Think Facebook is just for keeping up with friends and family? Think again!
Amy Archibald wants you to know that Facebook IS family history, and that it can be a powerful family history tool to help you in many ways.
Would you like to get your family “on the same page?” By creating a Facebook group for your family, members can share their memories of a picture, post answers to a question (like, “What do you remember about fishing trips with grandpa?”), announce and celebrate family events (even virtual family reunions), conduct ongoing discussions, and just keep each other up to date on doings. Connecting in this way can bring families closer.
To create a Facebook group:
- Find the drop-down arrow on the far right of the blue toolbar at the top of your Facebook page. The drop-down arrow will bring up a list.
- Click on “Create Group” and fill in a group name. You will want to consider how large you want your group to be.
- Add members to your group by adding their e-mail addresses or names. Consider how private to make your group: (1) Public—anyone can see the group and view group posts; (2) Closed—anyone can find your group by doing a search and see who’s in it, but not their posts; or (3) Secret—only members of your group can find the group and see its posts. You may want to create a closed or secret group for a smaller family group (such as your siblings and their spouses; your children, grandchildren, etc). By creating a descendants group of a common ancestor and making it a closed group, other unknown relatives may find it and then request to become a member, giving you more control of membership. Or, you can make your descendants group a public group for all to see.
It’s a good idea to name a Legacy Contact who can manage the group account in case of your death, so that the group and content can continue. To do this:
- Click the drop-down arrow on the far right of toolbar.
- Go to the Security link in left sidebar.
- Click the Legacy Contact
Information pages on Facebook allow real organizations, businesses, celebrities and brands to communicate broadly with people who “LIKE” them. By liking their pages, you will receive their postings on your Facebook newsfeed. For example, to receive postings from FamilySearch, click “like” on their page. Consider following the pages of local libraries, societies, or other institutions which could help you with your family history.
There are many Facebook groups that offer help with genealogy, such as Cyndi’s List, Genealogy! Just Ask! and Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, (where you can post queries to their Facebook page about your research “brick walls”), FamilySearch Location Groups, etc.
Could you be related to your Facebook friends? Find out by going to http://www.ancestry.com/cs/us/facebookapp and turn your friends into family!
Connect with living cousins by doing a Facebook search for people using a surname, maiden name, nickname, city, school, work, etc. On the person’s Facebook page, click “Add Friend” or “Message” them.
So, how will you use Facebook for your Family History?
This post was a recap of a presentation made at the 2016 RootsTech Conference recently held in Salt Lake City, Utah.