After a long day's slog, it was a wonderful surprise to turn on my computer last night and find an Inbox full of congratulations and kind words, all directing me to John Grenham's column in the Irish Times.
The subject of this week's 'Irish Roots' column was (blush) this blog, which John describes as the 'centre of the Irish family history universe'. Coming from the most renowned Irish genealogist on the planet, that's one hell of an accolade to have bestowed on Irish Genealogy News, and one that may well find its way into my future promotional materials!
He's right in saying I have no agenda. I'm a news reporter, trained to report the facts fairly and without favour, and I love this independence. Fortunately, I don't have to compromise it because I'm not trying to flog you my products or research services, I'm not beholden to any advertisers, and, unlike some genealogy blogs, newsletters and magazines, I'm not secretly in the pocket of any database owners. So on my blog you'll find news of record releases from Ancestry, RootsIreland, IrishGenealogy.ie, AncestryIreland.com, FindMyPast, National Archives of Ireland or UK, MilitaryArchives.ie, National Library of Ireland, Irish societies in the USA, UK and Ireland, local libraries and archives, IGP-web – you name it. Commercial, charity, non-profit, volunteers... I don't care who hosts the records or sells the products so long as they are of value to Irish genealogists.
It's true that if you click on an Ancestry, BNA or FindMyPast link on my blog and subsequently buy a sub, I may receive a small commission (it doesn't affect the price you pay), but I don't report releases or developments from those sites unless I recognise them as of genuine interest to Irish family historians. Unless I'm really REALLY stretched for time, I usually test-search new collections before I report on them. This brings me to something John wrote that I should correct: the blog is very much a part-time hobby that I can usually fit in around my main job; if I relied on the blog for an income, I'd rarely eat. Those who have met me will appreciate that I don't often skip meals.
To John, a heartfelt 'Thank You' for drawing attention to Irish Genealogy News and being so positive and generous in his review.