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Reconnect with Family through Facebook

Updated on January 16, 2009

When I was younger I remember spending a lot of time with my cousins. But as we got older we all moved to the four corners of the earth (or the United States at any rate).  Now through Facebook I've been able to reconnect with many of my relatives.

Facebook's application "We're Related", among other things, allows you to input your relations. Each of your relatives is then sent a request to also use the application and input relations. You can also display the application on your profile. Then whoever views your profile will be able to see your relatives. (Who can view your profile depends on your Facebook privacy settings)

After you've inputted your relations you can then use the possible relatives feature. The application will make suggestions and even tell you which relatives you currently have in common. You can then send those people friends requests. And once they have accepted you can input their names as relatives for even more suggestions.

"We're Related" can also be used to create a family tree. The family tree uses Gedcom files and if you already have a tree in that format you can upload it. The Facebook tree feature is nice because you can link it directly to your relatives' Facebook profiles. This also saves you having to enter the name and birth date information. Once you've created the link that information is automatically uploaded. Moreover you can choose to share your family tree or keep it private. If it is private other family members can still send you a request to see it and you can approve them on a case by case basis.

Additional features of this application include birthday lists, email reminders and status updates for just your relations. Also the application will soon feature FamilyPoints as they continue to improve its uses.

Apart from the "We're Related" application Facebook is a nice way to find relations because you never loose touch with all your relations so once you find one relative on Facebook they are usually in touch with a few more. For example I recently got in touch with a younger cousin with a more unusual name and she was able to put me in touch with some of those relations with the more common names.

So if you have any Johns or Smiths in your family don't despair start with those relations with the more unusual names. After you're in contact with them you can check their friends' lists for additional relations. Once you've found a few the relatives will come pouring in. Then you will find yourself wondering why you wanted to get in touch with these people. Actually I've found it to be a quite enjoyable experience. The only downside being that I am now likely to spend entirely to much time online socializing with my family.

Genealogy Search Basics

Beginning Your Family Tree

Working with GEDCOM Files

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    • profile image

      sexy man 8 years ago

      oh my god :)

    • profile image

      Jean W 8 years ago

      Through Facebook I was able to see pictures of relatives and former classmates who I haven't seen in anywhere from 10+ to 30+ years. "Facebook is wonderful" is an understatement if there ever was one!

    • Joy M profile image
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      Joy M 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was fun. Although like with all things Facebook you can find yourself spending entirely to much time at it. :)

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      Wow I use Facebook to connect with my relatives, especially my cousins but had no idea about this application. Thanks for sharing I am going to check it out, sounds like fun.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      How interesting! I will forward this to some of my relatives and see if they are interested. Thanks! :)