Break Through Your Brick Walls Today Using Facebook: Here’s How

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Break Through Your Brick Walls Today Using Facebook: Here’s How

Thank you to Amie Tennant of My Kith N Kin for this helpful article.

I continue to be amazed how social media can quickly give you the answers you need to break through your family history brick walls. In just the last 2 weeks, I have turned to Facebook for help and was not disappointed. Here’s how I did it!

FamilySearch.org has created new Facebook groups. I joined them all.

In the U.S., there are 4 FamilySearch groups:

U.S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community

U.S. South Genealogy Research Community

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U.S. Midwest Genealogy Research Community

and U.S. West Genealogy Research Community

Other places in the world are not left out. “Europe Genealogy Research Community” and “Northern Europe Genealogy Research Community” are just the tip of the iceberg.

These Facebook pages, or groups, are being viewed by people like yourself. People who love genealogy and family history and are ready to help if they can.

My first experience was with the “U.S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community.” After joining, I put a little message that read:

“Hello! I am a professional genealogist, speaker, and writer of a family history blog at www.mykithnkin.blogspot.com. One of my biggest brick walls is locating where in New York my Louis Lockwood and Sabrina Robinson came from! Can’t wait to ask some questions here!”

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That’s it. That is all I wrote. In less than 24 hours, I had the answer (and more!) that had eluded me for more than 10 years.

Patricia Morrow, the town historian for Windham, New York, saw my post and quickly found Lewis [yes, there was a spelling change] Lockwood and Sabrina in the 1855 New York State census. Then, she uploaded biographical sketches of Lewis, documentation of Lewis’ previous wives and tombstone pictures. I was shaking my head in amazement. That was a genealogy miracle if I ever heard one! [Note: typically, you will want to put more information in your request for help than I did.]

In the weeks to follow, I have been able to find Lewis’ parents and the parents of his wives which have been added to my family tree. Help from Patricia gave me the answer to break through that brick wall and I was able to then continue my own further research.

Yesterday, I had another wonderful experience, this time with “Europe Genealogy Research Community.” While researching some Scottish records, I found a birth record that included the marriage date and location for the child’s parents. Unfortunately, I could not make out the name of the town they were married in. I could read that the village was located in Ireland, but I am not familiar with that country’s towns. I searched all village and town names in Ireland trying to find one that “looked similar,” but to no avail.

I knew I needed help. Facebook to the rescue! I posted the image of the birth record to “Europe Genealogy Research Community” and Becky Pate took a look. “Banagher,” she said. Yes! I could see it now. And wouldn’t you know it was in County Offaly right next to County Tipperary where the couple’s older children were born.

How to Create an Account and Use the FamilySearch Facebook Groups

If you are not Facebook savvy you will need some instructions. First, go to www.facebook.com and create your account. You will need an email address. They will also ask you for your birth date. Don’t worry, your birth date will not show on your page if you don’t want it to. You can easily change privacy settings at any time. Learn more about that here.

After you create a Facebook account, you will need to confirm it. An email will be sent to you and you will click “Confirm Account.”

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You will be directed back to your Facebook page. You may skip the steps of adding friends and adding a profile picture if you wish. This would be a good time to set up your privacy options if you haven’t already. Doing so will make sure only those you give permission to can see your profile information and posts.

Now, you will search for the FamilySearch groups I mentioned above, or simply click on the links provided. above. If you do not see the search field I have indicated in the picture below, just refresh your page.

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When you have clicked on the group you are interested in, you will be directed to their page where you will need to click “Join Group.”

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These FamilySearch Facebook groups are being monitored and managed, so you will need to wait until you are “approved.” I was approved within a few hours. Once you are approved, when you return to this page, you will see that you can “write something” on their page. Others will see your post and hopefully you will get the answers you are looking for.

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Remember, anyone else who is in the group can see what you have written here, so only share what you feel comfortable making semi-public.

We’d love to hear your success stories about breaking down family history brick walls using Facebook!

Editor’s Note: In addition to the FamilySearch groups on Facebook there are many other genealogy research groups available. Use the Facebook search to locate the best options for you.

Image: “Celebration at Bull Run: 2 Confederate veterans shaking hands,” c1911, Library of Congress

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9 Comments
Leave a response
  • Diane J Seipert
    October 28, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you so much Amie for brining to light the Facebook Genealogy Research Communities. Though there are the 4 U.S. Communities, we also have Canada Genealogy Research Community, as well as the following: British Isles Genealogy Research Community Northern Europe Genealogy Research Community Central Europe Genealogy Research Community Eastern Europe Genealogy Research Community and Southern Europe Genealogy Research Community We are also working on Mexico/Central America Genealogy Research Community and South America Genealogy Research Community, though they are not yet available to the public, they are being working on and we hope will roll out in a few months. We look forward to new members, their posts, questions and knowledge they bring to our Communities. Come Join us!!

  • Betseylee Browning
    October 27, 2015 at 8:45 am

    There are some changes in the Facebook groups. You can obtain their url’s through this link: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Genealogy_Help_on_Facebook

  • October 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Please assist me to be in touch . What is required of me ?
    Thank you
    Warmly
    Howard

    • Patricia Morrow, Windham Town Historian
      October 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Howard, if you have a Facebook account there are many genealogy groups you can join for free. This article mentions four:
      U.S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community
      U.S. South Genealogy Research Community
      U.S. Midwest Genealogy Research Community
      U.S. West Genealogy Research Community
      Choose one or more that pertain to where your ancestors lived and post a question. There are many people who will do what they can to help you find out more about your family.

  • Jeanne
    July 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Looking for family of Chauncey Hinman, 1848-1910. I do not know the name of Chauncey’s parents or other family members. In the 1860 US Federal Census, New York, Monroe, Penfield, Mary Jane Hinman, 18 years old and Chancey Hinman, 14 years old, living with Alpheus S. Clark, 40 years old and Mindwell Clark, 40 years old. When Chauncey Hinman was 21 he moved to Michigan, where he married Celestia Emira Everitt in Northville, Wayne, Michigan, and also where he died.

  • Sue K. Gurk
    June 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    There are 3 results for Phillip Martz in Detroit, MI in findagrave.com. I did not find any results for Carolyn.

  • Jeannette Castaneda
    June 5, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Looking for Carolyn Bradley Foster born in 1896 and died in Detroit, Michigan in 1924. Married Phillip Earl Martz.

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