FamilyTreeCircles.com as Cousin Bait

by Scott Jangro on June 6, 2010

Catching up on my blog-reading, I came across Randy Seaver’s post about “cousin bait”.

Here’s his overview…

Greta Koehl used the term “Cousin Bait” last month in her post Online Trees about the purpose of posting online family tree data. At least, that was the first use of the term I’ve seen published – an excellent term! Her point was that putting a family tree online in a database or on a web page may help induce distant cousins, who share your ancestry, into contacting you and perhaps provide more information about the common ancestral families.

While I’ve also never thought of it as “cousin bait”, this is exactly what I had in mind when I created FamilyTreeCircles.com.

I’ve always described the concept as “casting a net” for other family tree researchers to find your posts, and then connect via FamilyTreeCircles.com.

And it’s true that you can set some very effective bait with some simple posts on FamilyTreeCircles.com.

I wish Randy’s example produced a FamilyTreeCircles.com result, but alas. Let’s take a look at some recent posts and how they rank on Google.

Starting with the most recent FamilyTreeCircles.com journal, William SPINLEY + Emily WILHAM – Auckland 1800s, posted about an hour prior to writing this blog post.

A Google search for [William Spinley] produces a number one search result on Google just an hour after it was posted…

William SPINLEY - Google Search.png

Here’s another example of a more popular search result, [white family dna], 17MM results.

The author of this entry about a White family DNA project posted it here on FamilyTreeCircles as well as on Genforum at about the same time.

white family dna - Google Search-1.png

Her FamilyTreeCircles post is #3 on Google.com. The Genforum post is at #6. While not all posts make it to the first page of Google’s results, both are a very effective way of getting some search engine exposure of your genealogy work.

If you’re not doing so already, you should consider adding FamilyTreeCircles.com to your toolbox for getting your “cousin bait” out there on the search engine result pages.

{ 1 comment }

We’re on a roll on FamilyTreeCircles, adding new features.  We’re really trying to round out the types of information that are available on FTC and I’m happy to say that there are now three types of postings available for everyone from new family researchers to experienced genealogists.

Look on the homepage and you’ll see the following explanation of the options.

Find Family Tree Researchers and Information for your Surnames | Family Tree Circles.png

The last thing I want to do is introduce any confusion or uncertainty with more options and I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible.  All three types of entries end up in the same places in the list on the homepage and in the active posts page, color coded so you can tell the difference at a glance.

Journals

There is still the same, old, tried and true Journal entries.  Nothing has changed there.  Use a journal entry for posting all your great family research.  As a general rule, anything family or surname related should go in a journal.  For the time being, only journals can be associated specifically with surnames and therefore show up on the surname page for any given surname.

Answers

If you’ve got a question about any genealogy topic, this is the place to ask.  Maybe you’re wondering about what sort of resources are available in Cork County Ireland.  Or maybe you’re stuck with a problem in Personal Ancestral File software.  Ask about any genealogy topic, technique, method, or technology.  Keep an eye on the open questions to see if you can answer a question for someone else.  You can read more about this on our announcement of Answers from a few days ago.

Articles

Everybody is an expert about something.  Maybe your experience has made you an expert on genealogy research in the state of Vermont, or researching slave ancestry in Virginia.  Maybe you’re an expert user of certain software or websites.  Write an article and you’ll not only provide the community with some great information, but you can establish yourself as an expert and direct people to your own blog for more information.

I’ve got some exciting ideas of where the Articles feature can go…more on that soon.

So there you have it.  Something for everyone.  It’ll take some time for people to get used to the new features on FamilyTreeCircles.  If you’re one of our more experienced users, please give them a try and show folks how it’s done!

{ 3 comments }

New Feature: Genealogy Answers!

May 20, 2010

A few weeks ago, I asked the newsletter readers a simple question in a survey, “If you could ask an expert genealogist one question (even if you are an expert), what would it be?”
I was blown away by the responses, in both quantity and quality.
“If you could ask an expert genealogist one question, what would [...]

Read the full article →

Family Bee: Genealogy App for Android phones

May 14, 2010

How many times have you been out visiting family and end up in a discussion about your family tree?  It doesn’t take too many generations back for the details of who’s who to become fuzzy and if you’re like my family, you end up spending more time trying to recreate the tree in your heads [...]

Read the full article →

New Features: User Search, etc.

May 11, 2010

Here’s a quick update on some changes I’ve made to Family Tree Circles recently…
1. User Search – I’ve added a user search section to the search results page. So if you’re looking for a user whose username you can’t quite remember, put a partial name in the search box. Like this search for “ally” [...]

Read the full article →

Happy Mothers Day — My “Umbilical Line”

May 9, 2010

On this Mother’s Day I thought it would be fun to post our matrilineal lines, in other words, our lines up through our mothers, and their mothers, and so on.
In the genealogy blogosphere, there’s a meme going on this weekend to post about our maternal line, like Randy Seaver has done here.
This, by the way, [...]

Read the full article →

Mayflower Project: The Application Process

May 7, 2010

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ll be sharing the details of the application process to get my kids into the Massachusetts Mayflower Society. I assume this process is similar for other state Mayflower Societies.
I’ve got one line documented and approved for my membership, through Stephen Hopkins. There’s a person in that [...]

Read the full article →

Getting into the Mayflower Society

May 3, 2010

About 25 years ago, my grandfather purchased Massachusetts Mayflower Society Life memberships for my mother, my sister and I (having himself been accepted into the Mayflower Society about ten years prior).
If I remember the process correctly, there was little to do for my mother who actually took care of the correspondence. My grandfather was [...]

Read the full article →

Spike Lee on “Who Do You Think You Are?”

May 1, 2010

If you’re in the U.S., did you watch this season’s last episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” I haven’t watched all the episodes yet, but this one, to me, was the most powerful. I guess that’s why the saved it for last.
Film-maker and outspoken black-rights advocate, Spike Lee went on a [...]

Read the full article →

Starting Over with Reunion for the Mac

April 29, 2010

Today, I decided to start fresh with my family tree and create a new one that contains only sourced records. I’ve got a tree that I’ve been building over the past 20 years that has over 1000 people in it. Big deal, because it is filled with the early mistakes that any newbie [...]

Read the full article →