Who Wants to be a Genealogy Rock Star? I’d Rather be a HERO

A few weeks ago there was a bit of a contest on Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections website.  It was all about recognizing the Genealogy Rock Stars in our community.  Of course I’d love to get that kind of recognition, but I’m just starting to get my feet wet in the national arena so not many people know me or my fabulous sense of humor yet. The Rock Stars were nominated by other genealogists and voting commenced.  I was so happy for many of my friends who were in the running.  There are so many great speakers out there and this little pat on the back meant a lot to them.  I can understand completely.

genealogy HeroYou see there are a lot of things that we do as genealogists that don’t get acknowledged.  We are an amazing group of talented people that work together to help educate and share the stories of our world.  We have historians, writers, presenters, archivists, podcasters, YouTubers, website managers, editors, publishers, tons of volunteers, transcribers, programmers, tv show personalities and producers, society leaders, photographers, business owners, researchers, social media managers, and on and on.  I can’t imagine that huge leaps that genealogy has taken in visibility without all of these people. We all need each other and I may be a bit on the naive side to think that we all appreciate each role equally.

I’d like to see us each acknowledge the unsung genealogy heroes in our lives. When I think of genealogy heroes I think of:

  • Angela Packer McGhie who has for years supported and promoted the ProGen Study Groups. Angela is a coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, and at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She is an advocate for genealogy education through her blog, Adventures in Genealogy.
  • Taneya Koonce is an accomplished professional in several ways.  She manages over a dozen different genealogy websites and has helped many others with their own WordPress site. Recently she had an article published in the FGS Forum titled “10 Reasons to Use WordPress for your Society Website.” She has several indexing projects underway and has two surname studies underway.  Oh and did I mention that she has a full time job too? Visit her website to give her a pat on the back and learn from her!
  • Marian Pierre Louis is a House Historian and Professional Genealogist who has developed some really wonderful podcasts over the past few years.  Her Genealogy Professional podcast led her to start offering coaching classes for others and now has monthly meetings with professionals to help their businesses grow.  She is Publicity Chairperson of the New England Regional Genealogical Conference and recently took on the role of helping host Legacy Family Tree Webinars. What I love about Marian is her great interest in continuing to learn and grow and her desire to help others be the best they can be too! You can visit her blog, Marian’s Roots and Rambles to encourage her too.
  • Randy Seaver is a blogger extraordinaire. Not only does he find time to share his considerable genealogical research experience, but he even has time to review products and give helpful tips on using upgrades to popular genealogy software.  He shares news around the genealogy world and has fun activities on weekends that he encourages others to participate in.  If you are ever in doubt on how to use a feature in RootsMagic… he’s the one who probably has written a blog post about it! His blog, Genea-Musings is worth a weekly visit (if not daily) to catch up on the goings on. Randy also is an educator beyond the computer.  He is often found traveling to give presentations in his area.
  • Eric Johnson is an Ohio Genealogical Society Vice-President who has indexed and written several resources for those with an Ohio connection including”Dayton National Cemetery’s War of 1812 Veterans”, “Index of Ohio’s Military Rosters in the War of 1812”, “Ohio’s Blacks Soldiers Who Served in the Civil War”, “New York Military Index, Officers of the Militia”, “U.S. Army Regiments in the War of 1812.” His LinkedIn profile displays even more books he has in progress and his extensive volunteer experience with several other societies. It takes an enormous amount of work and passion to put together books of this kind and I admire him for his diligence!

So let me ask you to join me in recognizing some of your genealogy heroes!  I’d love to get to know other fantastic people all over the world.  Let’s sing out the names of our unsung heroes!

7 thoughts on “Who Wants to be a Genealogy Rock Star? I’d Rather be a HERO

  1. Great post, Jen! If I could just add, Marian is also interested in assisting others to continue learning. She is such an encouraging person. She is definitely on my hero list!


    1. Thanks Christine. You are right- Marian is a great supporter of continued education. Her podcasts were certainly a big part of that effort. I came to realize a bunch of topics that I wanted to learn more about. 🙂


    1. You are very welcome. Keep up the great things you do! I love the thought of this being a SNGF topic. There so many heroes out there that could use a pat on the back. 🙂


  2. Jen, this is an invaluable post! You are right in asserting that there are many unsung heroes, for I can honestly say that I have learned something from every genealogist I have met, every single class I’ve attended, every blogpost, every webinar, every EVERYTHING!

    Our community is quite blessed to have some of the best of the best to help us all become better genealogists. I am proud to know many of them personally, either in person or from afar.

    Thank you for writing this!


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