Thursday, December 4, 2008

"New" cousins finding me

One of my major reasons for putting my genealogy research on a web site (currently at http://www.genealogy.com/users/s/e/a/Randy-Seaver/ is so that cousins I don't know about can find me and hopefully contribute to my family history knowledge.

This has happened this year for me - a second cousin once removed named Laura found my web site, and then my blog, and contacted me via email back in late April. Since then, we have been sharing family information and family photographs. I look forward to meeting her and her family, and her parents too. Apparently, they lost touch with the Richmond relatives over time - which is a fairly common occurrence, unfortunately.

On my part, I sent Laura a genealogy report on her Richmond/White ancestors from my genealogy database, with notes and sources (such as they are). Then I started sending her copies of my Seaver-Richmond Family Journals (the yearly newsletter I send out to family members - they're on the list now!). I've also provided Richmond family pictures that I have in my collection.

Laura has provided information about her great-grandmother's family and quite a few pictures of her family line and of my aunts and uncle as children. She has been researching the ancestral families herself - which is great because it will, hopefully, confirm my own research, and probably add to it. Laura made contact with a Marshman researcher in Hilperton in Wiltshire, who is researching the Richman and Marshman families for her - again this may provide additional information about these ancestral families that I have not been able to find.

The web site is one thing, family tree and social networking sites are another. I decided several years ago that, since I have a relatively public face (meaning people can find me, contact me, etc. - it definitely comes with the blog), I would put my genealogy information on these sites. So far, I have genealogy data on:

* www.Ancestry.com Private Member Tree (I should make this public, I guess)
* www.WeRelate.org (a genealogy wiki)
* www.MyHeritage.com
* www.GeneaNet.org
* www.Geni.com (a social networking site - I haven't invited anybody yet)
* www.WebTree.com
* www.FamilyBuilder.com
* www.FindMyPast.com
* www.Dynastree.com

I think that's all of them. The only one that I've tried to upload to and failed was FamilyLink.com - it wouldn't take my GEDCOM file and we couldn't figure out why.

I get notices from GeneaNet, MyHeritage and WeRelate when there are matches to my data in other people's family trees. Occasionally, someone will contact me based on information found on the Ancestry Private Member Tree.

For me, this is the "really fun" part of genealogy. To be able to find a cousin, or have them find me, to be able to provide significant family history information to the cousin, and to have them do the same back to me. We are both "richer" for the connection - a real "win-win" in my book.

1 comment:

webduck said...

That's pretty exciting, isn't it Randy? I have my family tree out there in so many places, and my cousins find me too. So much easier to let them come to me sometimes. Thanks for visiting my blog for Blog Comment Day too.