A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Staying Connected Pays--Hinerman Update (29 Aug Post)

When you create a blog with few restrictions on it and start posting, it's like putting a message in a bottle and dropping it off a cliff into the sea. You have no idea what the results might be.

In addition to maintaining my own blog, I follow several of them, I'm active on Facebook, and I'm a member of a genealogy group on LinkedIn. I'm a great believer in posting info anywhere and everywhere because you never know where a person might be searching. Also, posting anywhere and everywhere improves your chances of having your entry turn up in a general search using a search engine...any search engine.

Responding to a Question Pays Off in Unexpected Way

The LinkedIn group is particularly active. Members of the group post questions. I read them and the responses, and occasionally post a comment myself. One post that came through recently was asking for tips on newspaper research.

If you've read just a few posts on my blog, you'll see I'm in constant pursuit of obituaries along with other newspaper articles so that I can post information on Find A Grave. In response to the LinkedIn question, I posted a comment with links to examples of successes in my blog. I've been told that part of the value of my blog is that I tell readers how I'm doing what I'm doing rather than simply reporting my successes...sort of case studies on the go.

Well my email this a.m. brought an unexpected result. A fellow researcher and LinkIn genealogy group subscriber (Betty) seems to have read my post on LinkedIn and followed the links to read the posts that I included as examples. One of the examples was the Hinerman post. In that post, I lamented that I have all of this info about Hinerman but I can't add it to Find A Grave because all I know is that she's buried in Belleville, Illinois. I did a quick look for an index in Illinois but didn't find much that would help. Since I do zero research in Minnesota where Hinerman died, I moved on to other searches.

In her email, Betty sent me an address for the Minnesota Historical Society, which has a death certificate index. For $9.00, you can order copies online (I ordered). As Betty pointed out to me in her email, death certificates frequently include burial locations or the local funeral home that might be able to tell me where Hinerman is buried.

Betty also suggested I try Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness for a volunteer. Again, if you've read my blog, you know that RAOGK is near and dear to my heart. However, I decided that $9.00 was cheap enough that I just ordered the certificate. The $9.00 is also a passive way to donate to a historical society...another activity I try to engage in as much as I am able.

Upshot of this Post

Responding to other people's questions--attempting to help--frequently is returned in kind. However, no one will know about your questions/problems unless you're out there and engaged in the give and take of information. My advise to any genealogist is to get involved in technology. Being engaged in technology allows you to advertise your project and your challenges. Kind strangers...who sometimes turn out to be distant relatives...will help you when they know what you're looking for. You can see that truth time and again in posts on my blog. Creating a blog is easy, interactive, and fun. So if you've hesitated, you might want to reconsider and get in on all the action.

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