Monday, December 1, 2014

Genealogy Messages on

I love hearing from other genealogy researchers. A cousin in Michigan tracked me and my sister down several years ago, and I really enjoyed sharing information with him. Several people have commented on this blog and emailed me, and I think that's great.

I've also received messages on, but I'm surprised that several of them have left me scratching my head. At the risk of sounding judgmental--which my son would be quick to point out--I am writing this post as a gentle reminder to take the time to make sure you're sending useful messages to your possible cousins and fellow researchers.

For example, I received an Ancestry message that simply said "Hello cousin!" and a surname in the subject line. That surname is in my online family tree, but it's not really a relative. I sometimes get carried away and save details about the families of in-laws and other people who aren't directly related. Another person wrote, "I see our branches cross... I did not know I had so many relatives out there." In both cases, I wish the person would have given more details so that I could figure out our relationship or would have asked a question to make it easier to reply.

Please keep reaching out to others while you do your genealogy research, but remember to think about your message before you hit the send button.

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