Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why You Should Create A Family History Website

One of the best research tools that will help you find other family members (living, of course) is to create a personalized Family History website. I did so about 3 years ago, and posted photos, family stories, articles in the newspaper, etc. There are four VERY good reasons to create such a website:

  1. It is fun.
  2. It enables you to document interesting family stories and photos that will be preserved for future generations (as long as the website remains active).
  3. It is a way to keep your relatives involved in what's happening with your research and enables you a way to share your discoveries.
  4. By having it on the Internet, it is a terrific way to find other relatives.
For the last reason, let me provide you with an excellent example.  In a previous post, I wrote how I had found several people with the last name of "Braunhart".  At the time, I called them "stragglers", because I did not know how they were related to me.  Because of placing their names on the website, in the past two years I have found two remote cousins who were able to connect the stragglers to my family.

The first, a woman who lives in New Jersey, is the great granddaughter of Alexander and Helene Braunhart.  Alexander was the younger brother of my great great grandmother Sara Braunhart Bernstein.  As it turns out - all of the "stragglers"  were either sons, daughters or grandchildren of Alexander and Helene.  The puzzle pieces now fit!

The second, who lives in Berlin, was the great granddaughter of Alexander and Helene, and her grandfather,  Philipp, who stayed in Berlin while many of his brothers and sisters emigrated to America. All of his ancestors remained in Berlin.  I now had a connection in Germany.  What a great surprise!

This happened ONLY because I had created a family history website (Marksology) and they had Googled the name Braunhart and found the site. They submitted comments on one of the posts and I was able to connect with them.

They are now the most prolific providers of information to the family history, and I appreciate them both very much.

So start a family history website - it's easy and will produce many wonderful results, I guarantee it.

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