Saturday, March 29, 2014

FACEBOOK – HOW IT CAN BE VERY USEFUL IN YOUR RESEARCH

Logo for FB

This past week has been a quiet one for me as far as blogging.  I had knee surgery on March 21st and haven’t really had that inspiration I usually have to write.  

However, this “down time” has given me plenty of time to read other blogs and interact on the genealogy Facebook groups to which I belong.

Being a member of a group on Facebook that is oriented to genealogy or an aspect of research is not only helpful, it’s fun. 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES? 
  • You get to interact with others who are also researching their families.
  • You learn by the questions posed by others in the group and the answers to them.
  • You meet new cousins.
  • You learn about websites you may not have known about.
  • You get assistance with documents you might have questions about.
  • You learn about a particular area where your ancestors lived
  • You make new friends.
I’m sure the list could go on, but you have the general idea.  

My first experience with a Facebook genealogy group involved an area in southeastern Ohio.  Many many of my ancestors are from the Lawrence County, Ohio area.  They also cross over to Cabell County, West Virginia and into Ashland or Boyd County, Kentucky.  
All those places are right on the Ohio River and easily accessed from one another.  

I had always used The Lawrence Register website, created by Martha Martin and the sister site Miles, Shute & Kouns created by Sharons Milch Kouns.  They have given me a lot of good information on my ancestors.  

Then I heard about a Facebook group created by Martha, called The Lawrence Register.  I can’t tell you exactly when this Facebook group was created, but I would say it’s been a good 4 or 5 years.

From there I branched out and joined the following groups on Facebook:

Allegheny County PA Genealogy
Cabell, Wayne and Lincoln County Genealogy    
Detroit Genealogy group
Boyd County, Kentucky
Mifflin County Historical Society
Daughters of the American Revolution

Other helpful group are:

The Organized Genealogist
Technology for Genealogy
Evernote Genealogists 

I have linked all of the groups above, so simply click on them in order to view them.

Now, what groups or pages may be of interest to you? 
 
Just go up to the search box at the top of Facebook and type in a place or something you want to find.  Let’s try it.

I typed in “Macomb County” a county just north of Detroit, in Michigan.

Here are the choices that came up:

Macomb FB search

You can see that only the top one seems to fit our category for genealogy.

Let’s try another search for a larger county, San Diego, California.

san diego fb

Certainly a few more choices because this is a much bigger county than Macomb. 

You can do the very same thing for Historical Societies, Libraries etc.  Pretty much every organization now has a presence on Facebook.

How active these pages or groups are will vary widely.  Some are pages you simply click on the “Like” icon and you will get notified when there is something new.  

Others are actual groups that are either open (anyone can be a member) or closed (you must be invited or accepted by someone already in the group).

Some of the groups have strict guidelines as to what members are allowed to discuss.  An example is the Organized Genealogist group.  The administrators in this group want to keep it specifically oriented to organization.  I am all for that and like it that way.  It’s why I joined that group when it first began.

What happens if administrators don’t keep track? All of a sudden you have people asking for research assistance, talking about their family problems, asking for lookups, complaining about another website or asking for advice on which printer to buy.  While those may be valid questions, they are not relevant to organizing.  There are Facebook pages that are appropriate for those questions.  

In fact, there is a list of genealogy Facebook groups and pages.  Here is a link to that list, created by Katherine R. Wilson, GENEALOGY LINKS ON FACEBOOK.  You can download the PDF and there are hyperlinks to all of these pages.  What a great resource, thanks Katherine!

Another list that is common on these Facebook groups is a list of the Surnames Being Researched and who is researching them. Is that a great way to find cousins or what?

Just yesterday on the Lawrence Register group one of the members posted an old deed from 1842. Because I have been a member for a few years the person who posted this deed tagged me because she is familiar with some of the surnames I am researching.  My brother is also a member of this group and was also tagged.  

Here is the document.  This document contains several of my ancestor's names.

GILLEN_John_Land deed from Earles estate in 1840_Lawrence County Ohio

Would you like to have someone post a document like this?  I had never seen this and was more than happy to have it. 

I could post so many more examples.  People post pictures, land records, marriage, death & birth records and just about anything you can think of.  Sometimes someone has trouble reading a word or two in a particular document and they will ask for help.  They are blessed with many responses and usually the problem is solved.

If you have not yet taken advantage of this wonderful genealogical resource, I urge you to do so.  

Let me know what you find.  I’m sure there are a lot of pages and groups I know nothing about.  It’s a big country and a big world.  

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall 
(All rights reserved, no use without permission)

10 comments:

  1. Diane,

    I also belong to several Facebook groups related to genealogy. They are awesome!

    I want you to know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/04/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-april-4-2014.html

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Jana - That's great! Thanks so much. As a blogger, it is always an honor to be mentioned by another blogger.

      Diane

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  2. I just came across your post on Facebook for genealogy and wanted to thank you for the great information. I now have some good ideas on how to expand my groups.

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    1. Nancy - I'm glad you found my post helpful.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Thanks for mentioning my list! :-) Folks can also access it from my website at http://socialmediagenealogy.com/genealogy-on-facebook-list/. Enjoy! I have another couple hundred links to add to the list - hope to update it before end of summer. :-)
    - Katherine

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  4. Thanks for another wonderful tip! I'm off to search FaceBook!

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    Replies
    1. Dana,
      You're welcome. There's a lot of good information to be obtained from others on FB. I've recently obtained more ancestor photos from cousins via FB groups. There is even a brand new group for those of us who use Evernote. It's called Evernote Genealogists.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete

I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.