Sunday, June 5, 2011

I Am The Face of Genealogy

This is the Face of Genealogy 
My great grandmother Felice Romero and her siblings

Thomas M. asked the genealogical bloggers to post a "This is the Face of Genealogy" blog post as a call to arms. He along with many other bloggers have risen up in protest against a terrible photo that accompanied a story in the LA Weekly. His is the most eloquent rebuttal yet (and there have been many less eloquent ones) to the awful picture printed next to a story about the Jamboree in the LA Weekly. Although the online version of the LA Weekly no longer has this photo, the damage has been done.

Genealogists from far and near are in an uproar about this photo. Why, you ask? Here is Thomas' explanation, and I can't say it any better so I will re-post it here.

Please, if you or someone you know is a genealogist, be they amateur family historian or professional, please, do your part by following the link to the LA Weekly and let them know you find this unprofessional and offensive. At the very least it inferred that the work we do is laughable.
The following is from GeneaBloggers

Is this the face of genealogy? Is this truly what the public sees in their mind’s eye when they hear the word genealogy?

The Rub

In a recent event article at the LAWeekly website, the above photo was used in a brief article about the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree being held in Burbank, California from June 10-12, 2011. I’ll be there as well as close to 70 other members of GeneaBloggers.
What I don’t know is whether there will be any new visitors to Jamboree this year, especially if they saw the LA Weekly article. My first thoughts are:
  • What were they thinking?
  • Did the author Skylaire Alfvegren actually select the photo or perhaps it was some smart-aleck editor? The way the text is written, with the byline Gene Genies, I think that this is more the work of an editor.
  • What were they thinking?
A quick search of the image on Google Images shows that the photo used is not even the original work of LAWeekly. This also reinforces my suspicion that a young, inexperienced editor who believes everything is free on the Internet just lifted the image from another site and slapped it on the copy.

What You Can Do

I urge readers of GeneaBloggers to send a letter to the editor of the LAWeekly using their online form at I don’t often make these “calls for action” but we as genealogists and family historians have a responsibility – especially to the younger people – to show them exactly what is the face of genealogy.

I Am The Face of Genealogy

Also, I’m asking that every genealogy blogger put up their favorite ancestor photo with the simple post title “This Is The Face of Genealogy.” Together, hopefully we can turn this offensive piece into a win situation for the genealogy community.

This too is the face of genealogy....remembering those who came before us and honoring our families.

This is also the "Face of Genealogy" a letter written by a grandmother I never got to meet. How I wish I could have known her. This letter and my genealogy research helps me learn who she was.

Please, we work very hard at what we do, we love what we do, and it means a lot to us. Help the LA Weekly understand why what they did is unforgivable. Not only did they potentially damage a wonderful event (the Southern California Genealogical Society's Genealogy Jamboree) but they smeared the name of "Genealogist."