Thursday, March 28, 2013

Genealogy and Politics

I received a very interesting e-mail yesterday.  I thought I would post it here.  I am leaving the sender’s name off.

“This may sound ‘strange’ but I hope you never go political even for an instance. When I say ‘political’ I am speaking about pushing a particular political issue. What about the Georgia Archive thing you say? That was different and I think you understand why it was and is. Getting back to my point, if you do go ‘political’, I'll stop reading your blog faster than a’"speeding bullet!’"

I am actually quite opinionated when it comes to politics and current events but I would never even think to post my thoughts on a GENEALOGY blog.  My mission is to help beginning/intermediate genealogists with their research. My political opinions don’t belong here. As the reader pointed out, I will post on issues that are directly related to genealogy such as the Georgia Archives funding issue and the legislation that might affect the social security death index but that is it.  I just thought I needed to clarify that. 

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I don't know why your readers would feel so entitled as to tell you what you are and are not allowed to write about on your own blog.

  2. One thing I have learned as I traced my family back across 4 centuries is that we really don't have any new social and political fights. The terminology changes- the issues really don't. You can take the political reports in newspapers of the 19th century, for example, and substitute the names with those of modern politicians, and reprint the articles almost unchanged.

    An example. Here is SC, the political preoccupation of my 2nd-great grandfather's day was the Nullification crisis. And today- just this week, in fact- "neo-Nullifiers" make news in the SC legislature.

    Now, if I post on my blog about my family's reaction to John C. Calhoun and the Nullifiers, I'm writing about a legitimate genealogy/ family history topic, and only the most ardent partisan would object. But if I post my opinion on the modern "neo's", I am open to the criticism that I've pulled a "bait-and-switch", attracting people with the promise of a family history blog and delivering instead a personal opinion.

    It's really not about avoiding politics- you can't research your history without dealing with it. It's a matter of staying on topic, and delivering what you promised.

  3. You are right, I can write anything I want since it is my blog but I agreed with the reader that my political opinions really don't belong on a genealogy blog (in my opinion). I didn't take his comments as telling me what to do. This particular reader has emailed me several times in the past and has always been respectful. I can only guess that he read another blog that went off on a tangent.

    I happen to follow a foodie blog. If that blog writer decided to start talking about their personal political beliefs I would probably stop reading that blog because I read it to get good recipes :) :) :)

    I agree, Jim, it is about staying on topic :)

  4. Yep - another blog went off on a tangent that had nothing to do with genealogy. Period. And - made me think twice about continuing to read that blog - so that was probably what prompted the other comment.

    There is so much to teach/learn about genealogy research - I'm thankful for all the helpful information you provide - thank you!!!

  5. Not a problem on this one :) Thank you for your kind comments anitab :)