Thursday, June 4, 2009

Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence

Each time I take a vacation - even a small one like this past weekend's break - I come back, go through hundreds of e-mails and about 1,000 blog posts in Google Reader and then find out I've won an award!

This time Kathryn Doyle over at California Genealogical Society and Library Blog has awarded me a Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence.

As Kathryn stated: "The award was created in honor of genealogy blogger Janice Brown by Terry Thornton, author of
Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi, who explained that "Janice told us all about the word 'puckerbrush' in an article she posted August 27, 2007, at Cow Hampshire. Terry elaborated a bit further in a comment:

On any land allowed to go fallow and left untended, a wild assortment of wild plants grow – in some areas, this wild growth results in such a thicket of plants that it is almost impossible to push your way through the growth.

So it is with the growth of blogs --- so many that it is impossible to read them all. But in the puckerbrush eventually a few plants/trees become dominant and influence all who view them through the thick surrounding puckerbrush.

And it is those outstanding blogs whose influence spreads beyond just the surrounding rabble of puckerbrush that I'm honoring.

Terry has issued this challenge:

Henceforth these awards will be called the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence. All blog authors are hereby challenged to name the ten blogs which have influenced their writing the most and list them as a tribute to Janice --- the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Awards for Excellence.

Lately I've been thinking about all the wonderful blogs listed over at Geneabloggers (almost 425 at last count) and it is difficult for me to select even 10 of them which have had an influence on Destination: Austin Family and my passion for blogging and writing. But here is my list of those who've impacted not only how I pursue my genealogy research but for opening up a whole new word to my eyes and mind:

1. Creative Gene hosted by Jasia. This is the first true genealogy blog which I stumbled upon back in the September 2007 after I had committed myself to this blog (which I half-heartedly started in December 2006). At that time I was having a difficult time coping with my mother's Alzheimer's Disease and I found a kindred soul on so many levels. Jasia has been a constant inspiration, has welcomed me with the same open arms to the world of geneablogging which she does with all her visitors, and her writing style told me it was okay to write from the soul, as painful as that might be.

2. AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors hosted by Miriam Robbins Midkiff. From Miriam's site I learned not to run out of topics for blog posts and that it was fun to participate in carnivals and memes. Miriam's site is a wealth of information not just for genealogists but those getting a start in blogging.

3. Genea-Musings hosted by Randy Seaver. At Randy's site I learned that it was only natural to have more than one blog, that I could count on Randy to have his "ear to the rail" in terms of the latest genealogy news, and that it was a "good thing" to have fun and participate in "geneablogger games" especially on Saturday nights!

4. footnoteMaven hosted by footnoteMaven. Where do I begin? I often find myself talking way too fast and effusive about this wonderful blog (and the affiliated sites such as Shades of the Departed). Pure inspiration is the most efficient way I have of telling you the impact and influence fM has had on me. Not only has her information on source citations made me a better genealogist, she has opened up my eyes to the world of ancestor photography.

5. Apple's Tree hosted by Apple. One of my first instant friends back in 2007, Apple runs a site from a location in snowy upstate New York where my ancestors once trod. She was once of the first commenters on this blog and has been very helpful in getting started with my blogs.

6. GeneaBlogie by Craig Manson. If it weren't for Craig I wouldn't have received a valuable education on the topic of copyright and how it impacts bloggers. Not only does Craig have some wonderful posts on issues that are of importance to geneabloggers, he has some great posts about his family tree and his research.

7. Grace and Glory by Becky Jamison. I was privileged to find Becky, her blog and the blog of her father Ernie just at a difficult time when I had convinced myself that a) it wasn't worth it to be a "nice guy" all the time and b) there were no nice people left in the world. Not only does Becky run a super blog about her family and her research (all with some fab photos to boot!), but she has been so open to learning new things such as Twitter, Facebook and anything having to do with blogs!

8. Family Matters by Denise Olson. Another kindred soul especially when it comes to technology - we can both get so excited over a new application or a new product! Denise is often right on the pulse of new technologies that should be important and of use to genealogists.

9. Looking4Ancestors by Kathryn Lake. I first became acquainted with Kathryn in April 2008 when her blog got off the ground and I can count on her to keep me up to date with not only her own research efforts, but the world of Canadian genealogy. She and all the other Canadian geneabloggers make sure that I have resources to research my Loyalist ancestors.

10. Granite in My Blood by Midge Frazel. Besides being being another cousin of mine (others are Kathryn Lake, Becky Wiseman of kinexxions and Lorine Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy), Midge not only is a technology fanatic, but also is an educator and knows how important it is to be able to impart knowledge to others - and to have the tools to do so.

These are my top ten and I hope that some of all of these geneabloggers will let us know which blogs have influenced along their blogging journeys.


Becky Thompson said...

Thomas, I'm in shock! My goodness, I'm humbled and honored to be on your list of bloggers who have had some kind of impact on you. I'm really in shock. You've been the best MENTOR to me and have encouraged and helped me to learn and grow and proceed with courage into this new "techie" field for communicating, sharing, researching, learning and loving! You spur me on to do more and to get better at whatever I do. Thank you so very much, Thomas! What a blessing you've been to me.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Randy, all of your selections are so worthy of your words of praise and commendation. I agree with each and every one of these.

You have been a HUGE inspiration to me as a genea-blogger and I know everyone of your friends on FB and on the GeneaBloggers site would concur.

Your post gives me new insight to the ones you've listed. Congratulations on your "Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence."

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Thomas, I've just found my error! Calling you Randy, of all things!! I was just trying to do too much at once. I need to proceed with caution.... so sorry.

Thomas MacEntee said...

Judith - I knew what you meant - besides I tend to answer to many different names . . .


Craig Manson said...


Thank you very much! And congratulations to you, who has done as much anyone to build our genea-blogger community!

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...


Thank you so much! Has it really been less than two years since we first "met"?