Ancestry Search – Sharing the Bounty of Your Ancestry Search

Sharing the valuable information you’ve discovered during your ancestry search is one of the foundations of genealogy. After all, you wouldn’t have been able to undertake your own ancestry search if others hadn’t made so much data available to you. Now it’s time to reciprocate, and we’re going to show you where to start. Be aware though, that the more information you share, the more you’ll most likely get back. You may find additional information about your surname, or find relatives who you didn’t no exist. There’s no doubt; sharing information is the quickest way to accumulate data during an ancestry search. 

Why are Others Even Interested in Your ancestry Search?

You might experience a moment of hesitation where you might wonder why anybody would be interested in your ancestry search. It's normal for anyone to have that bit of doubt, after all; who would be interested in that shabby old photo of your great-grandfather waiting at that train station? You might have received it during your ancestry search only because nobody else wanted it. Don't let thoughts like those discourage you from going forward. You may have a relative out there doing their own ancestry search to whom that photo would mean the world. They may cherish that picture as much as you do, and consequently that means you may have much in common other than just family. Take that first step; it may be the beginning of a fantastic journey.

The more you share what you discover during your ancestry search, the more you may find others wishing to exchange information. There may be different reasons why other researchers might be interested in your data. They could be:

  • Actually related to you
  • Researching the area where your ancestors lived
  • Doing a surname study of your name

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These I'm sure are similar reasons as to why you would like to see the information that other genealogists have uncovered during their ancestry search. The obvious benefits of sharing your data are that you may be able to fill in gaps in your own family history, or that you may encounter living relatives that you didn't know you had. Even if you're questions aren't answered directly, the data you receive from other researchers may provide clues that will extend your ancestry search. Always remember though; verify any information you receive from anyone against official documentation.

Contacting Those Who may be Interested in Your Ancestry Search

The first thing you'll want to do in order to share the findings of your ancestry search is to compile a list of places and people to contact. This will ensure that you're contacting the right people on the right websites or forums, and save you and them from wasting time chasing false leads. Start with the surname you wish to search, the geographical areas you're interested in, the websites that you feel would be interested in your data, and which sites might be interested in the results of your own ancestry search.

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Answering these questions will point you towards your "target audience", those who would find your data useful, and whose information you may be able to use. If someone is conducting an ancestry search on the same surname in the same geographical location as you, chances are that you can potentially help each other. Use as wide a variety of platforms to share the results of your ancestry search as possible; mailing lists, newsgroups, forums, online family trees, can all prove fruitful. You may be surprised at what, and who, you uncover when sharing the data from your ancestry search, but one thing is for sure, the rewards will greatly outweigh any effort that you extend.

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