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Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree shows how rewarding and informative building a family history can be. Genealogy instructor Jeff Sengstack teaches how to find lost ancestors, connect with living relatives, and collaborate with others to grow a family tree. He explains how to use the Family Tree Maker application along with Ancestry.com and other internet sites to track down census data, immigration records, and other important documents, and then organize family tree data. Jeff also presents tips on how to scan old photos, create video slideshows, and build family web sites. Exercise files accompany this course.
Download Jeff's free genealogy tips from the Exercise Files tab.
One of the easiest ways to expand your family tree is to find someone else who has worked on your tree and get some information from that person or get an entire tree file from them. There are two basic ways which can track down folks who have worked on your tree. One is called a message board and the other one's a mailing list. These two used be are sort of separate and distinct, but now they're sort melted together. So I'm going to show you three message boards, one mailing list, which actually is kind of a message board in disguise, and then a group of mailing lists and finally one other way to track down somebody working on your tree. We're going to start with one of the biggest message boards.
That's www.rootsweb.com, which is part of the www.ancestry.com family, which is owned by The Generations Network. Here is www.rootsweb.com and notice it has www.ancestry.com after it that's telling you that it is part of www.ancestry.com. Now over here we got two buttons, mailing lists and Message Boards. Let me go to Message Boards. The message boards are places that are based on surnames. So I'm going to type in hendershot here, and right there it's already partially typed in for me. So I will click Go. And that says look, we have got two message boards based on the surname Hendershot or Hendershott with two T's.
We will go to this one here. Here are what they call threads. Threads are topics that are posted to which people respond and the more responses are down the line. You can see this particular topic has had 51 replies, a very busy topic and you can look for things that relate to your particular Hendershot and then click on it and look at the thread and look for people who have said things that might be of interest. And then if it's specific to your family, you can then contact them and then you can try to workout ways to trade information. Let me go over to the message board on ancestry.com and it's the exact same thing.
It is the same thing, even though it's called www.ancestry.com's Message Board under Collaborate. You go to Collaborate > Message Boards and you get this particular site and when you type in the Hendershot again, you will go to that same listing of choosing between the two and then finally that group again. There is the one with 51 again. So it's the exact same thing. So, while it may look like two different message boards, they are one and the same. Let's go into the GenForum, which is part of the www.genealogy.com site, and guess what, folks? genealogy.com is owned by ancestry.com.
They are the big guys. It is a different forum though. It is worth checking out. So I'm going to go to Hendershot here, He, scroll down and I am going to go long ways to find Hendershot. They got lots of surnames as you can see and we are just about there. There we go. There is not one with two T's here. So even though it's the same company, this is in fact different. And here it's more of like big topics like the Hendershot Genealogy Book and you can read about that here. So it's not quite the same as the other one. It's worth going to one of the two sites, Rootsweb or ancestry.com's message board, because they are one and the same.
Then try out the Gen website, the genealogy.com message board. Finally, let's go back to Rootsweb and we'll switch over to the Mailing List version of Rootsweb. In Mailing List version, if you go on and type in hendershot here and you click on Search for Hendershots specifically and you get this one family name and then you get a mailing list that you have to subscribe to. It's a little different, but when you subscribe to it, you'd be able to go look at the Archives and actually get into the Archives.
I want to look under the Body here. I will look for Jacob and you can look at people who have written about this topic over the years. Here are the things that have been written about it. But if you look here though, it goes, this is under the message board. This is a message board post. So, in fact, this is kind of like a message board post disguised as a mailing list, but nevertheless it's a little bit different than going to the message board on Rootsweb. So you might want to try that out too, even though it's part of Rootsweb. Let's go to Cyndi's List. It's www.cyndislist.com.
This is a huge site, an aggregator site that has links to many other sites, and I've just went to the specific area called the Mailing Lists portion. Here are a bunch of mailing lists. It explains what Mailings Lists are and it has specific topics, which is of interest. You might want to have a particular topic about something that's interesting to you like adoption oriented genealogy or African Ancestors. So this is different than a surname category. It's a topic category. Finally, there is a site called OneGreatFamily and if you upload your tree to OneGreatFamilly, I will talk about how to do that in another video.
If you upload your family tree to this site, I get this kind of view that shows your family tree and places where it connects with other trees. These little exclamation points are places where you connect and if you double-click on one of these guys and open up Collaborate, it shows other people who are connected to that particular tree and gives you their email address and name and you can email them and say, hey, we're connected on this OneGreatFamily site. Do you have any idea of if this is really a true connection and can we collaborate? And I did collaborate with this particular fellow in and it was rewarding. So those are three basic ways. The Mailling List and message boards are sort of the standard ways and the OneGreatFamily methodology to find other people working on your family tree.
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