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Genealogy Blog: Choosing a Blog Title and Domain Name and URL

Deciding what your blog name and title should be might be easy for you. If your blog is about cats, then you can call it the “Cat Blog” or “About Cats Blog” and have the domain name/URL (address) be or If your name is Sally Smith, you might want to call it or, but the odds are that Sally Smith already got that, so you might want to consider or, or even go with initials like, a fun play on words. There are a lot of options when choosing a domain name.

Genealogy blog domain names get more complicated. Names like “familysearch”, “myancestry”, “myfamily”, “myfamilyhistory”, “ancestry”, “familytree”, “mygenealogy”, “genealogyblog”, “genblog”, and such are taken.

The key to domain names is to come up with something that relates to what your blog is about. While names like gives you a hint about the content of the site, genealogy sites can be a little more complicated and not always indicative of their content.

You can choose a family name, but which family name? I have hundreds of last names within my family tree, though I will probably talk about four to six core names on my blog. Which name do I choose?

I have a mother and father, and they both have different names. Immediately, I have two family names tracing back from just me. If your parents are Jones and Smith, you could have a domain name like, or some other variation.

Now, take this a step farther. Each of your parents arrived with two parents. If your name hasn’t changed, you now have a minimum of four family names out of seven people. Add to this your great-grandparents, and the number of names goes up.

All your ancestral lines back to 1650 could involve as many as eight to twelve generations of ancestors before you. If eight generations separate you from 1650, you could have had 256 ancestors living then. A gap of twelve generations could mean you had more than 4,000 ancestors living in 1650.

Emily Anne Croom, “Unpuzzling Your Past”

This really complicates limiting your genealogy blog domain name to family names. If you choose to only research and discuss a specific family name or two, and spend little or no time on other family names, this makes sense. This is what a lot of people do, calling their genealogy blog “The Applebee Family Tree” ( or “The Applebee-Smith Family Tree” (

You can also choose to use an existing domain name and create a subdomain like,, or, keeping family lines together as subdomains under the parent domain name.

Another method is to choose a generic domain name/URL and have the blog title be different. The URL might be or and the blog title would be “Anderson, Smith, and Jones Family History Blog”. The title is set in your blog’s web pages where search engines can find it and list it as the title. Thus, your URL is not totally dependent upon the domain name. Still, it’s nice and easy to remember if there is a connection between the name and the blog’s subject.

Take care to choose a domain name you don’t have to spell. For many years, our main website’s URL was, as one of our company names is “VanFossen Productions”. VanFossen is much harder to spell than you might imagine. The letters V, F, and S are very problematic. V as in victor, F as in Frank, and S as in Sam – Sam (to get both S letters), and F sounds like S and V sounds like C so we’ve had some fun with that.

And vanfossenpro isn’t very memory-friendly. The moment we changed it to the more appropriate, I’ve only been asked once in over 2 years how to spell that. All I say now is “all one word, no spaces”. Much easier.

A URL with numbers is also not very friendly. Something like just doesn’t work for me. What about you? A URL of works better, but it also doesn’t sound very imaginative.

You are not limited to only dot com. Since a genealogy blog is about information, you can now use the Or if you want to associate your blog with a region or county, you can use a country code like or That opens up the field a little more.

Think it through and experiment with friends and family with a variety of possibilities, researching them thoroughly before you commit. It is easier to change it now before you are committed to a name than to change it later.

Genealogy Blog: Building a Blog Series

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted August 8, 2006 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Okay, you may think this is a little odd but it helps me organize, and thereby name things. When I think of genealogy I think of research. When I think of research I think of the library. When I think of the library I think of the Dewey Decimal System. So, if I was building a site on genealogy I might incorporate the numbers 920. Because that is where genealogy falls in the DDS. Did I use it in the title of my site? Not really but it is mentioned as an aside in the desciptive in the 100 or 300 sectons.

  2. Posted August 8, 2006 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Excellent! Very funny.

  3. Posted August 9, 2006 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I think finding a name for your child is easier than finding a name for your blog! I tell you, times have changed.

  4. Posted January 2, 2008 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Whao, am still new ion the system like someone to teach teach more about these,. love to blog,

  5. Posted September 12, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    You make me get some good ideas to manage my weblog job.


  6. Linda in Lancaster and lovin' it!
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Since my ancestral lines had both “A’s” and “Z’s” in it, I incorporated that fun fact in the title of my blog ~ “From Axer to Ziegler.” It helps draw in any “Axer” or “Ziegler” researchers ~ just one of the many benefits from posting a blog!

  7. Posted March 29, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Very fun read! Although I’d like to recommend to lessen the use of dashes “-” because many people overlook this and may be redirected to another website instead of yours.

    • Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Actually, people do not overlook the dash/hyphen as much as you might think. I don’t recommend it but it continues to be an option and tests prove that people will remember the hyphen when typing. This is mostly due to the fact that few people actually type in website addresses as much as they used to. They are led by search engines.

  8. Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!

11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Right now, Lorelle is writing a great series on building a blog. She’s focusing on building a genealogy blog, but her tips and ideas will help anyone thinking of setting up a new blog on any kind of topic. In between the series posts, though, she’s writing about the new CSS editor for, while in the middle of a live redesign herself. […]

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