Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sharing pays dividends

I have shared my family tree on my own site,, on the internet with only details of living persons supressed. Anyone doing a simple Google search for our common ancestors will usually find my site listed in their list of hits. By doing this I am allowing others to copy and paste my information thus sharing the fruits of my labours with them.

Some family historians closely guard the data in their trees and require others to apply for a username and password before searching their sites for possible matches. My open policy has paid dividends for me.

Most weeks I hear from someone who has shared ancestry or a relationship to someone in my tree. Some of these people ask for the world ie "Can you send me all the certificates you have for the family of XXX"? Most people, however, offer some small pieces of information to add to that I have gathered.

Two weeks ago Carl was checking some records on my site and was able to correct some misinformation I had published, he generously emailed me a copy of an original birth certificate for the person in question. This morning I was contacted by a woman who shares my husband's paternal 2nd great-grandfather; she too has offered to send me certificates for her line.

This week a second cousin of my husband's contacted us - we did not know of his existence. He was thrilled to have found a major part of his family history published on the internet; I immediately added to my database the extra information he gave me on his line. He also has, in his possesion, photographs of two of my husband's maternal great-grandparents that he is generously sending us together with copies of other family documents. My husband has never seen pictures of these Gillespie great-grandparents.

If you wish to make connections with others use the internet to get your information out into the public domain and make it easily accessible to others.

In genealogy, as with other areas, It pays to advertise.

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