Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Cousins and the Online Genealogy World

Hello All:

It has been "long time, no blog" here.  Blogging seems to be taking the back burner at the moment as things get busy.  One of the things that has been keeping me busy is working on my own personal family history.  This tends to be shoved to the side for so long as my professional genealogy work goes on the forefront, but it is great working for and helping others with their family history and genealogical needs.

One of the things that has helped me get back into my own genealogy is the recent contact with cousins that I have known about, but not really met.  There has also been cousins that I did not know about.  We have been chatting via email and sharing information, family stories, as well as old family photos.  This has been such a great experience, and it is such a pleasure to be able to speak to them all through that wonderful invention the computer.

The ability to share information and photos online, email, etc. instantly with family relatives is what has been such a joy doing family history.  Especially with me living in a different country from my cousins and other relatives.  Being able to see the old photos that my cousins have shared with me has been fantastic.  Many of these I have never seen before.  There have been many times where I wished that I could see a photo of great grandmother or great, great grandfather . . .  but have not been able to see one until getting in contact with relatives online.

There are many forums, mailing lists, etc. for all sorts of family surnames, counties, countries, etc. that no doubt you will eventually become in contact with a long lost cousin or distant relative that you didn't know about or lost contact with.  This is also the place where you can bring your questions and lineages for help from these folks.  More than likely they would be researching the same line or lines as yourself.  They could very well hold the key to that elusive ancestor that you have been searching for for so long.  I am sure that a good number of folks already take advantage of the benefits of forums, mailing lists, ancestry public member trees, etc.  But, if not, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  It doesn't cost anything, and you never know who will find you and be able to answer your hard questions that you have been struggling with.
There has been so much that I have learned about my own family by reading these forums, etc.

Researching family history and genealogy is more than looking up names, dates, and locations in a book or online databaseses. It is about people, which can be one of the best resources out there in performing your research.  You will have a different perspective on the family from another.  Sharing your memories, old documents, photos, and information that you have researched yourself will help everyone in the family who cares about the history of the family.  The vast majority of the time you will know something or have something that someone else doesn't.

Until Next Time . . . .

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