Rockstar Genealogists – Sweetening the Pie


Did you know there was such a thing as a Rockstar Genealogist?  Well, there is, and yours truly, along with 149 of my closest friends, has been nominated.

John Reid is sponsoring this third annual contest on his blog, Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections.  A little digging tells me that I was also nominated in 2013 as well, but I didn’t know it.  Maybe I’m the “Lives Under a Rock” genealogist:)

You can vote for your favorite genealogists by visiting John’s blog and clicking through to vote.  Voting is open now and will end late Friday or Saturday, according to John.  So don’t wait, vote now.

Here is last year’s list of winners and a list of this year’s nominees.

On the 2013 winner’s list, I see several familiar names, including Judy Russell and Megan Smolenyak who both work with genetic genealogy in addition to more traditional genealogy.  I know both of these ladies personally, and I can vouch for the fact that they are, indeed, Rockstar Genealogists.  I would like to see both of them in their Rockstar garb however.

What I didn’t see were any genetic genealogists, those who specialize in that end of the field.  Looking at this year’s nominees, and there were a lot of them, I was very pleased to see several genetic genealogists listed, including CeCe Moore, Tim Janzen, Blaine Bettinger, Bennett Greenspan, Debbie Kennett, Katherine Borges and of course, yours truly.  Not bad for a field that just a decade ago was almost entirely unknown, and 15 years ago, didn’t exist at all.

I find it particularly fitting that Bennett Greenspan is included in this list, given that he’s the man who started it all.  And wow, am I ever in awesome company!

So, given that I’d love to see at least one genetic genealogist in the winner’s circle, complete with their electric guitar, strumming it with their DNA swabs – I’m going to, ahem, sweeten the pie.


Make Me Donate!!!

If any of the above mentioned genetic genealogists are in the list of 2014 winners, I’ll donate $250 to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Digitization Project.

But, it gets even better, because right now, there are two organizations, the Illinois and Indiana Genealogy Societies, who are matching donations to this project, so my $250 will become $500.  So, if I “have to” donate, I’ll be doing it through one of them.

But we’re not done, it gets even better yet.  Right now, is matching every donation 100%, so that $250 that turned into $500 actually turns into a $1000 donation.  That $1000 donation preserves 2200 pages that are in desperate need of preservation and that will be available free, forever, for everyone.

I had three ancestors serve in the War if 1812, one of whom died in the service of his country, so I feel very strongly about this crowdsourcing project.  These records are incredible and many times include information about wives and children not available elsewhere.  In one case, the pages of a family Bible were torn out and are today found in that pension file – the file of a man that no one today knew even served in that war.

So, if someone else would like to join into the pie sweetening, that would be just wonderful.  No such thing as too many cooks in this kitchen!  Post your sweetener as a comment to this article.  After all, it’s all in good fun and for a great cause.  Pass the sugar!


So, please vote now and do your share to make sure I “have to” donate and let’s get at least one of our genetic genealogists into the winner’s circle.  You can vote for as many people as you want, but you can only vote once.

Here’s the link to vote.



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6 thoughts on “Rockstar Genealogists – Sweetening the Pie

  1. Roberta,

    It gets even better – right now any donation given by an individual and matched by their society is first matched by Stern-NARA and then matched by Ancestry, quadrupling the donation. For information see the FGS website: My understanding from the FGS conference was that each dollar donated becomes 8 dollars or roughly 16 pages. So, everyone please vote and please encourage your local society to do a matching fund campaign (I collected $114 tonight from members by passing the hat – actually it was a giant plastic Cheeto jar). The Stern-NARA match is not so much limited by time as a dollar amount and they are not close to it yet.

    Thank you for helping save these fragile records.

  2. AWESOME and thanks for the heads up on the matching for the 1812 project–I’ve donated a few times in the past when there was matching and will do so again. Didn’t see Emily D. Aulicino on the ‘list’. Tried to vote, but when I hit submit after making selections is says the page times out and doesn’t submit? Will try again later. 😀 Thanks for all you do and see you next month girl!

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