Facebook is Family History

February 7, 2014  - by 

There is a gap between how we have done family history in the past and how it will be done in the future.

The old…how we have done family history in the past. We used to write a lot. We used to read newspapers and magazines to get our information. To gather records for our genealogy we used census records, old photos, birth certificates and newspapers

The new…how we are doing it now. It’s called the internet. The internet has completely changed the way we do things. We get our news from the internet. We fill out information on line. Then we share it. We get likes. We can make comments or ask questions. We interact. We are a part of each other’s lives online.

How different our family history would be if our ancestors would have had social media. Think of the information we would have about them. There would be so much information. So many stories about their lives and photos that we would now have access to.

Most of us are using Facebook at least once a day. Facebook is second most popular website in the world. That is impressive since it has only been around for 10 years. With Facebook, you can keep up with the latest news on your friends and family. There are over 1 billion active monthly users on Facebook. On average, people spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month with an average of 20 minutes per visit. Facebook has become a 21st century journal. For many people Facebook is family history.

Young people are telling their stories on Facebook. They tag people. They are posting photos that document their lives. We know their history and it includes the dates, facts and how they feel about what is happening in the world.

Social media is one very important tool that future generations the world over will use to remember us. Facebook is people getting excited about family history. Embrace it!

This blog post was contributed by Gary and Maggie Stevens.

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  1. I just wanted to add that it was through Facebook I met a distant relative, who happens to be of another faith, who is very active in researching his own family history. I think it is a neat way to find and contact other family branches who may or may not share common family roots. Perhaps there are a lot of people in the world who have been bitten by the family history bug and a side effect is that they want to look for ways to reach out to family that are alive now.

  2. I follow two FaceBook groups – one for Swedish genealogy and another for Danish. They can be so helpful in translation, getting in country information on geography and other things, trying to decipher documents, and so many other ways.

  3. I have been able to contact and stay in touch with all my many nieces and nephews by Facebook.I would never have known much about them otherwise as they are all over the United States. Thanks to Facebook for keeping me in touch

  4. As a well trained and thoroughly experienced genealogist, I can attest to the fact that beyond the first few generations, genealogical research can’t be done only on the internet. Most of the documents needed to find information on earlier generations aren’t yet on the net. Most people using the net are untrained and unskilled, and rather than doing research, are collecting it from others without verification. Most of the family histories on the net are flawed, and can;t be used, and most of the documentation needed to establish a family history isn’t on the net yet. Hopefully, in the years and decades to come, the situation will change, but we’re still a long way away from being able to do genealogical research only on the net.

  5. about a year ago I lost my face book family tree. I have put a lot of work in it. How can I get it back. I did not deluxe. Thank you