Thursday, July 2, 2015

Finding New Relatives

It might seem like I've completely stopped with my family history, but its far from the truth. I've had to lessen my searching because I'm currently looking for employment, but I haven't stopped.

Information Searching Overload
This is what I'm experiencing. I have so many different places to search for different ancestors, I'm suffering from overload. I have new areas I can search for my great grandmother's relatives and history near Denmark. I have a Facebook Group for my great grandfather's relatives in and around Belgium, which I keep finding new cousins and we're trying to link up our connections. Then there's the Polish relatives on both sides I'm still trying to put it all together. Finally, there is the DNA side of everything as well. Like I said, I'm on information and searching overload.
Taken from

Share the Information
I'm a big believer in sharing of information. This is why I've started up this blog, a Facebook Group and writing my grandmother's story up. I decided to start with her, because its the ancestor I have the most complete information about on. I thought it would be one of the easier ancestors to write about but was I wrong. I have had to research areas I would not have thought about otherwise. Then try and put all the information - including historical facts - together where it will make sense. Not an easy task I'm finding out.

A picture from the facebook group
The Facebook Group was a great idea as I was trying to share the same information with about 10 people. Now we've almost double that size, but the information that has been shared was much easier for everyone to look at, read and find.

Searching - where to start? 
I do, from time to time, give talks on genealogy for the community. I always tell them the first step is to write things down that they know of or heard and give estimated dates unless the real dates are known.

Next, I have them do a search in a search engine or Google the name of the person...and you'll never know what you'll find.

My Experiences with Searching using Ancestor's Names
I had my doubts about opening up a search engine and doing a simple search on an ancestor's name. When I did it, boy did I hit gold! I found many newspaper articles. Next up was I found the genealogy site called Geneanet for parts of Europe my ancestors came from. You can sign up for free and do simple searches and post in groups asking for help. I did this, and within about 4 weeks I found my great grandfather's line in Belgium. Within 2 months of signing up, I found a cousin in France. Since then, I have found a second cousin with more family in Belgium. Then when a cousin from my Facebook Group asked for a bit of help, I went looking for more of my great grandfather's line and found at least 2 more cousins that link up to my family history research. However, none of them at the moment link up to my cousin's family from Facebook but where her grandfather came from is the same area my many great grandfather's had came from, so we know we're related we just have to find the missing link.

I'm now also trying to use this same website to go back on my Polish and German sides of the family as well.

So never give up and give things you doubt a try. You never know what you're going to find out there!