November 27, 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

A J Jacobs Global Family Reunion Set For 06 June 2015 In NY

In case this event hasn’t been on your radar, please add the date to your calendar for A J Jacobs’ (yes, we are cousins!) Global Family Reunion to take place in New York on 06 June 2015. He’s hoping to break the Guinness World Record in a completely familial way, by showing that we all are related.

Guest Webinar – A J Jacobs Click on the link to view it. Runs 43 minutes.
Personally, I think this is brilliant because it makes logical sense. No, I’m not a Vulcan, but logic pretty much guides my life and my research in turn. How?

Logic and Genealogy

  • Here’s one example, when you add birth and death dates for someone, and then add a child born to the mother it’s logical (but not impossible) that the female can’t have children too close in age to her own.
  • Using logic you look at the location of where your ancestor lived and when they don’t show up in a census for that location, maybe they didn’t move but the county or state boundaries did so.
  • Using logic you know that everyone on this planet is of human origin, and anthropologists have proven we originated in one location (Africa) and then we migrated all over the planet. It’s not too much of a stretch to think we all might be cousins.

AJ Jacobs - Carol Yates Wilkerson

From Six Mothers – Many Tribes

Genealogy Tips and Advice

Wilkerson and Yates – December Family Birthdays

22 Dec 1893: Roy DeSpain [share tree]
Image of George Poindexter taken from the US C...

Image of George Poindexter taken from the US Congress Biographical Directory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

25 Dec 1858: Jason Barlow [share tree]
25 Dec 1785: Adam Jordan [share tree]
25 Dec 1781: Mary Kelsay [share tree]
26 Dec 1920: George L Rehr [share tree]
27 Dec 1800: Terry Bailey [share tree]
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How To Share Your Family Trees Listed On Ancestry

Last weekend we were at my brother’s place for a pot luck, and as invariably happens a conversation turned to genealogy research. It warmed my heart to hear a young woman from another generation telling us about what she had been researching and who she was looking for. Now and then, when I can, I try to help  people with their family research, at least a little to get them started or fill in some blanks for them.

From our conversation I found out that this family member had a tree on Ancestry and so I asked her to send me an invitation to view her tree. Unfortunately, she wasn’t sure how to do that! So, I am writing this article and including Ancestry’s fine advice to help out everyone who might be wondering how to share your trees too. Here is what Ancestry advises….

First of all, a subscription to Ancestry is not required for Family Tree sharing.

A new and easier way to share your tree

With our release last week, we’ve made it easier to invite people to your tree. You can now import your contact list from Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, and AOL accounts to quickly select people you want to send an invitation to. You can still type in individual email addresses if you’d like, but by importing your contact list you can save a little time and effort trying to remember your cousin’s email address.

How to invite friends and family to see your tree

From your tree, click on the “Share your tree” link in the “Tree pages” menu next to your tree name.

To find out more and see the visual guides please read the full article here.