Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Personalized Family Trees Are Great Cousin Bait

Family photos as cousin bait on

Ancestor photos are terrific cousin bait on family trees!

Recently, I contacted someone who had posted a photo of a descendant of my husband's great-great-granddaddy, Benjamin McClure. She immediately wrote back to confirm the relationship! We are excited about exchanging other photos and genealogical details. That's why I'm taking the time to personalize all my trees with photos on key ancestors. It's simple, it's easy, so I'm going for it.

Photos Catch the Eye

The handful of photos I've posted on my family trees on Family Search (above), Ancestry, and MyHeritage are designed to attract the eye of anyone researching these ancestors. Instead of a generic silhouette, these ancestors have a face!

I'm in the process of adding some photos to FindMyPast as well, since many of my husband's ancestors (Wood, McClure, Larimer, and more) were from England and Northern Ireland.

The faces personalize family trees and encourage cousins to get in touch. I'm including brief photo captions as well for a bit of added personalization. My photo caption for Marian Jane McClure simply provides her birth/death years and says she is the daughter of Brice Larimer McClure and Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure.

Of course, for privacy reasons, any photos and captions I post do not include faces or names of living people.
Watch Those Ancestors

Click the star to "watch" an ancestor on FamilySearch

On Family Search, I've clicked the star to "watch" key ancestors (see purple oval above). That means I'll get a message if and when anybody else makes any change to these ancestors. Usually I'm notified by email about a message.

But I can also log in and look for a dot above the "messages" link (see purple arrow). If a dot appears there, I'll know there's been a change to a "watched" ancestor OR a possible cousin is getting in touch!

Happy cousin hunting!

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