December 4, 2015

Facebook for Genealogy


For the longest time you couldn't even speak to me about Facebook without getting a furious lecture or at the very least a sour look on the face from me. I could care less what you had for breakfast, where you are this very instant, who you are voting for, or even less see picture #48 that you took of yourself. Puhleese. I have know friendships ruined and otherwise normal? people wasting hours exercising nothing but their index finger flicking from friend? to friend? Okay, who has 576 friends anyway?



I WAS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


Oh, I know that silly stuff still goes on but I have found Facebook invaluable in my Norwegian genealogy searches. There are many genealogy groups out there. Technical, organizational, how-to groups and groups specific to the country you are researching. The members are from all over, including the country you are searching in. Have you ever tried to "Google Translate" a Norwegian parish, birth, death or marriage record? Sometimes the results are hilarious but often I was better off just using my own "genealogical Norwegian" skills to figure out what it says. There are some wonderful people out there who are proficient at reading old Norwegian/Danish or the faint, sloppy, misspelled, tiny handwriting of an overworked 18th century priest. I have "liked" many groups and become a part of them but I actually have very few "friends" and I use a high privacy setting. I feel it avoids those who want to share their selfies or pictures of their dog dressed for Halloween without hurting their feelings. Check it out, you won't be disappointed. Don't forget to look for other genealogical gem pages. Ancestral towns may have their own facebook page. Sons of Norway pages. Genealogical Society pages. Surname pages. Use your imagination and just start searching.

Katharine R. Willson, a genealogist, has a free pdf of 5,500+ links to Facebook Genealogy groups
SOCIAL MEDIA GENEALOGY   Thank you Katharine!

Word of advice. Keep your requests or questions brief. Do as much of the initial footwork as you can and provide a clear jpg or link to your item in question. Don't expect someone to do genealogical work for you. These groups are mainly people helping people. Be kind. Kind to those who help you, and kind to "newbies" whose questions may be simplistic, or "silly". We were all there once and don't want to discourage anyone from the enjoyable and satisfying hobby of family history. You never know but one day that "newbie" may "find" your elusive great great grandma Solveig.


Happy hunting!
Ranae