Saturday, August 3, 2013

How I Use Facebook for Genealogy

Facebook can be used in many ways for genealogy.  Connecting with cousins you knew (hi, Emily!) and cousins you didn’t know but have learned of through genealogy (hi, Jackie!).  

It can be used for sharing information a little at a time.  I have a special Facebook page for my 2nd great grandfather.  Every few weeks or months, I post something on his page.  It’s chronological, so it starts with his birth and a picture of his birth record from Scotland.  I believe I am up through  the 1930 census now.

But my favorite new way to use Facebook is for the places.  Most of my ancestors were not in cities.  They were in small towns—some so small that they no longer even exist.  Some so small that the same families (although future generations) still live there.

When I first joined Facebook, I saw a page or group for the town I grew up in “You know you grew up in x, if…”  Lots of postings on history and how it used to be.  Hmmmmm…  So I started joining those pages for the small towns my ancestors came from.  The towns were often too small to even have a Facebook page yet, but I was patient.  In June, a page came up for the small town of Russell, Iowa.  I posted pictures of my family that came from Russell.  A few were of the 2nd great grandfather that I made the page for.  I posted a newspaper article of him in the centennial parade.  The queen was Leota Taylor and Leota’s granddaughter commented with excitement.  I posted our five generation picture and received this:  “I remember well your Great-Great-Grandfather Conner.  He lived a very long life and was known, loved and respected by the whole town.  He always appeared to be a happy person.  Even in his advanced years, I never saw him without a smile on his face."  I posted pictures of the Price family and of the house they lived in.  I learned from the people in the group who lived there after and that the house is no longer standing.  One man even said that his grandparents lived there after mine.

A wealth of information for which I am very grateful.  Old photos of the town and the people in the town.  Historical information that wouldn’t be found in a book. 

Go find your ancestral town Facebook pages.   One more place to get puzzle pieces that tell your families’ hiSTORY.


  1. Great idea Debbie! I will look also for the towns! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow! Wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing how you're using Facebook for your genealogy. Great ideas, Debbie.

  3. Hi Debbie, great blog as usual,
    Jackie x

  4. Love this idea! Thank you for sharing!