November 30, 2015

Social Genealogy: The Mistakes You Made That Sent Potential Cousins Away

Social Genealogy: The Mistakes You Made That Sent Potential Cousins Away…And How You Can Fix Them

One Administrator, Many Trees

As genealogy and DNA sharing has evolved, there is still one very important rule to follow: Whether you’re sending a message to someone who administers another tree in Ancestry, or you’ve seen a thread in Roots web surname or location lists, or, you think you have a close cousin connection in any of the various DNA testing sites like 23andMe or others, the one thing you can do to further your research easily and quickly is to BE SPECIFIC when you contact them.

Periodically, I’ll get a message from someone who has been looking at the 23andMe site where I am the administrator for three different people: myself, my brother and my husband. Most of the time, I can determine which genome they want to connect with because I recognize a surname or they actually TELL ME which one they were looking at.

What should you include in your communication with a potential cousin? Here’s some ideas.

  • The name of the tree, or specific person’s name for a genome. For instance, you want to connect with me and were in my Yates (1) tree. Please note that specific criteria.
  • Are you looking at a genome? Was it Dave ____, Carol ___ or Jim___?
  • Are you replying to a thread about a surname? Please include a first name of your ancestor with that surname if you have one. Include any dates or locations as well. This would hold true as well for inquiries about a location.
  • Are you sending an email? Please don’t put “genealogy” or “family” in the subject line. That means nothing to anyone and will likely get deleted. Instead, have it read something like, “Re: Joe Black, 1812, TN”. (I have three Smith lines, hence the request for a first name when contacting me).
  • Tip: If you choose not to include your email address in the body of the email, but still want to share it with your recipient, just write it as webducky AT (instead of the @ symbol) People are more apt to reply via email than through the website’s message feature. Including your full email address online is a sure way to ‘invite’ email scrapers to send you spam.
  • Tip 2: Follow the rule of WHO, WHY, WHAT, WHEN WHERE.

The bottom line here is, you need to provide the most information to your recipient to ensure your success.

Be courteous and forgive someone if they don’t reply right away. You don’t know what’s going on in their lives. Genealogy and genome sharing is fun and helps to share a clue to ‘who am I’? for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading. Have a comment or suggestion for this topic? Please do! Interested in what your DNA says about you? Feel free to click the 23andMe graphic in the sidebar.

© Carol Wilkerson – 2015 All rights reserved.

You might also like to read:

How DNA Testing With 23andMe Averted Serious Surgical Complications

Genealogy: Why You Still Need To Use Message Boards And Mailing Lists

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My Secret Revealed For An Eye-Catching Email Subject Line

I get hundreds of emails each day, and most of them catch my eye by the sender’s name or their subject line. But,what really catches my eye are emails with subject lines that contain a ‘glyph’. You might also call them a symbol. In any case, I decided to try one tweak to make my iPentimento and associate blog Pentimento stand out in everyone’s inbox. If you are a subscriber to either, or both of the blogs you will notice a little colored image like this: Obviously, I had many to choose from (this is just a small sample from the cheat sheet provided by René Kulka at Email Marketing Tipps. One of the bits of advice René offered was to use these glyphs sparingly. For now, not everyone is using them, but yours could get lost in the inbox, or ignored. You take a chance of losing subscribers rather than catching their interest. I have to admit, I never met a bit of bling I didn’t like, but I chose not to use an animated emoji in my subject line for this newsletter because of the aforementioned reason.

  • Placing Animated Emojis in GMail subject lines cheat sheet gives you a good overview of how and where to use them.
  • Yes, these emojis/glyphs/symbols do work in Mail Chimp. It’s very easy to add the code by copying and pasting it into the email subject line you will fill out for your Mail Chimp campaign. If the mailing software encodes the unicode symbol properly, i.e. it should look in an UTF-8-quoted-printable-encoded subject header. I am using the most recent version of Firefox and Windows 8.1. Unicode looks something like this

    U+1F601 (in this case, a smiling face with friendly eyes).

    when added to a subject line and the email program then converts it.

Also, I did sign up to René’s weekly newsletter at first as a courtesy, but I really value his sound advice and have continued to look forward to them each Friday. Please visit his site and take a look at his articles.





WordPress Users: Submit Your Blog To Apple News Now


Apple recently released the news that with its next update to iOS 9 this fall (September), and it will include a new app completely streamlined and and made for iOS with a customizable news feed. This is a boon to WordPress users because your content can be submitted ahead of time for inclusion. Like right now.

Publishers interested in signing up can visit with additional publishing tools available later this year. iOS 9 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch® 5th generation, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini™ and later. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

One thing I would suggest is that you have your image/logo ready to submit. Also, they will ask for your name, business name (if you’re an individual adding a blog, your personal name), blog name and address, contact information, language and audience choice. I chose “general” since my topics include more than just genealogy. If I’m accepted I would think I could change that to a specific audience if needed.

In the Apple Press Info they also intimated that at some point the app can be monetized by publishers.


I first read about this via WordPress Hacks (an excellent site, I must say) and you can read Kyle Eslick’s article about Apple News app here. Thanks Kyle!