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Facebook Genealogy

Posted by Elisabeth Doucett on July 22nd, 2016

logo-facebook-genealogyIn my rambles through the internet I’ve seen a lot of comments about using Facebook in genealogy research. I didn’t totally “get” what that meant.  Are you supposed to ask friends and family on Facebook about your genealogy research?  Are there genealogy oriented pages on Facebook?  And if there are, there couldn’t be that many, could there?

Apparently there are many, MANY Facebook genealogy pages. Katherine R. Willson who is a professional genealogist has compiled a list of over 9,000 Facebook genealogy links.  I had no idea there were so many.  Apparently, Ms. Willson uses Facebook extensively to break through brick walls and solve genealogy mysteries.

You can download her list (the list is 267 pages long) on her website here.  If you want to be notified when the list is updated, all you have to do is “like” Ms. Willson’s professional Facebook page which you can find here.

Happily for Canadian genealogists, Gail Dever who writes the blog “Genealogy a la carte” has developed a similar list of Facebook pages with a Canadian genealogy focus. You can access that list on her blog here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Why go to Facebook for your genealogy? Well, obviously Facebook can’t meet all your research needs.  However, it is a great way to connect with other genealogists who are focusing on the topics of interest to you.  I belong to a Facebook page run by the Lanark County Genealogical Society in Ontario.  Frequently, the members of that page help out people with genealogy questions that pertain to Lanark County.  Sometimes all they can do is make suggestions but when you are stuck, any help is greatly appreciated.

I just went through the Canadian list and already found one resource I didn’t have. Now I’ll start on the longer list by Willson.  That may take a bit more time but when it comes to finding new genealogy information, I’m happy to do the work.  Happy research!

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It’s summer and time for genealogy!

Posted by Elisabeth Doucett on July 15th, 2016

2680f87e294156046a92118585155ea0It has been a long time since my last blog. The library has been a busy hive of activity as we head into the beautiful Maine summer.  Summer reading started, we finished up our fundraising, and we had thank-you parties for our volunteers and patrons.  It has been fun and crazy and now I’m ready to take a deep breath and start in on my genealogy again.

For those of you planning genealogy road trips don’t forget that we have a wonderful resource at the library titled The Portable Genealogist, produced by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  This is a three ring binder with four page laminated how-to booklets that you can take out, make a copy of, and take with you on your research trips.

Some examples of topics include: “Seventeenth-Century New England Research”, “African American Resources”, “Using the Federal Census; 1850-1940”.  None of these are topics that exactly get the average reader wildly excited but they are tremendously useful to the genealogy researcher.  Look for The Portable Genealogist in the Curtis Genealogy Room on the counter on the left as you walk in the door.

Summer is also a great time to learn new genealogy research skills. Don’t forget to check out the free courses available at the Family Search Learning Center .

My summer genealogy project is to scan all of the photos that my family has saved for generations. Wish me luck and happy research!


Never give up!

Posted by Elisabeth Doucett on April 29th, 2016

never-give-upIn my last blog I said I was giving up on my particular genealogy brick wall for a period of time in the hope that I might have new ideas about how to move past that brick wall and that new data might show up.

Well, as usual the genealogy gods had other ideas.  The day after I wrote that blog I got an email through from a cousin (from the part of the family tree that was a brick wall) that had been identified via an Ancestry DNA test.  I had sent off an email to that person but had not heard back from the cousin and had forgotten about the email.

My cousin directed me to some additional family information, confirmed some facts, and gave me ideas for new research directions.  So, I’m off to the races again!  I’m sharing this little story just to confirm what everyone in genealogy says – don’t give up because every day new information is found and shared.  DNA testing alone opens up all sorts of options.  I’m here to tell you that it is all true!  Happy research!

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