Saturday 22 December 2012

Five years of genealogy news blogging

Just realised that today is my fifth anniversary as a genealogy news blogger! Quite coincidentally, the first version of this blog, Scottish GENES, was also started on a Saturday 22nd December. In my first ever post I stated my intended mission statement to be as follows:

So here we go...! My first ever blog, no ideas where I'm going with it, but the aim is to try and keep you informed of things happening genealogically in Scotland, and also further afield.

Not a lot has changed! The focus is wider now with Britain and Ireland (and occasionally their respective diasporas), hence the change to British GENES, but beyond that I am still wandering aimlessly in my efforts to bring you up to date news on all things British, Irish and genealogical. (The original post is at

Since the first entry I have blogged close to five thousand posts, and carried many breaking news stories, many of them exclusives. Sources are varied - often I get emailed directly by readers, I draw on other blogs (a big shout here in particular for Anglo-Celtic Connections, Irish Genealogy News and Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter), the Twittersphere is increasingly important, as is Facebook and the BBC. All are suitably attributed, as and when - a huge thank you to everyone who shares news, and also to all those who have shared links to the blog, and to the magazines, publishers and vendors that have helped to promote it also.

On a personal note, my career has moved in many different ways since I left the BBC in 2006, with all sorts of extraordinary opportunities and developments. My personal motivation for keeping up with the blog writing is that it helps to keep me focussed on what is happening in the genealogical world, to keep developing my own knowledge and skills as a working genealogist here in Scotland. I am only too happy to keep sharing that news with you, and completely free of charge!

The last five years have seen some extraordinary changes (the opening of the ScotlandsPeople Centre and the release of the Irish 1901 and 1911 censuses being two personal and very revolutionary highlights) and no doubt there will be many more extraordinary developments ahead - not least with the growing financial pressure on archives and funding just now, and the possibility of Scotland seceding from the United Kingdom. This blog will continue to follow developments on all fronts, and to bring rolling news on online records releases and events happening across these islands.

Here's to the next five years - and please share the British GENES resource with anyone you know working on their family history!


Having a Christmas present crisis?! Check out my range of genealogy books at - perfect for the family historian's Christmas stocking...! Also now out - new Kindle edition of Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, from


  1. Congratulations Chris! Keep up the good work ;)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  2. Congrats on your fifth blogiversary, Chris! Looking forward to reading the next five years of posts :D

  3. Congratulations, Chris! You're one of my must-read blogs and I almost always find something new or interesting. Cheers from a newby (7 months!).

  4. Congratulations and thank you, Chris. I often find helpful information on your blog.

  5. Congrats Chris. 5 years of blogging, now that's a whole lot of news you've written about ... nice work!
    I do have to agree with Celia, yours is a must-read blog, and it's so up-to-the-minute with happenings. Here's to the next 5 years.

  6. Cheers Alona and Merry Christmas to all the Phillips clan down under!

  7. Happy Blogday Chris. All the best tae you and yours for 2013. Keep up the good work, an every day read for me too.