Facebook for Australian & New Zealand History and Genealogy...

Since releasing my first big list of Australian history and genealogy links on Facebook in September 2016, I’ve continued to find more, and more, and periodically do updates. So what started out as a list of a few hundred links, has grown to large list of 2012 links (as at 29 December 2020). That’s 74 pages worth of Australian and New Zealand history and genealogy links … just on Facebook. I haven’t added any new categories with this update, but there are additions to nearly every category that’s listed. It was my June 2020 update when I added New Zealand in. It’s still small, but it will grow, and as it does more sub-categories will be added as needed. DOWNLOAD HERE This is an ongoing project which will be updated periodically, so if you have any links you’d like added, please either send an email to  alona @ lonetester.com (without the spaces), or message me on my Lonetester Facebook page. ————– And I can’t mention genealogy on Facebook without making reference to two other incredible lists: – Katherine Willson’s worldwide Genealogy on Facebook list is enormous, and now has over 16,400 links. – Gail Dever’s Facebook for Canadian Genealogy list of over 1000 links is a must for everyone with Canadian...

Facebook vs Blogging: The Pros and Cons...

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a few geneabloggers writing about the topic of “is genealogy blogging dying” (see the links at the end), which are suggesting that there are far less active genealogy blogs and/or bloggers, now than there were a few years ago, and that people are turning to social media (namely Facebook) instead. They may well be, but I’m not going into that. Personally I can see that there is a case for both, but it purely depends on what the reason behind you doing it is. So I thought I’d just run through a few of the key features of both a blog and Facebook for you, to highlight the differences. FACEBOOK Let me start of by saying that there are different types of Facebook accounts. There is your own personal account, there are pages, and there are groups, and all of them have a different purpose. The Pros – it’s free – the amount of people there … Facebook states that they have over one billion active Facebook users – you can have a private group on Facebook (so you can have your own non-public family group, so you can get your cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces together on Facebook to chat and share family memories and/or photos) – you can have a group for Descendants of … to keep in touch with the wider family The Cons – not everyone is (or wants to be) on Facebook – it’s not indexed by Google – a photo or story that is put up, is essentially seen once, then lost in the feed – not everything shows up in Facebook, so many posts simply don’t get seen BLOGGING Please note some blogs...

Another Copyright Issue

Copyright. Yes, it’s that word again. The word few like the hear. The word that gets me kicked out of Facebook groups. But the word copyright is an important one. Copyright is there for a reason. Copyight is a law that is there to protect the work of the author or compiler. But before I get into that, let me just say that there’s no doubt that genealogists for the most part, are a wonderful bunch of generous people who love to help each other out. Be it on research advice, cemetery visits, or lookups. Research advice, fine. Cemetery visits, transcriptions or headstone photos fine. But lookups can be an issue. The issue of doing lookups from big-pay-sites has been mentioned before, and you can read all about that here, as has the general copyright issue before which you can read here. But another copyright issue has come up that needs to be addressed, and that is offering lookups from books. In theory doing a lookup from a book sounds fine. You have a book, you offer to do lookups, and respond back to those who ask with details of yes/no they’re in there. But this is the digital age, and what I saw on Facebook was someone offering to do lookups from a number of books (probably all out of print, but all still in copyright). But to help out fellow researchers, the person had kindly photographed the entire index of each book and pasted it online. Like it or not, that breaches copyright law. Several in fact. But not only that, the person then posted photographs of EVERY page that anyone was interested in. Again. That breaches copyright. Copyright is there for a reason. It is to protect...

Facebook for New Zealand History and Genealogy...

In case my big list of Facebook links wasn’t enough, I now have more even links for you. While I was compiling my listing of Australian history and genealogy Facebook links, I kept coming across links for our cousins across the ditch … New Zealand. And we can’t forget our cousins, so rather than dismiss them, I decided to create a list for them too. While it’s not as extensive as Australia’s list, there’s certainly plenty to look at … lots of old photo sites, museums, genealogy groups and other heritage related pages. To make it easier for everyone I’ve made it available as a PDF file you can download. There’s currently 126 links on 6 pages, so there’s still quite a lot for a little country. DOWNLOAD HERE As with my Australian list, this is an ongoing list which will be updated regularly, so if you have any New Zealand related links that you’d like added, please either send an email to  alona @ lonetester.com (without the spaces), or message me on my Lonetester Facebook page. —– And just a reminder about two other Genealogy on Facebook lists you should know about, firstly Katherine Willson’s worldwide Genealogy on Facebook list is one that everyone should download and have as a reference. The latest edition is enormous, as it now has over 10,000 links. And if you have Canadian heritage, Gail Dever’s list on Facebook for Canadian Genealogy is the most comprehensive available. Happy Researching on...

Tips for Genealogy Bloggers...

While I was writing this post, I had a feeling that I had written something similar some time ago. And sure enough back in 2013, I wrote “Tips for Geneablogger Readers and Writers“. In rereading that list, I still find all of those points are 100% valid, so won’t repeat the whole thing, but rather have summarised them below, and now I want to add a couple of extras. Summary list …  1. Allow comments on your blog 2. If you use photographs on your blog, label them 3. Put share buttons on your blog 4. Have a search function on your blog 5. Use images, there’s plenty you can get for free 6. If you a blog post and you liked it, leave a comment Now for my extras … 1. Include details By this I mean if you are writing about an ancestor be specific. Include names, dates and places as Google indexes these, and people search for them will end up on your blog. It’s pure cousin-bait. 2. Use your own voice Write in your own voice, your own style. You don’t have to be a novelist or author to be a blogger. Just simply write like you talk. As the title says “use your own voice”, and it will sound natural to people. And natural helps connect with people. So in essence, make your blog look good, people like pictures. And make it easy for people to share, and find their way around your blog. That’s just my suggestions, and I’m no pro-blogger by far. But these are things I’ve just picked up over the years of reading and writing blogs, so hopefully someone will find them useful. And by the way, these apply any blogger...

Facebook vs Mailing Lists...

This is one of those posts that I want to write. But it’s been rewritten about so many times already (both on the computer and in my head), and renamed about twice that number. So maybe I should give up figuring that it’s just never meant to be. But I’m stubborn, and I want to have my say on this, so I shall persevere, and see if I ever get to hit the “publish” button. So here goes … Facebook vs Mailing Lists!  Or more to the point the usefulness of Facebook groups verses mailing lists. Have I got your attention? Now I’ve been an advocate of genealogy and Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I still am, as there’s heaps of useful groups and pages that you can follow. Just type Facebook in my search box, and you’ll find a bunch of articles I’ve written about it. So there’s no doubt about that. But … yes there’s a BUT, I have two big beefs with them. Firstly, they don’t last. If you read something on a group or page, and the want to find it again, it’s like looking for the matching odd sock. Yes, near impossible.  Or photos … a group puts a picture up a few days ago, you saw it on your feed as you scrolled though. Then you want to refind it. Firstly which group or page was it on? That is a good question. But then secondly depending on how active the group or page is, you could be scrolling back a long way! And I know I’ve given up doing exactly that. And my second beef is that only people who are on Facebook get to see it. And believe it or not,...

Discover Local History Using Facebook...

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like sitting down with an old photo album and flipping through the pages, wondering about people, the places, and life as it was back then … reminiscing. And any historian and/or genealogist know that learning about the history of a region where your family (be it YOUR own family, or the generations before you), is such an important aspect of it research. But just how do you find out the history and people of a town or area? Well until relatively recently there’s been two options. Firstly look around to see what books have been produced on the area and try to track them down, either through libraries, or secondhand bookstores), or secondly visit (or write if you’re not local) the genealogy or historical groups that are in the region. These are usually a goldmine of information, and are ALWAYS a good source of records. A third option, and is one that we all love, is to search old newspapers. And for us here in Australia that means going to Trove! But now there’s a new way to at least enhance your knowledge of the area, and that is by following a Facebook page that is dedicated to the local history of the town or area you’re interested in. The concept of starting a Facebook page for someone to share their photos and knowledge of a town, while inviting others to contribute seems to have really boomed in the past year or so. Facebook now has over 1.15  users globally, and almost 700 million of them log on daily (and yes, I’m one of those 700 million), so creating a Facebook page or group really does potentially give you a global audience. Setting up...

Gumeracha and District Past and Present on Facebook...

I’ve started a new Facebook page. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for some time, and earlier this week I took the plunge and went ahead and did it. This is my “Gumeracha and District Past and Present” page. Now I’m not new to making Facebook pages, as I have my own Lonetester page as well as numerous ones for work, so that was a piece of cake. For me the hardest part was actually making the decision to do it. I had started putting local history photographs up on my Lonetester Facebook page which were liked by many, but before putting more up, I decided to think about it, and eventually decided that I should make it a proper page of it’s own … hence “Gumeracha and District Past and Present”. The little intro explains about the Facebook page … I’ve started this page as a way to share the information that I have relating (mostly) to the Adelaide Hills towns of Gumeracha and Cudlee Creek. And with participation from others, this can be a place to share and record history of the numerous towns throughout the Gumeracha district, which include Birdwood, Cudlee Creek, Forreston, Gumeracha, Hermitage, Houghton, Inglewood, Kenton Valley, Kersbrook, Millbrook, Mount Torrens, and Paracombe. I have M-A-N-Y photos that relate to this region thanks to my dad being the local historian way back, prior to the Gumeracha Local History Centre being formed, which he was also involved in forming. Sadly many of the photos are unnamed, so I’m hoping with community help that we’ll be able to name some of the people or places that are in these beautiful old photos. While the Gumeracha Local History Centre do have fabulous volunteers, and an amazing...

Use Social Media to your (Genealogy) Advantage...

Are you using social media to your (genealogy) advantage? A few of you might be, but I reckon the majority of you aren’t, and I’m here to tell you just how you can be using Facebook for far more than keeping up with what your family and friends are doing. These days there are literally hundreds of social media sites around, if you don’t believe me check out Wikipedia. To get just a little what I want to cover are the big ones that fall under the title of ‘Social Media Networking’ – you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and I’ll throw in YouTube as well, because it is useful. —————————————————————————————- FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/ Facebook tends to be a love it or hate it type site, with a large portion of those who hate it being because privacy concerns. Trust me all of that is customisable, so you can control who sees what, but that’s not what this post is about. Here, I am going to be talking about Facebook pages and Facebook groups. There are literally thousands of organisations, meaning museums, societies, genie group, town history pages, one name groups, family group of ..[so and so]…, genealogy help groups for a country, for a state, user groups for genealogy software out there. There are even pages for military history battalions, and pages/groups for cemeteries as well … the list simply goes on. Now to cater for those who may not be a user of Facebook (or not a regular one) once you have created an account, to keep up with the news that each of these pages sends out on their Facebook page, you simply need to click on the “LIKE” button on their page. This will allow their...

Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers...

Tips for Geneablogger Writers and Readers … actually should be called Tips for Every Reader or Writer of Blogs, as it is actually for everyone who reads and/or writes blog posts, which obviously includes those in the geneablogger scene, but this goes far beyond just them. From my two or so years that I’ve now been blogging, through my various blogs, these are tips that I have picked up along the way. You may agree with some, and not others. And others may have more tips to add. By all means feel free to do so. FOR WRITERS Tip 1. Allow comments on your blog. Yes you will get spam, but wouldn’t you like to know that someone enjoyed your post so much they wanted to comment on it. Or if someone has googled and has come up with the name of your great grandpa who you wrote a post about a year ago, and they wanted to get in touch with you – don’t make it hard for them to do so. It’s off putting. Tip 2. If you use photographs on your blog, label them. By labelling them, I don’t mean caption them (though you need to do that too). I mean the title you give your photos, rather than the P1200983 that your digital camera, or scanner automatically names it as. If you have scanned a picture of your grandma’s and grandpa’s wedding back in the 1940s, don’t just leave it as the default name, name it as “wedding of Annie Smith and Alf Harford 1941”. When people Google for the name, your picture will come up. Trust me you will get new contacts through this. Tip 3. Put share buttons on your blog. People do...