Saturday, March 12, 2016

Enough is enough

On 08 July 2013 I introduced you to “genealogist” Barry Ewell in Time to name names. This was actually my second post about Barry Ewell. The first post was on 03 November 2012 and you can read it HERE. It all started with Cyndi Howells (now Cyndi Ingle) of Cyndi’sList.  She found that Barry Ewell had plagiarized her materials and committed copyright infringement.  She took him to court.  Other genealogists (real ones) discovered that Barry had also used their writings posting them as his own.  There was a big uproar back then which caused Barry to fade away, or so we thought.

Fast forward to now.  Barry is back up to his old tricks.  He has “written” a book called Google Guide for Genealogy that contains the copyrighted writings of Kimberly Powell without her knowledge, permission or credit.  This was discovered by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers.  You can read his post HERE. After reading Thomas’s report DearMYRTLE conducted an independent review which you can read HERE.

It is important that this information get out to as many genealogical and family historians as possible. Barry Ewell targets novices/beginners who don’t know him for what he is. Social media can make this message travel at lightening speed and I encourage you to share this post as well as the posts from Thomas MacEntee and Pat Richley-Erickson (DearMYRTLE) on every platform you can.


Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. something ought to be done to the publishers as well, do they not check for this sort of thing?

  2. Thanks for helping to keep this issue alive and in the minds of all of us who blog or write. I agree with Dear Myrt's call to action asking that the big conferences boycott having Barry as a speaker. We need to band together to exert pressure on them.

  3. To be fair, I have not seen comment by Kimberly on this matter. So, we do not know anything beyond it is a direct copy of her work and no credit was given to her for that work. Whether she is staying above the fray for pending litigation reasons or other reasons we do not know. So, we also need to stay factual. Kimberly Powell is the only one who can respond to whether or not this was done with her knowledge and permission or not.

  4. Wondering why this continues to happen and also what we (as a genealogy community) can do about it. We think that most genealogists are online and using social media. I don't think that is the case (I asked many attendees at #RootsTech). Those genealogists see a book or a course and have no way of knowing if it is the result of plagiarism. Sadly he is not the only one out there doing this type of thing. Your title says it all and spreading the word is a start - thanks Michele.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. I would also like to see all of the people that have ripped of the work of the volunteers and the USGenweb sites and posted the info on find a grave as their own to also be prosecuted. Talk about blatant plagiarism! won't do anything to the people either. was greatly ripped off by one guy who has hundreds of thousands of people on find a grave. Nothing has happened even though it's obvious. I'm glad someone has taken this guy to task and hope they do again as other peoples work should be off limits.

  6. We can complain to Amazon for carrying his stolen work.

    1. You can, and should, report plagiarized work. If enough people complain, Amazon will investigate. They have taken plagiarized (primarily self-published) fiction ebooks out of their online stores. It's worth a try.