Using Facebook to unite your family

I have had a number of enquiries about my previous blog, where I have mentioned what a boon Facebook has been to me, in uniting me with lost or unknown family members, and assisting me in my own family history research.
So this is a brief tutorial on how to get your family interest group page started.
  • Sign yourself up for a Facebook account if you haven't done so already, and sign into your account.
  • You will see a link for "Groups" on the left hand side of your page.
  • Click "Groups". Then on the right hand side of the screen, click the button that says "Create a Group".
  • This takes you to another page, "STEP ONE" with a series of boxes that you need to fill in.
  • The first box is your Groups name.
  • Call it Genealogy - <name of people researching>
I have called mine for example:
Genealogy: Alexander McKENZIE (b Feb 1865) m Georgina SWANSON (b Apr 1869): ABERDEEN 
  • In the description field, type as much about your research interest as you can. Include full names, dates etc.
  • I also include a disclaimer stating that the group is open only to descendants/relatives and that if they request an invitation to join the group, they should state where they think they may be connected. It is important that your family feel that you are keeping their privacy safe.
  • I select "Common Interest" and "Families" in the group type scroll down menus.
  • The box "recent news", I reserve for my most up-to-date research breakthroughs, and try to keep updated.
  • I leave "office:" box blank, but I fill in my email address, so that I can be contacted.
  • If you have a family history website, then put the website address in the website box. I leave street address blank, but I do put my city in the town/city box.
  • Click "CREATE GROUP" at the bottom, which then takes you to "STEP TWO"
  • A series of options have been pre-selected. Read them carefully, but I leave them all as they are, EXCEPT the bottom subheading which says "ACCESS". I choose "this group is closed" for this option.
This means that your group will be able to be found by someone doing a search, but they won't be able to view anything other than brief details about the group, and they won't be able to post. If they want to join then they will have to request an invite.
  • Click SAVE, and it will ask you if you want to post the new group profile to your Facebook profile wall. I would say "Yes".
  • Lastly, you get the opportunity to invite people who are already your Facebook friends, and also to invite people via email, who aren't on Facebook list.
  • Keep your Facebook group up to date, with news. Use "Wall posts" to communicate with your family. Encourage them to post family pictures and anecdotes.
I hope people find this useful. If there is enough interest in this subject, I may hold a workgroup in the near future.

Good luck, and have fun!


This entry was posted on Monday, 14 June 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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