Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ancestor Landing Pages - New to My Blog

A wonderfully detailed blog post by Caroline Pointer on Blogging Genealogy gave me the idea of creating ancestor landing pages for key people or family branches on my tree.

Now, following Caroline's instructions, I've created four tabbed landing pages, two for ancestors in my family (Birk and Mahler) and two for ancestors in hubby's family (Slatter and Demarest).

Each ancestor landing page has:
  • An image of some sort, either the person's head shot or a document or place related to his or her life
  • An intro paragraph about the person, explaining:
    • why that person was important to the family 
    • why that person intrigues me 
    • what genealogical questions I want to answer
  • A quick summary of dates or other key facts about this person
  • A listing of that person's spouse and children (for handy reference)
  • A bullet list of links to posts I've written in the past about that person or that family
Caroline's method of listing bullet points linked to blog posts from the past is not just good cousin bait, it's a way to index what else is on the blog about a certain ancestor or family. Remember, I put a "Search this blog" widget high on my home page to encourage visitors to look for specific people or surnames. But summarizing every post in one landing page saves visitors (who might be cousins!) from having to hunt down and read many posts just to determine the connection between the families.

It was interesting to see how many times I've blogged about the Slatter family, for instance, whereas I've barely blogged about Mary Amanda Demarest--mainly because cousin Larry, the Wood family genealogist, had done so much detailed research into her background before I connected with him (via a surname message board) several years ago.

I'm still trying to figure out whether to use one tab* for husband/wife (like Meyer Mahler and Tillie Rose Jacobs Mahler) or have a single name on each tab. After all, I do want to feature the matriarchs who were vital to the history of the family tree! But IMHO, the tab title "Mayer Mahler's story" seems a bit more intriguing than "Meyer Mahler & Tillie Jacobs Mahler." Perhaps I'll change things later on, as I see how things work and think up new refinements.

*UPDATE: I've changed the tabs to show husband and wife, except for Mary A. Demarest. The lady ancestors deserve equal billing IMHO. Because the ancestor landing pages are attracting views and getting my surnames indexed in search engines, I expect to put more up in the future.


  1. I also read that article, Marian, and liked Caroline's suggestions. Nice to see that you've incorporated the "ancestor landing page" on your blog. I'm thinking of giving that one a try one of these days.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Yvonne, and you know I'll post about any cousin connections that are made as a result of the new ancestor landing pages or the blog in general!

  3. Congratulations Marian! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. For the rules and my 11 questions for you, please visit my blog post at

  4. I read that article too and I like how your landing pages include links to blog posts about that particular family branch. Although I do try to connect blog posts with links within them, having one landing page where blog posts are summarized might be more helpful for that possible cousin connection.