Saturday, July 26, 2014

Growing Your Family Trees

Eight Ways To Grow our SweAme Family Trees
Submitted by:  Jeanne Rollberg

The web provides us with so many options that it is easy to forget aspects of it that will help our family trees grow and blossom.

In addition to already existing databases like SweAme, FamilySearch,  Ancestry, and Arkivdigital, we should not forget:

1) That once we have done our genealogical research, we have a great chance of finding living family members (and their entire family’s pictures and relationships sometimes) on Facebook. To narrow down a list of “Jane Smiths” to ours, we can use place designations. It’s the “Jane Smith” who lives in Jacksonville. We can then message that Jane Smith to see if we have found the right one, and proceed with process of elimination.  Search obituaries for living family members, in particular, for use with Facebook.  Sites such as Genealogybank (paid) provide several extensive obituary listings. (Conversely, this also reminds us to re-check our own Facebook pages regarding privacy issues and our own family members and settings.)

2) Anecdotally, it is said that women tend to use Facebook more, and men tend to use LinkedIn more. Again, once our research has discovered who the living family members might be, we can often find them at LinkedIn. Use a city or other known information such as occupation to narrow down the persons with correct names. Contact them. Many people are very receptive to such contact and can put you in touch with other family members.

3) When searching for a relative, be sure to include the “Images” search tool at the top of the web page after putting in a name. If you can find an image of your person on a linked site, that gets you one step closer to locating the person. Photos from genealogy sites (and professional web sites) often appear once the Images search tool is used.

4) If you know where a person lives, try searching with a name in quotation marks and parenthesized area code for any people whom you anticipate still have landline phones. Ex: “James Norton” and (904) will often bring up White Pages listings very quickly.

5) More and more newspaper archives in varying languages are being published online. Put in your person’s name and a country as a search string and see if it automatically brings up articles or other information.  Use Google Translate for translation, if necessary, even though it may only provide an approximation.

6) Don’t forget Facebook “groups” that relate to your Swedish research. Facebook has “Swedish-American Genealogy Group” that includes more than 1,300 researchers from Sweden and America, and who often live in the exact locations you are researching.

 This local knowledge can often be a wonderful help!  Others to consider:  “Swedish Heart Genealogy,” “Technology for Genealogy,”  “Your Genealogy Brick Walls,” etc. (The message boards, too, organized by location, are very helpful in seeking particularized info in a locality.)

7) Use the genealogy apps on tablets to populate your tree. This is often easier than actually doing it via desktop or laptop, depending on what you are doing. Example: If you receive a photo of a relative in an e-mail, on iPad, you can save that photo, edit it right there, and then upload it to your genealogy tree app such as those available at  Likewise, when Hints come up, they can be viewed and the information may be saved less cumbersomely than by using a desktop or laptop computer.  For some types of information, though, it is better and clearer to use the desktop or laptop if the tablet display is too small to include what you want.

8) Sign up for as a Twitter follower for appropriate Swedish/Scandinavian-related information. The Tweets you receive can sometimes give you ideas/contacts about genealogy in various places and keep you updated on what is happening in various cities (especially in areas like Boston, New York, and L.A. that have Swedish American Chambers of Commerce), generally speaking.   In a short period of time, you can discover if you need to drop any of these entities that are not providing information you find useful.  Sweden & America” magazine, published in Swedish and English, is another highly useful tool in this area.  The Swedish American Genealogist is a major journal in the genealogy field.  It is published quarterly by the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois.

Jeannie Rollberg



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out to the Technology for Genealogy group!