Post. If there are no backlinks, only the Create A Link prompt will appear allowing a reader to create a link to the post.

Click on the link and the originating post linked to your post will appear.

Delete Backlinks

If you do not want to display a specific backlink, click the trash can icon next to the backlink. The Remove Link To dialog will appear and you can remove the link

Should I Care About Backlinks?

Definitely. First, if a more authoritative blog (one with a large following such as Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter) links to one of your posts, it will help channel a large group of viewers to your site. And it improves your blogosphere reputation and “street cred.” Second, you should always see who is linking to you and weed out splogs and other nefarious site to which you don’t want any connection.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee