Many of the people that read this blog are beginning genealogists. I wanted to introduce them to a few of the top genealogists out there today. I think it is important to know who's who. It would be impossible for me to name everyone that has made important contributions so I had to limit the list. I am only including living American researchers and I also focused on those that have a particular niche within the field. I have put them in alphabetical order with a very short blurb about them along with a link for further information. I could easily write an entire blog post on each of these people detailing their achievements. I originally decided to post a top ten list and then thought maybe I should do 20. I went back to just ten because no matter how many I put on the list I will always be leaving some deserving people off. In the future I will periodically showcase a particular researcher dedicating a full blog post to their accomplishments. I had the help of the Association of Professional Genealogist's mailing list and the Transitional Genealogists Forum mailing list when compiling this list. You might notice that I have left off researchers that specialize in African-American research. I did this on purpose because there are several I want to mention so I am going to showcase them in a separate blog. I just can't narrow it down to one person for this list. African-American research presents many challenges that the average researcher doesn't encounter.
Dick Eastman has been around forever. He and Dear Myrtle were the original genealogy bloggers. Dick will keep you up to date with what is going on in the world of genealogy as well as give you sound researching advice. Over 60,000 people read Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. You can read more about Dick at Dick's Bio.
Val Greenwood's book, The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy (now in its third edition) is the one book every genealogist should have. The book was originally published in 1973 and it showed people that genealogy was a valid scholarly field of study. Even though technology changes over time, sound research practices do not. You can read more about Val at Val's Bio.
If you have been genealogy for any length of time at all you are familiar with Cyndi's List. Cyndi has been an indispensable part of the internet since 1996. Whenever you want to find anything genealogy related on the internet you need to go to Cyndi's List first. She has done all of the work for you. Her web site is a collection of thousands of links in every category imaginable. You can read more about Cyndi at Cyndi's Bio.
Thomas is the genealogy technology expert. Thomas has introduced the genealogy community to software programs and hardware devices that will bring your research to new levels. He also runs a clearinghouse for all of the genealogy blogs on the web. You can read more about Thomas at Thomas' Bio.
Marian is a relative newcomer to the national scene but what an impact she has made. She is a very engaging genealogy lecturer/speaker. Her area of expertise is researching the histories of historic houses but she is very knowledgeable on many topics. You can read more about Marian at Marian's Bio.
Elizabeth Shown Mills
Elizabeth is THE professional genealogist. Through her books and lectures, she has motivated researchers and historians to take their research to the next level. She is a prolific author but two of her books are considered the bibles of professional research, Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace and Professional Genealogy, A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians. You can read more about Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Bio.
Kip taught us how important it is to actually spend time learning how to read old handwriting scripts. How people wrote in 1600 is very different than how people write today. Even when comparing 1600 with 1700 you will find differences. Kip's book Reading Early American Handwriting is a must read to get you started. You can read more about Kip at Kip's Bio.
Pat is better known as "Dear Myrtle." She has been blogging before there were blogs. She started her Dear Myrtle column in 1995. She has been the genealogy answer woman for gazillions of beginning genealogists. She gives sound advice with a touch of humor. You can read more about Pat at Pat's Bio.
Judy Russell is The Legal Genealogist. With a law degree in hand she analyses genealogical issues from a legal standpoint. She writes a daily blog to which I subscribe. She is always willing to answer questions. Her expertise is invaluable. You can read more about Judy at Judy's Bio.
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
Megan does many special things but the one that intrigues me the most is her work as a forensic genealogist for the United States Army, NCIS and the FBI. She is one of the researchers that track down the living family members of fallen soldiers of wars past. If you have ever seen the show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" then you can thank Megan because she is the consulting genealogist for the show. You can read more about Megan at Megan's Bio.
If you would like to bring attention to any other researchers that are inspirational, just post a comment with a short blurb and a link to that person's homepage or bio.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis