The Face of Genealogy

Is this the face of genealogy? Is this truly what the public sees in their mind’s eye when they hear the word genealogy?

The Rub

In a recent event article at the LAWeekly website, the above photo was used in a brief article about the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree being held in Burbank, California from June 10-12, 2011. I’ll be there as well as close to 70 other members of GeneaBloggers.

What I don’t know is whether there will be any new visitors to Jamboree this year, especially if they saw the LA Weekly article. My first thoughts are:

  • What were they thinking?
  • Did the author Skylaire Alfvegren actually select the photo or perhaps it was some smart-aleck editor? The way the text is written, with the byline Gene Genies, I think that this is more the work of an editor.
  • What were they thinking?

A quick search of the image on Google Images shows that the photo used is not even the original work of LAWeekly. This also reinforces my suspicion that a young, inexperienced editor who believes everything is free on the Internet just lifted the image from another site and slapped it on the copy.

What You Can Do

I urge readers of GeneaBloggers to send a letter to the editor of the LAWeekly using their online form at I don’t often make these “calls for action” but we as genealogists and family historians have a responsibility – especially to the younger people – to show them exactly what is the face of genealogy.

I Am The Face of Genealogy

Also, I’m asking that every genealogy blogger put up their favorite ancestor photo with the simple post title “This Is The Face of Genealogy.” Together, hopefully we can turn this offensive piece into a win situation for the genealogy community.


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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

39 thoughts on “The Face of Genealogy

  1. Amen Thomas! I sent them a letter yesterday after Bill West posted the link to the email address.

    They should definitely be ashamed of themselves.

    Since I absolutely LOVE Jamboree, I’ll be making a post when I get home from church.


  2. Thomas, I think someone got the message because the photo that you have above in your post is gone from the LAWeekly post. It was replaced with a photo of the “Jamboree app” on an iphone.
    I’d say that was a successful call to action!

  3. Pingback: This Is The Face of Genealogy | Rootsfinder Family History

  4. Someone pointed out to me that the young man on the right is wearing, what appears to be, a Celtic United (Scottish soccer team) jacket. Appears the picture was only chosen for it’s shock value. Pfft. All in all, I think we showed what the true face of genealogy is. :)

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  6. Boy! They must have gotten a deluge of complaints. Photo off now, but this was an unbelievable breach of good judgment — just plain dumb and cruel. I’ll be posting my face of genealogy soon. Was out of town and just catching up.

  7. Boy! They must have gotten a deluge of complaints (including mine). Photo off now, but this was an unbelievable breach of good judgment — just plain dumb and cruel. I’ll be posting my face of genealogy soon. Was out of town and just catching up.

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