I'm working on a free "Facebook Genealogy" mini-guide for Treasure Maps Genealogy Newsletter readers. You will be able to use it to help you with Facebook (in general, and with genealogy in the Facebook world).

If you are already on Facebook and want to be friends, click on this link: "Treasure Maps Genealogy on Facebook".

Here are some typical comments I have been getting about genealogy and Facebook:

  • "WHY??? Why do I need to sign up for more stuff that I don't have time to use? Please advise."
  • "So far you haven't convinced me about Facebook or any other social network. The biggest reason for not joining is that I don't have the time. I spend a lot of time with emails. Some friends and students forward to me emails they think are funny, inspirational, informative, you know how it goes. Some are great, and I forward them on to those who like to send them to me."

The majority of comments have been about time, or the lack of it, to being even bothering with Facebook, and understandibly so. However, here is a success story that brightened my day and gave a little hope for this "Genealogy 2.0" social media tool.

A Facebook Genealogy Success Story…

Andrea Barnson shared this with me:

"I have been a long time reader of your newsletter. I have a great Facebook/Genealogy story to tell you.

When I was little I had been told the story of how I was named. I was supposed to be named Angela but my biological father had mentioned that he had an older daughter that he did not keep in contact with by the name of Angela. I had been told this story numerous times over the past 30+ years. When I turned 23 I started to look for Angela not really knowing that much about her except her approximate age which would give me an idea of when she was born and her birth last name. I never did find her until…

On March 13, 2009, Friday the 13th I get a Facebook note from someone named Angela. So I opened it not knowing who it was. She said I think we are related. So goes on to tell me who her biological father is and his parent's names. I sat in shock for about a good 30 seconds until I noticed tears running down my face.

This is the Angela I had been looking for. She had been in contact with our biological father and he gave her some information on ancestry. So she googled it and found a note I placed in Ancestry.com back in 2002. She Googled my name and found me on Facebook.

The sister I had been looking for found me almost 15 years later. She never knew I existed until March 13th.

I just wanted to share my experiences with Facebook and genealogy." (Andrea Barnson)

Please share YOUR opinion. Is Facebook going to help you with your genealogy research? Or, do you think that Facebook is just a waste of time - and you would be better off whistling "Dixie" and doing something else, instead?