A blessing? A curse?
People have strong opinions about Facebook and it’s impact on our daily lives. But let’s not get into any of that. How about instead we talk about why I think Facebook can be a powerful tool for genealogy? I have three reasons.
Reason One – Finding Living Folks
Once upon a time when you were trying to track people down you would use the White Pages. Nowadays many people choose to have a cell phone and no land line. No land line generally means no listing in the White Pages. Here’s the scenario, you track down some living cousins through obits and you want to send off a letter or make a call, you check the White Pages and nothing. Try Facebook! I have discovered that most of the time if people (the ones you are relatively certain are alive) aren’t in the White Pages, they are on Facebook. Nice.
Reason Two – Genealogy Groups on Facebook
There are so many genealogy based groups on Facebook. They really fall into two categories – for genealogists or for specific families. Both of those categories are great.
The groups for genealogists come in all shapes and sizes. There are groups who will translate documents for you. Others who will help you with research problems. Some are for specific locations. I happen to belong to three genealogy based Facebook groups from this category – Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, Genealogy Translations and Lynn Valley Love. They are great.
The groups for specific families can be a fabulous communication tool. I belong to two of these groups and I created a third. These groups can be a closed group which means everything shared within the group stays there. Other Facebook users can see that the group exists but they can’t see the group wall. Cool stuff can be accomplished in this type of group.
Reason Three – Spreading Genealogy Joy
I love hearing from others about their genealogy experiences. I love to see FamilySearch and Ancestry posts in my news feed. I love sharing quotes, photos, and stories. It’s a great way to share my love of genealogy with my family and friends in a nice, low-key way. A picture, a few words, done. Genealogy Joy spread right around all over my Facebook wall.
I love any tool that helps me further my genealogy efforts. Facebook is one of the tools I use. I have discovered that there is a little power there. Power to make my genealogy even. more. awesome.
How about you? Has Facebook helped your genealogy?