Create Partnerships to Build Stronger Genealogy Sites
When I first started genealogy 35 years ago, I traveled to many libraries around our beautiful United States. I dusted off books, I made notes, I photocopied. Then I artistically drew the family tree, adding to the branches as I learned more. Today I use software and the web a great deal, and my site is enhanced by the generosity of others seeking family history on our common ancestors.
To build a new tree, I open a family tree database, such as Family Tree Maker 2010, and also begin by opening a new blank webpage in my FrontPage 2003. You could use any webpage design software of your choice.
I research my known information - the info I have from my own knowledge of parents, grandparents, etc., and that which I learn from asking my relatives. This paints a skeletal tree of my lineage, adds dates, marriages, residences, census info, occupations, etc. To me, without pictures or stories, the history is captured but not exciting.
I then begin indepth research on the web, local library, etc., and add more branches, more facts, more documentation. Google Books, RootsWeb, Ancestry, and many other sites make this so much easier and much more fun today than 35 years ago - and the gratification of finding new relevant information is often rapid. Wow.
One of the unexpected ways I learned to gather personal insights into the family branches was through connecting with other genealogists interested in the same surnames as I am researching.
When contacted with questions from viewers, I keep the questions or comments in a "Genealogy To Do" file on my email program and as soon as I can, I contact them. Should we both find that we have info to share, I inquire if they would like to partner on the page(s) of that surname. Never been turned down! People like to share photos, basics, stories, etc., as much as I do.
My partner has his or her email or contact info on my webpage for that surname. When someone shares new info with me or my partner, we contact each other and we can then decide if we should update the webpage. Often we do!
Partnering is a great aid in genealogy.