Scott_J on Family Tree Circles

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FamilyTreeCircles.com as Cousin Bait

Note: This was originally posted on the FamilyTreeCircles blog over a year ago. As I'm pulling that content into the new FTC blog, I've been post-dating them. But this one I think is worth reading again, so I'm setting the dates to today.

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.

75 comment(s), latest 1 year, 10 months ago

Genealogy Abundance Week 40: Wild Card

Week 40: Wild Card. Is there something for which you are thankful that has not been discussed yet? Share your genealogical abundance on a personal level. How does this person/item/group/memory or other entity impact your family history?

Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about something you’re thankful for.
http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php


When you do, please put “[52 Weeks]” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it right here in this post. (I’m switching to a standard thing to put in the title, which will make it easier).




52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Genealogy Abundance, Week 37: State Archives

Here’s this week’s challenge:

Week 37: State Archives Which state (or federal or government) archives repository is your favorite? Have you been there in person? What does their website offer to visitors? Share any advice you can to potential visitors who may visit the archives in the future.

Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about your favorite state archive.

http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php

When you do, please put “State Archives” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it in this week’s FamilyTreeCircles blog post about it.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

This week’s journals

3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 10 months ago

Genealogy Abundance, Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories

This week’s writing prompt should be a lot more fun than last week’s dry topic of state archives. Thanks to the few of you who mustered up journals on that.


Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories. Tell us a funny ancestor story that stands out in your mind. When did you first hear the story? Do other family members tell different versions? Does this tale play a large part in your family tree?

Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about your favorite state archive.

http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php

When you do, please put “Funny Ancestor Stories” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it in this week’s FamilyTreeCircles blog post about it.

“Funny Ancestor Stories” Journals From FamilyTreeCircles Members

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

5 comment(s), latest 1 year, 10 months ago

Genealogy Abundance, Week 39: Society Journal or Quarterly

Week 39: Society Journal or Quarterly. Share with us your favorite genealogy society journal or quarterly publication. How long have you been reading it? Which group publishes it? Why is this publication one of your favorites? How has is helped you research your family history?


Write a journal on FamilyTreeCircles about your favorite genealogy society journal or quarterly publication.


http://www.familytreecircles.com/ejournal.php


When you do, please put “Genealogy Society Journal” in the journal title somewhere so I can be sure to see it and feature it right here in this post!


(Mine is the Mayflower Quarterly)




52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy created by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts courtesy of GeneaBloggers for genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

3 comment(s), latest 1 year, 3 months ago

Genealogy meme: So You Think You're Tech Savvy

Are you a tech savvy genealogist? Well if you're reading this, then I think that's a sign that you are. Even if you're not, here's a great list of things you might want to perhaps become familiar with.

The original blog post for this is here on Geniaus.

And here are my responses.


The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven't done or found and don't care to: plain type
Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?

  1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad
  2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
  3. Have used Skype for genealogy purposes
  4. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
  5. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
  6. Have a Twitter account [Several, @familytreescott for genealogy]
  7. Tweet daily [Well, mostly]
  8. Have a genealogy blog
  9. Have more then one genealogy blog
  10. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
  11. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
  12. Have a Facebook Account
  13. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
  14. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
  15. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society
  16. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
  17. Have registered a domain name
  18. Post regularly to Google+
  19. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers [I used to, but I think it got removed for inactivity]
  20. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
  21. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
  22. Can code a webpage in .html
  23. Own a smartphone
  24. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
  25. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
  26. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
  27. Use Chrome as a Browser
  28. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
  29. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes
  30. Have a personal genealogy website
  31. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
  32. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
  33. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files
  34. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
  35. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
  36. Own a netbook
  37. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes [Well, I would if I attended a genealogy lecture]
  38. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
  39. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget [I'm going to count FamilyTreeCircles here]
  40. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
  41. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
  42. Backup your files to a portable hard drive
  43. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
  44. Know about Rootstech
  45. Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy
  46. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud
  47. Schedule regular email backups [I use GMail, which I think counts]
  48. Have contriibuted to the Familysearch Wiki
  49. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
  50. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

What do you think about this list? Is it a good representative of being a tech-savvy genealogist? I think it is a pretty good list, except that it makes an assumption that the person going through this exercise attends genealogy lectures... which to me isn't in itself a technical activity. Anyway, not to be picky. I just didn't like losing those points. :-)

I think it would be fun if others here would like to post the same for themselves. Please feel free to do that in a journal here on Family Tree Circles.

instructions on making text bold and italics are on the add journal page.

Getting Help on Using FamilyTreeCircles

  1. Check out the FAQ page.
  2. Use the contact us form. This is best for issues like password problems, since you cannot use some of the other options without logging in.
  3. Send me a private message.
  4. Drop into the FamilyTreeCircles campfire chat. You can not only chat with me, but with other FamilyTreeCircles members, if they're in there.
  5. If you have a question that you think someone other than the owner of FamilyTreeCircles can answer, comment on this post. That increases the chances of getting a quick answer AND allows other to benefit from your question.
8 comment(s), latest 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Getting into the Mayflower Society

Mass Mayflower Society.png
About 25 years ago, my grandfather purchased Massachusetts Mayflower Society Life memberships for my mother, my sister and me (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 in and all we needed to do was provide some easily accessible birth certificates. It took a bit over a year for the actual approval process (I'm not sure why), but there wasn't any pushback that I recall. Just a lot of waiting.

Now I've got children of my own and I'd like to continue the tradition. About 8 years ago I embarked on the same process, (a) to get my daughter (my only child at the time) inducted, and (b) to document a second lineage to the Mayflower passenger William Brewster.

I provided the appropriate birth certificates and submitted the application with the $100 processing fee.

It was rejected!

It turns out that after 20 years, the Mayflower Society has become much more strict in their documentation requirements. The historian returned my William Brewster lineage papers all marked up with red stars where I was missing information. Further, even with my currently documented line to Stephen Hopkins, they cannot be admitted without further documentation.

They require all Birth, Marriage, Death and Divorce records for each person in the line. A tall order.

This was information not required for my Grandfather to get himself and two subsequent generations in. Now I've got three children, and more than ever I want to give them the same gift that my Grandfather gave to us.

It seems that I've got some work to do. And I know from personal experience, and listening to stories, that there are some pretty tough cases in the mix here.

Time has passed, and technology has advanced. We'll see if I can't get the holes filled. Maybe with a little help from my friends here on FamilyTreeCircles, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.

Will you follow along with me on this personal project?

I'll be documenting in detail what I am going through. Please follow along and see if you can't help me get through some brick walls as I attempt to complete the documentation of my lines to William Brewster and Stephen Hopkins.

At the very least, wish me luck!

Continue reading about my "Mayflower Project" here: The Mayflower Society application process...

3 comment(s), latest 2 years, 11 months ago

Getting ready for some pretty major changes. And a chance at a Sneak Peek...

I've been hard at work on some pretty significant changes here on FamilyTreeCircles, big enough that I want to roll this out a little more carefully than I usually do.

For now, the only noticeable change is the header.

If yours doesn't look like that with the black bar at the top, try holding down the shift key while hitting the reload (or refresh) button on your browser. Or just wait and it'll update eventually.

So what's changing?

I've completely redesigned the user profile page. My goal is to make your user profile the hub of your activity, a much nicer home for you here on FamilyTreeCircles. The default view will be a full view of all your journals, formatted much like a blog. That way, anyone who follows your every post can easily see what you've been writing. If you organize your posts into categories, that will be much more visible. And your Assist! locations and surnames will be featured prominently as well.

In fact, it's going to be a lot like having your own blog, which is where I am headed with this.

And speaking of following, I'll be reintroducing he concept of "follow"ing. By following someone, you will be able to keep track of their new stuff.

When's it coming?

I'm still testing it out, but if you would like a sneak peek, just comment here on this post and I'll turn it on for you.

I'll probably grow impatient and make it available in the next few days, but I'd love to get some feedback first.

Again, just comment below if you'd like to try it out and give me some feedback.

Thanks!

11 comment(s), latest 2 years, 9 months ago

Happy Mothers Day -- My Umbilical Line

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, is where we get our mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, which is passed in its entirety from a mother to her children. It just so happens that I purchased a DNA test from 23andme.com a few weeks ago when they had their $99 special. Though as I stare at this test kit to spit into, I admit I'm getting cold feet.

Have you had a DNA test of any type for genealogy purposes?

Anyway, here's my line, that I've also posted as a journal here on FamilyTreeCircles.

  • Scott JANGRO (that's me)
  • [living] BAKER m. [living] JANGRO
  • Dora Helen MCILWRAITH (1915-1982) m. Robert Slade BAKER
  • Margaret HOURIHAN (1890-1931) m. Robert MCILWRAITH
  • Frances Mary LYNCH (????) m. Thomas HOURIHAN

That's it! It ends quickly with the jump to Ireland, which is where the line ends. I don't even have documentation on Frances and Thomas.

This is where I get my Irish and Scottish blood. I wish we had more. Someday I'll make a trip to Ireland

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

If you'd like to post your own matrilineal line as a journal, just start here.