Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Genealogy Rock Stars Results: voters' comments

On their survey response 124 people took advantage of the opportunity to leave comments. Find suggestions for many other people who should have been nominated and comments on some of the nominees. This documentation may be the most valuable part of the survey, evidence for you to examine when looking for sources for conference and meeting presentations and written material. It's also the longest post from the survey. Everything is in there, good and bad, except a couple of names and email addresses deleted to protect privacy. There are also comments on the inclusion of Justin Bieber -- deleted from the Wordle!

At the end of the comments you have an opportunity to answer a couple of Yes/No questions which will help decide whether the survey is worth repeating. Please complete it.

Here are the comments:

"I wish I'd thought to nominate Jackie Depelle, who is a good speaker who also does a great job of organising genealogy seminars and fairs in the UK. Maybe next year?!

1. I have only voted for people I have seen present. 2. I'd like to be able to give a minus vote to some on this list as they definitely don't deserve to be here. I fear that some people just put forward names of their mates without being too objective.

Justin Bieber?! Would have liked to be able to vote for Graham Jaunay.

Need more choices from genetic genealogy.

Special mention for Chris Paton, prolific blogger and tweeter. Expert, interesting and up to date. Down to earth and amusing.

The Beebs? Lol

Justin Bieber? Daniel Caron? He never speaks to anyone for God's sakes. Are you nuts, John? Or are these turkeys you added for fun?

Where is Jill Ball?!

John Reid should be on this list too; but Justin Bieber? not so much! lol

Colleen Fitzpatrick is extraordinary. Towering intellect, excellent, informative and well-prepared lecturer, entertaining. Megan Smolenyak and Michael Gandy are excellent. It's been many years since I heard Smolenyak (in Toronto), but was impressed. For Gandy (in London) minor marks off for no slides, but a hand-out- topic was dissenters. Good speaker. We also hired Michael Gandy for a private consult and he was well-prepared, having studied our presentations ahead of time - good direction on where to go next. Gary Schroder is very very good. Have heard him several times now (Ottawa)and am impressed by his handle on Quebec genealogy.Good speaker. Alison Hare is very very good. Compelling presentation on follow-up to Snow's Broad Street Pump.

John D. Reid should be on the list too.

wow had to really narrow down my choices, I could go on and on, so many are deserving!

Justin Bieber? Where does he live and research?

I don't see David Lambert here. What about George Geder and Henry Louis Gates.

I'd like to see Nanette Napoleon on the list, or Dakota Brown, too.

I would say Thomas MacEntee is at the tip of my list.

Thomas MacEntee is, far and away, my favorite of the group listed. He combines being informative with being entertaining. No one dozes when Thomas speaks.
Marian Pierre-Louis, while not quite as entertaining as Thomas, has a wealth of knowledge and the ability to present in a way that makes the most difficult concepts comprehensible.

Great idea - I now have even more people's names to go searching to see why others think they're the greats in genealogy. Thanks John for doing this!

I would have voted for Penelope Christensen, but she is not on the list. Will nominate her next year. Fun survey, John.

Could only for those that I have seen already, I would be able to have a better answer after Rootstech. This is a great idea that should be used after all conferences.

Are you kidding me??.....Justin Bieber?? He isn't even a rock star of music, which he attempts to sing! But thank you for the opportunity to show my appreciation for the hard working men and women of genealogy!

I would add Carolyn Gerard

I'd like to add Tamura Jones, and Ben Sayer to this list

Myra Vanderpool Gormley ( should be on your list as well.

I don't see her listed but Linda Woodward Geiger

Love the Justin Bieber reference! Lots of names I have never heard of - but hopefully I will have a chance to hear/read them over the next few years! Did not see John Reid on the list!

There are so many who do so much, through their presentations, articles, books, websites, blogs or just with the amount of help they give to so many so willingly.. enough rock star genealogists to hold a Genealogy Live Aid Event!

My first choice is definitely Dave Obee (my husband has resigned himself to me being a Dave Obee "Groupie"). Second choice is Megan Smolenyak. They both have a wonderful sense of humour and I could listen to either of them all day and come away with so much new knowledge.

James F.S. Thomson is a genealogy rock star par excellence! He is tremendously knowledgeable and is extraordinarily generous with his time and talents to other genealogists of all levels. Recently I had occasion to work with him in a course on genetic genealogy and saw first hand his superior creativity and attention to detail.

If we were able to vote for someone postumously my vote would go to Bridgett Schneider who started Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.

Missing from this list are Jill Ball aka Geniaus and Maria Northcote of Genies Down Under podcast.

Particular kudos to Dr. Jane Lyons, whose untiring passion to guide others in researching their Irish family roots, and whose expertise and commitment to digging, digging, and then digging some more to get that sought-after genealogical link, inspires a virtual 'family' of over 2,000 searchers, through the World-Wide Web.

A lot of names on this list haven't spoken in Australia and New Zealand
Justin Bieber? Really?

(It's Curt B. Witcher, not Kurt.)

Justin Bieber? Really?

All of the presenters I have attended seminars with have been exceptional so it is difficult to choose. I have taken online classes with Sherry Irvine and have found them exceptional.

And Tamura Jones

I can't believe Helen Leary wasn't nominated!! We need a write-in campaign.
sad to see my name isn't on here. I can tell my life choices have taken a toll on my genealogy career :(

Only sorry I didn't hear about this when you were nominating. Lots of great ones left out.

Because I extremely enjoy all presentations by Nualla Farrell-Griffin I expected her to be nominated and did not check the nominated list before closing. That was my grievous error. To me she's the best.

Too many contributors to New England genealogy are missing. Number One would be Robert Charles Anderson.

How did Justin Bieber make this list? ;-}

Had the pleasure of seeing Pat Ryan at the AGS Conference in 2011. She is also a Rock Star Genealogist!
Justin Bieber ? LOL !

A few I have never heard that I might like to hear are on this list
Being in Australia, very few are seen and heard; it's mainly what's been read. Justin Bieber????? Really!!!

Add Sharon Tate Moody, Ann Staley, and Elmer Spears to this list,too.

Drew and George... of course!

Warren Bittner is the top of the rock stars to me. #2 is a tie--the ever-generous Steve Morse and Cyndi Howells. I would vote for more, but some are a bit washed up; others need to get over themselves. (Well, they do.)All votes are speakers I have heard.

I think Kurt Witcher should be spelled with a "C", not a "K"

Justin Bieber, an interloper???

I didn't know Justin Bieber was a genealogist.

was someone joking? ... Daniel Caron?
They are all great

Justin Bieber????

I think anyone who shares their work, works to help others, helps with making records accessable to all is a rock star. Also those who help newbies get started, volunteers with groups such as Unclaimed Persons and Families For Forgotten Heroes, or who volunteered with RAOGK is a rock star. There is no one rock star, or king or queen of genealogy. There are a lot of talented, caring people who share their skills everyday. They all deserve a thank-you for the work they do.

Mark Lowe has been a tremendous source of help and inspiration for our genealogical society. His knowledge and expertise is invaluable to those researching the Southeast United States and beyond. He's our Rock Star Genealogist regardless of the vote outcome.

I have heard project director of Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) Cecile Wendt Jensen speak and found her extremely knowledgeable and informative.

Thank you!

NOT Justin Bieber of course!

J Mark Lowe "Rock Star" for Robertson County Tennessee. Great person too

I'd give Elizabeth Shown Mills five votes, if I could. :-)

Lisa is the greatest!!!! She has passion and talent in presenting information that WE can USE!

You missed Arlene H. Eakle and Ruth Ellen Maness.

I'd like to see two others added to the list. Dae Powell - Jayne McCormick -

Apparently this is a popularity contest, as I am familiar with some of the listed people and they have done nothing in the way of presentations or articles. Some prior vetting is in order, at least to determine if the candidate has published something or otherwise shown a reason to be considered authoritative. Just posting online on message boards or maintaining a personal blog should not be sufficient. Why put effort into a contest if the result is to demean genealogy ?

heather Garnsey and martin killion working together make the most formidable act ever

Lisa is wonderful. I look forward to her podcasts every month. Her discussions are illuminating and upbeat. I am looking forward to purchasing her next book and hope she has many more.

Excellent idea ... I sense you are having some fun with this, I hope others do too. While Justin Bieber would undoubtedly attract a younger crowd and Daniel Caron no crowd at all, all of your choices deserve recognition for their contributions to genealogy and family history. Well done!

Where's Helen F. M. Leary???

Lisa woke me up and has me back on the trail.

He is a great great genealogist!!!!! We love him here in Alabama.

I try to hear as many of Mark's presentations as possible. Love to hear and talk to him.

Another name I would like to submit is Fawne Stratford-Devai.

Lisa rocks!

And Simon Fowler.

Maybe one day I will be up there =0) Love the Justin Beiber add in!

Sorry, some of the names I've never heard of though I'm still scratching my head about the inclusion of Justin Bieber???? A few I didn't see on the list but who I think should be included are Vicki Ethridge, Perry McIntyre, Richard Reid, Christine Yeats and Angela Phippin.

I love JAne Lyons way of expressing herself, she makes me feel genealogy is part of today as well as past times. Patricia Gallivan

Have listened to John Grenham speaking a few times at Back To our Past exhibition - just excellent.

Disappointed not to see Cora Num of Australia on the list.......... and that I can only vote for Chris Paton once!

tá gach duine iontach everyone is very good

J. Mark Lowe should be added to the list.

You missed some that should be on the list.

David Rencher should be on this list!

Kimberly Powell should be on this list.

Poor selection

Who snuck Justin Bieber onto the list? Shame on you! Seriously, my absolute favorite is John Philip Colletta. He could read to you out of the phone book and come up with interesting observations and insights and keep an audience riveted.

What ?

Megan Smolenyak's lecture on Finding the Right Annie Moore (first Ellis Island immigrant) is my favorite!

Elissa Scalise Powell should have been on the list. There are so many on the list I have never heard so cannot comment on them. Justin Bieber???? Is this whole thing a joke?

Why is Eileen O'Duill,CG not on the list?

Barbara Vines Little should be on your list

I know a few genealogists who do not lecture, but are far bigger Rock Stars than alot of the people on this list. Your poll is entertaining though and I enjoyed playing along.

Elissa Scalise Powell should be a choice

This is rather silly and pointless. Your lists miss many bright young and not so-young genealogists and genealogy educators.

What about Pam Cooper

I must confess that I do not know all of the names, so that I therefore have a 'bias' against those, even though they are likely deserving.

I would also have voted for Paul Milner if he had been on the list.

Justin Bieber? LOL. :-)

George's book "How to do everything - Genealogy" has given me so much to think about in my quest to learn about my family.

If I had to pick one it would be Thomas W. Jones

You are missing several...

Have ticked those I know through workshops. However Anthony Adolph is known through contacting me re a gen project he was working on.He subsequently looked up data for me in London which was of some merit as we were working on the same Greek family.

Please add Greg Hilton

Curt is still a rockstar even when his name is Spelled incorrectly. ;)

Shauna is an expert in her fields and her books are enlightening and very readible

There are so many more great ones that should be included in this vote, especially David Rencher.

Sandra Luebking was a rock star as well.

Realistically I will only vote for those I have heard - some like Michael Gandy I would go anywhere, any time, not only such amazingly good information but so entertaining and interesting as well, same as Martyn Killion - never forget his talk - about emigration to Australia - 'they didn't swim!!" or whose writings I have frequently read in magazines or books. Again great to see some Aussies making the list Great survey

Wow. I recognize only a fraction of these people. Makes a list of people I should check out!

Justin Bieber LOL

Fun! I am so proud of her! She does great work for the genealogy community!

I would add Geoff Rasmussen from Legacy - a great speaker and always fun.

Justin Bieber? Lol !

What? No Jane MacNamara???? Jane has been a rock at Toronto Branch OGS for more years than she probably wants to admit. Jane leads absolutely amazing tours to SLC ANNUALLY, does the Summer Camp in Toronto, and is an incredible teacher and role model. She is also unassuming, will stop and say hello, answer questions and has done tons of research that she has made available to help others.... I think all the 'rock stars' who know Jane on this list - with the exception of The Bieb - would vote for her as well.


Missing Jill Sybalsky from your list.

I wish I knew more of this professionals.

Would also include Marie Melchioir, Constance Potter.and Elissa Powell Curt Witcher spells his name with a C.

Lesley Anderson, when speaking to the media, always presents her information in a candid, knowledgeable manner. She is interesting too and never dry!

Just found out about this on Sat evening and so no time to go back over my notes of the various OGS conferences to find the names of the speakers that I found to be excellent. Their names are probably here, but the ones I've voted for are the ones from whom I've taken courses - absolutely outstanding. Also thought the Heber book was extremely well written. Think also that Jane Macnamara would merit inclusion on this impressive list. BTW, are there 2 Justin Biebers? Or is this a joke? :-)"

1 comment:

Lesley Anderson said...

A couple of comments about the survey and findings: First, thank you to all that voted! Being nominated and to be honoured in the top 3 for Canada was wonderful!

Everyone on the list and those who were not and deserved to be are all genealogy rock stars in my estimation. I am so proud to be part of the genealogy family of volunteers and professionals.

Keep up the good work and sharing and caring! :)