The Genealogy Community

Genealogy, for the most part, is a solitary hobby. You sit at a computer and look for ‘your’ family online. You head off to the library, cemetery or archive for a day of research to find ‘your’ family. You correspond with others largely by email – so you get my point. It is usually a hobby that is yours … something YOU do.

But as with everything, there are exceptions, and you might be lucky enough to have a friend of family member to hang out with and help you along the way, but most of us don’t.¬†But that doesn’t mean that genealogy is a lonesome hobby. NOT AT ALL. In fact, quite the opposite.

While we might do our research alone, there is this wonderful thing called the “genealogy community”. This is an amazing group of people who are there to share in your excitement, and frustrations, offer advice, and generally just be there for you when you need (genealogy related or otherwise).

For those who haven’t get seen or experienced the “genealogy community” you can find them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and so on). Follow them, learn from them, comment on their posts, share them and encourage them.

How do you find people to follow? Do you read genealogy books or magazines? If so, who are the authors? They are all on social media, so why not start by following them? Do you watch genealogy on YouTube, or webinars or listen to podcasts? What about your local genealogy society? Go and find them on social media, and follow. Want more … use the hashtags #genealogy or #familyhistory and see what comes up. I guarantee you’ll find more people to follow … but also don’t forget #oldphotos and #cemetery are great hashtags to find like-minded people to follow too.

This way you will build up a group of people to follow on social media – to learn from them, to find out the latest products, to hear what event are coming up … and when you get the chance to meet them in person, it really is super exciting. And that’s what I found happened again at RootsTech in Salt Lake City recently (yes, I do still need to write a report on that for you … soon, hopefully).

Anyway I was reminded of just how wonderful the genealogy community is. Being an introvert and going to a conference with 20,000 or so people might sound daunting. But for me it is such a buzz. Each time I go, I make a few new friends, and get to catch up with others I’ve met before from all around the world, which is awesome. Facebook is good, but it doesn’t beat meeting up in person, and just having a chat.

So if you haven’t yet, I urge you to discover and join the ‘genealogy community’. ¬†Working in a genealogy bookshop, I still come across people who’ve been researching alone for 10-20-30 years, who have never been to a genealogy group, have never been to any society meetings, and in reality didn’t know that they even existed, let alone all the online collaborative help opportunities that are available now. So don’t do family history by yourself forever. There is a whole community out there who is willing to help you, and I guarantee you’ll find some friends …

One Response to “The Genealogy Community”

  1. Crissouli says:

    Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thank you, Chris

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