Sunday, July 19, 2009


My usual Sunday routine is to sleep in. After I'm up I make coffee
and waffles and then eat while I browse my blogfeeds. When I worked my
way down to Terry Thornton's "Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi"
I was greeted with a message from saying that the blog had
been removed.

Given recent history I was concerned but hoped it was a technical thing that
could be corrected. I emailed Terry about it in case he wasn't aware that his
blog was gone and then I posted a notice on Facebook in my status to let other
geneabloggers know about this.

I've since received an email back from Terry confirming all 12 of his blogs
were removed this morning. He didn't say if this was his decision although
I believe it is so I've asked him that question and I'm awaiting a reply.

I'm saddened by this. All that great writing, all those memories Terry shared
with us are gone. His Graveyard Rabbit's blogs are gone as well, and I wonder
what now becomes of the Graveyard Rabbits group as a whole.

Most of all, I'll miss that wry Southern humor.

So Terry, please, if this was your decision, I hope you'll reconsider.



Oh my goodness! If this is Terry's decision, I hope he will reconsider as well. I am going to miss reading his blog.

geneabloggers said...


I want to try and set the record straight here. I believe that Terry deleted his own presence on Blogger - the 12 blogs he had - and it was his own decision. Terry will need to come forth and set the record straight on that.

I think we need to let Terry be Terry right now. While he is an excellent writer and I too have enjoyed all his posts and writings, this is not the first time that Terry has "taken his marbles" and gone home - if anyone remembers the Graveyard Rabbits situation earlier in the year. With Genealogy Wise he was certainly justified and many were hoping he would come back to GW. Even if he didn't, we didn't expect him to self-destruct with his own blogs.

I could post at length about Terry, Graveyard Rabbits, Genealogy Wise, etc. but quite frankly I've spent too much time on this during the week and I need to move on to improving the blogosphere for those genealogy bloggers who want to stay and continue to make solid contributions to the world of family history.

Continuing to highlight Terry in posts and comments I believe only feeds this situation and it is beginning to reflect badly on all genealogy bloggers - as if we were spoiled children who backlash if we don't get our way.

Thomas MacEntee

geneabloggers said...


Thanks for your response. My comment was not reactionary, spur of the moment and it was well thought out - let me say that first off.

Second, without knowledge of the Graveyard Rabbits situation I don't believe you have the entire picture of what some of us have been through. We all have been as supportive of Terry as possible and have communicated this to him on a constant basis.

Having said that, and not wanting to get into some sort of p*ssing contest with a fellow genealogy blogger, and keeping in mind that I am as strongly opposed to censorship as anyone here and believe Terry was justified in his interactions with Genealogy Wise, people must realize:

How does this begin to look to those outside the genealogy blogging community? Why care? Because some of us have careers and businesses tied to genealogy and family history. We interact with vendors, genealogy societies and we are closely identified with our blogs, our writing. We market ourselves through these venues. Some of us even have "brands."

Go ahead and say that I or others are concerned with profit over freedom of speech. Not so. Many of us have bent over backwards in dealing with this week's dust up and Genealogy Wise. We want to move on and that's all I was trying to say in my comment.

It appears that we'll just continue to have more controversy this week in the genealogy blogosphere. Blame me? That's fine.

Thomas MacEntee

Bill West said...

I'm not familiar with the Graveyard Rabbits situation from earlier in the year since I'm not a GR member and it doesn't seem to been talked about in the blogs I read.

Having said that, I think you could have made your comments without the last two paragraphs. I don't know what correspondence Terry might have had with others in private that we don't know about that might have pushed him to the decision to pull his blogs.

Neither do you.

It gets harder and harder at a certain age to not take comments
personally. Did it occur to you that being branded "rude and disrespectful" hurt Terry as well as angering him? And now in your last line you refer to "spoiled children who backlash if we don't get our way." thereby hanging that tag on Terry as well. Well, that should keep Terry away for good now.

I think I'm going to step away from the kb for a bit and go do my
laundry and get this had taste this whole incident is leaving out of my mouth.

But I think both you and Paul Allen should consider yourselves damn lucky that Janice Brown stopped blogging before this, because I believe her comments on this would make your ears burn.

3:55 PM

Bill West said...

My response to Thomas's original comment is out of order because I
pulled it to edit it. The linebreaks were all over the place in the original, even worse than they are now in the replacement.

Bill West said...

You're right, I don't know anything about the Graveyard Rabbits affair. Nor do I cast any blame at you over this new matter.

But my point is, you could have phrased those last two paragraphs in a way that wouldn't have cast aspersions on Terry.

As for geneablogging in general, for most of us it's a hobby and a way to express ourselves freely. It's what makes it enjoyable. I fail to see how Terry's exercise of freedom of speech reflects badly on geneabloggers, even if I do not agree with his closing his blogs.

familytwigs said...

? I am aware of some of Terry's GR thing as I was there in the beginning and I see no connection.
What has happened to the wonderful community we all were building? It started out as a joined effort, without a hierarchy. What is this 'brands' and 'marketing'? Is Thomas being paid to organize us? Something somewhere has gone very wrong and I don't know where. I am interested in furthering my family history research and having conversation with those of the same mind. Of course, I am not a professional genealogist. I have limited income and limited time. Do you think we are still welcome in this community? I don't see how an open discussion is going to mess up a career. Nor do I know how Thomas is involved other than the posts here which seem to be from him and indicate that he is very involved. Funny, I actually missed most of the uproar that started over at that site.
I must assume that I know how the stampede was started, and I must admit I was trampled worse than I first thought. :o) I'll take my bleeding self to bed. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day.

Bill West said...

Hi Sheri,
I'm a bit unclear on this brands and marketing stuff, but I don't believe Thomas has been paid to organize us.
Genea-Bloggers is a more of a group than a organization.

geneabloggers said...

Point of clarification:

I am not being paid to organize anyone. My talk of brands and marketing might have confused people - I merely was stating that there are genealogy bloggers who pursue genealogy as a career and they have businesses which they market to others via their blogs.

Sheri, I still think we have a great community and one that doesn't have a lot of rules, restrictions, etc. GeneaBloggers is totally volunteer on my part (which consumes almost 40 hours a week of my time) and continues to be a free resource for the genealogy blogging community.

Thomas MacEntee

geneablogger said...

Thomas, you claim 'I've spent too much time on this during the week'
That is BS. You did not do anything for Terry.

You claim you are 'improving the blogosphere for those genealogy bloggers'?
Just who or what do you think you are Thomas?
'improving' the blogosphere by telling us to shut up?
The blogosphere gives us freedom of speech!
It is where we thumb our nose at little dictators like you.
We don't need your permission to blog and we will talk about Terry when we want to.

geneabloggers said...

I want to apologize if I offended anyone with my comments. I understand there are strong feelings and opinions in this issue to which everyone is entitled - on both sides.

Thomas MacEntee

Elyse said...

Whoa - everyone, let's take a deep breath.

I have never met Terry in person, but I have emailed with him back and forth in the past, and I believe that he is a good person. I'll admit that I rarely understand his motives for doing anything, but then again, it isn't my place to understand. I think that it is a shame that all of his writings are gone, but it isn't my place to decide whether they should be on the internet or not.

I also know Thomas - and I feel that he is such a great person. He does so much for the geneabloggers (and without pay) and creates what I believe to be very useful resources. Without him, I probably would have never started a blog in the first place! I can't speak for anyone else, but I find all of the work that he does to be invaluable. If anyone has a problem with the great work that Thomas does, then they don't need to use his resources.

As for Terry - I wish him all the best in his genealogy and his life. I hope that all is going well with him and that he is happy in his life. I find it to be a shame that he deleted his blogs - but it was his decision and not mine to make.

Now can we all move on? I mean, is there really anything else to say on this issue?

And if anyone has any issues with any one person (or the words that person used), then can you please solve it between yourselves - privately perhaps? This is Bill's blog - not a boxing ring. Let's all act like adults, please?