Open Thread Thursday – Collaborative Genealogy

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

A hallmark of genealogy research for many is the ability to collaborate with others, whether they are family members or fellow researchers. While online tools, applications and websites have made the process easier, collaboration is not new to genealogy.

Do you collaborate with others in terms of your own family history research, and if so, what methods do you use? Are you hesitant to share your data or photos with others? How do you use data shared by others – do you verify information?

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.


Today’s podcast at which I recorded via telephone yesterday got me to thinking about collaboration and genealogy (click here to view the podcast notes, the transcription and to listen to the podcast). If you listen, you’ll hear me admit to being a “name collector” early in my genealogy ventures and not understanding the important of being selective in terms of the person with whom I choose to collaborate as well as the data I choose to incorporate into my own database.

In addition, while reading The Genealogy of David Putman and His Descendants, 1645 – 1916 which my 6th cousin 5 times removed, G.W. Putman wrote in 1916, I realized that he too collaborated with many Putman relatives, even those thousand miles away. In the preface, my cousin writes about how he would write a letter to the postmaster of small towns in upstate New York requesting the addresses of all Putmans in that town. Then he would write letters contacting them and asking for details on their own families to incorporate into his book.

I am a big fan of collaboration and I believe that if approached sensibly and with some caution, not only can you expand your own research efforts, but you can also give back to the genealogical community.


This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

Disclosure statement: I have received a complimentary Pro membership and conference swag (t-shirts, etc.) from In addition, I contribute to a weekly podcast on various genealogy topics at the blog for which I receive no compensation.  To review the other material connections I have with genealogy vendors, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Blogger Announces New Dynamic Views Feature


Today Blogger announced five new dynamic view templates that Blogger users can soon use and customize. If you want to get a preview as to how your own Blogger-based blog might look with each of these views, simply type “http://[your blog url]/view” in your web-browser address bar, replacing [your blog url] with the url for your own Blogger site.

The new views include Flipcard, Mosaic, Sidebar, Snapshot and Timeslide.  My favorite so far for my personal genealogy blog, Destination: Austin Family is Mosaic:

Blogger dynamic views

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

GeneaBloggers Radio – Friday Night, April 1, 2011

Listen to internet radio with Geneabloggers on Blog Talk Radio

Join us for another episode of GeneaBloggers Radio on Friday, April 1, 2011 starting at 10pm EDT, 9pm CDT, 8pm MDT, and 7pm PDT when this week we’ll be discussing Jewish genealogy with a panel of experts.

Jewish Genealogy – How To Get Started Searching Your Roots

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? will feature will feature actress Gwyneth Paltrow as she travels on a journey to learn more about her paternal grandfather and his Jewish roots.

Special Guest: Stanley Diamond

Our live guests will include genealogist Stanley Diamond in Montreal, Canada, who assisted Paltrow with the search for her Jewish roots.

Panel of Jewish Genealogy Experts

In addition we will be talking to internationally known blogger Schelly Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog, Steve Morse – father of the 8086 Intel processor and creator of the One-Step Research genealogy tools, and Elise Friedman of Relative Roots who will help us understand DNA genealogy and how it can help you in your research!

Genealogy News

Finally, we’ll be covering the latest news in the genealogy industry and highlighting upcoming events, conferences, speakers and even webinars!

And, as usual, you never know what other aspects of genealogy and family history we’ll discuss at GeneaBloggers Radio so tune in!

GeneaBloggers Blog Talk Radio

So here is how it all works:

  1. Visit the GeneaBloggers page at Blog Talk Radio.
  2. Click on the Upcoming Episode entitled “Jewish Genealogy – How To Get Started Searching Your Roots
  3. Then you can sign up for updates and reminders.
  4. At 9:00 pm CST on Friday, April 1, 2011, listen in at the Blog Talk Radio website. The player should start automatically – you will need to turn on your computer speakers or use your headphones.
  5. If you want to dial in and share your thoughts and comments, the dial-in number is +1 (213) 286-6709. You can also use your Skype account to call in – click here for instructions.
  6. There will also be a chat room on that same page where you can type and interact with other listeners. [Note: you must have an account at Blog Talk Radio and sign in to access the chat room!] I often take cues and suggestions from the chat room so don’t be shy!

SPECIAL: You can now find GeneaBloggers Radio archived episodes in the iTunes store! Click here to download episodes for free!

Don’t forget – GeneaBloggers Radio is about the most fun you can have with your genealogy on a Friday night!

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee