Friday, May 16, 2008

Cousins finding me

One of my main reasons for writing my genealogy blogs, having a genealogy web site, and putting family tree information online is to provide enough Google crumbs for cousins who search for Seaver ancestors (or my other ancestral surnames) to find me. The hope is, of course, that I can share my research with them, and they will share their research and family information with me.

This works pretty well. I think it could work even better if I made a specific genealogy web site with smaller pages than the current site has. I just haven't done it due to the amount of time it will take to create.

In recent months, I've had the following types of emails from correspondents:

* A second cousin once removed found my Richman/Richmond data on the web sites and contacted me. My Seaver family lost track of her Shaw family in the 1940's due to a sibling conflict. We each have pictures and information that the other hasn't seen.

* A historian in Michigan is researching the Auble family, one part of which settled in Kent County, and wants to use my online genealogy report to document the ancestry of the Aubles there.

* A researcher in Michigan found the Seaver ancestry of her relative on the web site and provided information on the family that moved to Ontario in about 1790. I had no information on this family.

* A Kemp cousin in Ontario contacted me with additions and corrections to my Genea-Musings post about my Abraham James Kemp family. We hadn't corresponded for several years, and she found my blog.

* A correspondent asked if I knew the ancestry of Mehitable Dill born in 1808, based on my web page information.

* Several emails come each week asking for more information as a result of my posting a Personal Family Tree on I need to be more diligent in answering these, because these requestors may have more information for me.

* Two Feather researchers saw my blog post about Cornelius and Mrs. Feather and shared their information and frustration that none of us can find anything more on this line.

* The fellow who had the key information about Cornelia Bresee's birth date contacted me and is looking for the source he found it in.

* A researcher in Idaho found my web site report on my wife's Leland family and contacted me with updated information.

* Occasionally I get a notice from and that someone has added information or has matched one of the persons in the Seaver database that I have posted on these sites.

* And many more over the years!

If my email archive is passed on to my heirs, they will be tremendously confused by the number of contacts and variety of information shared by and with other researchers. I need to save my email archives into directories so that the important contacts can be saved rather than die when my hard drive does.

My point here is that putting your genealogy information on the Internet, in a controlled way that protects privacy of living relatives, can provide a means for other researchers, and even close cousins, to contact you and share information.

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

I recently found that Altavista does much better than Google at finding genealogy and family history sites.