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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finding Family Using Facebook

Have you run out of ways to discover more extended family? With 800 million active Facebook users, you just might find a connection. The question is, however, how do you go about such a monumental task? It does take work, but it is easier than you think. Below you will find four ideas that have linked living cousins together.

Join Facebook genealogy pages and groups
Can you imagine that there might be a long distant cousin that is also researching your ancestors? Where are the places on Facebook that you may cross paths? Most people who are researching their ancestor on Facebook belong to a community page or group.
Different types of groups exist. Two ways to locate a page or group are:
1. Enter “the state where your ancestor lived” and “genealogy” in the Facebook search bar. At the bottom of the drop down that appears, click to see all the results. Select groups then pages on the menu on the left. Look for groups and pages to join where you will learn more about genealogical resources and perhaps find people researching the same surnames. Here is an example of results for Virginia Genealogy.
2. Search Google using the search terms: “(state) genealogy Facebook.” Here is the result for the search terms: “Virginia Genealogy Facebook”
For a short tutorial on searching for Facebook Pages and Groups, see the video on the left: How to Find Genealogy Pages and Groups on Facebook.
How to Find Genealogy Pages and Groups on Facebook
Create a photo album
Hopefully, as you browsed the results on Google above, you noticed Facebook posts appear there. Imagine for a moment that you have an extended family searching Google for information about an ancestor. You can help them find you by creating a photo album on Facebook.
Be sure to include details about your ancestor such as place of birth and death as well as the dates. You can tell a little more about your ancestor, or link the photo to a blog post where they can learn more. Make sure that your album is able to be viewed by the public. Put a watermark on photos that you share. Here is an example of an ancestors’ photo shared on Facebook: Daisy B Chick.
Create a personal Facebook page or group of your own
Facebook users are great fans of community pages and groups. You have much more control over a group or page of your own. It is not necessary to duplicate any of the communities already out there. If no group or page exists for a certain area or if you want to have a page dedicated to your own ancestors on Facebook, it may be helpful to create one.
This page was created for sharing resources with the hope that it would be easier for living family members to find: Richland County, South Carolina African American Genealogy. What started out in the beginning as an experiment has led to the reuniting of the descendants of two Vance brothers who were born in the early 1900’s. Just before Thanksgiving two of them spoke by phone. Every other way to locate their whereabouts had been exhausted before one of them found this page on Facebook.


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