Getting Family Involved in Genealogy

Posted March 15, 2011 by Geni | No Comment

So, you’re excited about your family tree, and now you want your relatives to join in the festivities. You invite them to Geni, they sign up, and then just look around — they don’t bother adding anything. That’s a shame. How can you incentivize them to add information? Here’s a few tips:

Add Photos

Photos make all the difference in the world. When someone can actually see the face of one of his or her ancestors, a connection is formed. All of a sudden, the name isn’t just text. It has actual meaning to it. Even if you can’t find an actual photograph of the person, tombstones are a good second choice.


A mix of photos and tombstones.

Walk Them Through the Tree

When your tree is large, it’s easy for it to overwhelm someone new to genealogy. Give your family members simple information that will make genealogy seem less imposing. For example, you could show them this chart that explains what “Removed” means in “First Cousin Once Removed.”

Fill in the “About Me” Section

When you’re dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of relatives, it’s easy get caught up in lineage and sources. Take the time to put a brief bio on any profile you can. The personal aspect of family history means a lot to some people, and that will make genealogy more accessible to them.

Follow these tips, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much more participation you’ll see. If you have any more tips along these lines, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below this post.