It’s a win!

Thank you for your support

Okay… the genealogists beat out the lawyers.

2013_Blawg100And it’s a genealogy blog, rather than a strictly law blog, that — with your help — took the top honors in vote-getting1 in the niche category of the prestigious American Bar Association Journal‘s 2013 Blawg 100 “competition.”

In that niche category, the newcomer, the winner and new champion — The Legal Genealogist.

This tale began back in November when I got an email with a return address of — and I almost deleted it. I figured it was a pitch for membership in the ABA and, since I’m not in active law practice any more, and don’t have an active law license, I had my finger on the delete key when I realized it was about something else altogether.

“Congratulations,” it said. “Your blawg has earned a spot in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100, our 7th annual list of the best in blogs about lawyers and the law.”2

Now that seemed like fun.

But there was this beauty-contest aspect to it — the voting for top honors in each category. And that was kind of scary. I was in a hot and heavy contest with a law professor from Texas who writes about wills, estates and trusts.

Now I mean really.

I wouldn’t have minded losing to the winner in the Criminal Justice category — a blog I suspect many genealogists voted for — Defrosting Cold Cases by cold-case consultant Alice de Sturler. Or to the winner in the For Fun category — Jessica Mederson and Josh Gilliland’s The Legal Geeks.

But hey… in my own category I was out for blood.

And you, dear readers, came through.

niche_winner The announcement was made yesterday: “After some 4,000 readers weighed in, the winners and proud owners of bragging rights in each category are: … Niche: The Legal Genealogist.”3

Addendum: This image to the right here is the official Niche Category winner’s badge, sent today by the ABA Journal staff.


I’d have never lived it down if I’d lost out to a blog on wills and trusts.

Thank you!


  1. Or ballot-box-stuffing.
  2. Trust me — I’m as pained by the “blawg” spelling as you are.
  3. Sarah Mui and Lee Kathryn Rawles, “And the Blawg 100 popular vote-getters are …,” ABA Journal online, posted 2 Jan 2014 ( : accessed 3 Jan 2014).
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52 Responses to It’s a win!

  1. Debi Austen says:

    Great news – congratulations! So well deserved!

  2. P.E. Chatham says:

    How do you think the wills and trusts blogger feels ?? Congrats !!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      I’m sure he’s very disappointed… but hey… if a blog about dead people is gonna win, let it be one about the lives and family histories of dead people!

  3. Congrats Judy! Great news!

  4. Barbara Mathews says:

    Congrats, Judy! I look forward to your new posts everyday. You’ve gotten recognition you deserve.

  5. John D. Tew says:

    Nicely done Judy! I think the absolute humiliation would have been losing out to a blawg on “collections law.” ;-)

  6. Just found your blog recently and have it now on my list of several genealogy blogs I follow. So glad you won since I didn’t get a chance to vote – this time!

  7. Congratulations! And to think, I only voted ONCE! :-)

  8. Laura says:

    Most deserved – congratulations!

  9. Absolutely deserved! Congratulations!!!!

  10. Barb Glassel says:

    Congratulations, much deserved! “Blawg” reminded me of hawg-calling, till the incorporation of “law” dawned on me.
    Even the ABA has provided a genealogical “Ah-Ha! moment!”
    Thanks for every single column!

  11. Barbara Schenck says:

    Congratulations, Judy. Couldn’t have gone to a more worthy recipient. I don’t know if my vote counted or not because my computer froze up and I was afraid to go back again because I thought they might sent the lawyers after me. Or the cops.

  12. Donna Brown says:

    Congratulations! I’ve just recently found you but thoroughly love your blog.

  13. Kris Stewart says:

    Congrats! Well deserved! You have an excellent blog :)

  14. Skip Duett says:

    Hooray! Well deserved! Happy to have stuffed the ballot box…er I mean voted [once] for you!
    Happy Year, Judy! See you at PMC & SLIG!

  15. Jana Last says:

    Hurray!! Congratulations on your well-deserved win Judy!

  16. Rondina says:

    Congratulations, Judy.

  17. Lee Rawles says:

    Congratulations, Judy! In your first year, too, well done. I don’t actually have contact info for you, but if you email me at lee.rawles[at], I have a winner’s badge for you! Our graphics department made them, they’re very pretty.

    - Lee Rawles
    Web Producer

  18. Benjamin Ainsworth says:

    Congratulations Judy! The honor is well deserved. Yours is a blog that I have discovered this year as well after I took my DNA test. You provide the latest updates in the genealogical field, a legal perspective to various aspects and with a sense of humor as well.

  19. Alice says:

    I am glad we are both winners! Congrats and happy 2014.

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thanks, Alice, and congratulations to you too! So many genealogists were thrilled to see your blog on the list — we love cold cases (some of them a bit colder even than those you write about).

  20. Pat Morgan says:

    Congratulations! What great way to start the new year! I know people say “It’s an honor just to be nominated” but winning is sure way more fun!

  21. Jade says:

    I am so glad to be hearing a fanfare. The brainsqueeze it took me to figure out how to sign in to vote would have been worth it even had you not won in the category. Your fond readers can do little to encourage your fine work — so it’s great that enough of us joined the chaaaaarge!

  22. Lisa Marker says:

    Right on! Genealogists need to stick together! Congratulations!

  23. It’s a Win — and this is no surprise!

    Congrats, Judy.

    You have worked hard — and thoroughly, and this in a fully and profoundly professional manner. Your recognition and all the accolades are well-deserved.

    Look forward to many more!

    All the best for 2014.

    (Adv.) Dave Mitchell
    Cape Town
    South Africa

  24. Becky MacAllester says:


    The better blog definitely won! Ded Peeple Hunters, unite!

    You deserve the award because your blog is very informative, funny, and professional. I look forward to it every day, and I always get a chuckle while I’m learning something. What you provide genealogists is often information about courts, records and law that is difficult to find anyplace else or presented in a way so it all makes sense.

    Way to Go!

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