I just had a second cousin I never met e-mail me, and the excitement is renewed as I open up that family line again to see what we can share. You must know the wonderful feeling when you make a connection - something only family researchers can understand.
Over the past 10 years, I have had about 200 people from all over the world that I didn’t know previously contact me via e-mail, inquiring if we are related. Of those, about 30 proved to be related or at least connected in some way. Better yet, about 10 of the 30 are into family research in a big way and have become a major help to me on the family sides in which we are connected.
So what is my secret? The vast majority of these people found me on a search tool that indexed the names in My Family Research web page. I’ve had that page up for almost 10 years, and if you have the technical ability, I highly recommend you set up a page for yourself as well. It will get indexed by Google and other search engines, and possible relatives will start to contact you.
But DON’T put up all your info. Take a look at my page and you’ll see a summary of the lines I’m researching and enough information to allow others to decide if they might have family in common with me. It works! And I’d say it works extremely well.
Behold currently can export its Everything Report into an html format suitable for the web. But, even moreso than most programs, it will include … well, Everything. That is great to share with family members, but not with the world. I won’t even get into the debate about privacy (Your Aunt Helen won’t be happy to find info about her first marriage on the Internet).
I’ve thought of ways to enhance Behold’s webpage export to make it something worthy of putting on the web, and those will come in the future. But there’s nothing like a customized personalized family webpage to bring your relatives to you!