Sunday, June 10, 2012

Met a Genealogy Angel?

Last week I presented a program at the local public library about social networking in genealogy. Amazingly there were over 47 lively people in attendance. At first I was a little nervous, but once the program began the time flew.

We talked about using Facebook, Twitter, wikis, message boards and newsletters to further your research and connect with fellow family historians. One method I forgot to discuss was Find-A-Grave.

Many would think the site was not created for researchers to communicate. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have made successful connections with genealogists just this year on the website. Not only have they furnished wonderful photographs of headstones, but several have transferred memorials to my account.

This morning reminded me yet again why Find-A-Grave can truly be a social networking tool. I received the following email concerning my husband's 3rd great grandmother, Susannah Allebach Ruth.

Hi,
Was helping another with researching this family. Found the notice, and see that you have posted Susannah. Thought you might want the notice to go along. I just posted a Peter Ruth Keller, June 2, 1900 to Lafayette Cemetery.
Jane

April 12, 1866
Philadelphia Inquirer
Page 2

RUTH.-On the morning of the 10th inst., SUSANNAH RUTH, relict of the late David Ruth, aged 83 years and 10 months.

The relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral services, at the residence of her son-on-law, Mr. John Keller, No. 247 South street, this (Thursday) evening, at 8 o’clock. Interment at Hatfield township, Montgomery County, on Friday morning.

I can't begin to express my gratitude. Jane went the extra mile providing this vital information which lead to new discoveries. I now know Susannah's daughter, Elizabeth, was married to John Keller. This one hint has tumbled a brick wall that stood strong for years.

In future social networking presentations Find-A-Grave will be added to the list. Having an online presence on the site could indeed help move research one step further.

Met a genealogy angel lately?

13 comments:

  1. I had 2 Find a Grave photo requests fulfilled this week, I love the site! Lucky you to get the funeral notice! I always check the photo requests on the site for the cemeteries I'm interested in, always hoping to find someone else looking for the same family as me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Jenna - I love this site, and the very helpful photographers who find another stone for me! Sometimes, they live in the area knowing the history, and add more than a few paragraphs when they write back with the photos. Glad to hear your brick wall came tumbling down!! Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was waiting to hear how your talk went. I'm glad to hear it was such a success. I have a friend who is really into Find-a-Grave. It's relatively new to me. It comes under the heading "how many things can I manage?" Maybe I should move it up on my priority list.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love FindaGrave! I've had genealogy angels transfer memorials over to me too.

    Glad your presentation went well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jana,

      Always wonderful to encounter those genealogy angels. I always keep that in mind and hope to return the favor to other researchers.

      Delete
  5. Deb, that's a great subject, so I'm not surprised that the time flew in your class! Find-A-Grave has been a real help to me, too. The best part, to me, is that the Find-A-Grave forums are searchable via Google or other internet search engines. That's how I stumbled upon some material I was able to use in the Flannigan series I just completed in my own blog--a story of how former President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded six cents as settlement in a lawsuit!

    The only thing I'd add to what you've mentioned is that I believe a user needs to sign up for the Find-A-Grave forums separately from the cemetery site itself, if you want to actually post on the discussion threads there. The threads are archived, so any past discussions are retrievable for the benefit of others, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the lovely comment! I have not used the forums as of yet. On the list!

      Delete
  6. Hi, Thanks for this description. I'm glad so many people like Find-a-Grave. I have a question. Often, when I am searching, Archives appears and takes over -- and offers me a trial membership. Am I supposed to subscribe to Archives in order to find a gravestone for my cousin who died in 1962? So far I haven't found her grave. Do most users of FaG subscribe to Archives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mariann,

      Kathleen gave a very helpful to your question. I don't have a subscription to Archives.com. Have found Find A Grave very helpful not only in connecting with relatives, but also finding vital information about ancestors. Hope between the two of us (Kathleen) we have answered your questions.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Delete
  7. Mariann,
    Archives.com is a great way to find information on your ancestors and the link to Find A Grave is quite helpful if you have a subscription. You do not need a subscription to find the gravestone, though! Just go straight to FindAGrave website. You may need to put in a request though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen,

      Thank you for answering Mariann's question. Always know I can count on you, genealogy friend!

      Delete
  8. I have started using and contributing to Find A Grave in the past couple of months and find it quite a worth while site. In fact, I think it is one of the best up and coming sites out there for genealogy and family tree research.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've had a lot of success on findagrave, too. I, too, would love to give back by taking photos in my area but the network here is so active that the requests are 'claimed' within an hour or two. I know my time will come, though.

    ReplyDelete