Posted by Kristen Hyde on February 9, 2018 in Research, United Kingdom

Keeping your family up-to-date with your family history discoveries can be a great way to get more people interested in your research.

But we all know that when it comes to updating your relatives on your exciting new findings, some will want to know more than others. So how can you keep your fellow fact-hungry family members updated on your findings without spamming their email inbox or holding up the phone line?

Keep a blog

There are a couple of positive reasons for creating a blog and keeping it regularly updated with posts about your research. The first is that it can act as a one-stop-shop for relatives who want to be able to check in your research whenever they like. You can post as frequently or infrequently as you like, and add as much detail as you feel comfortable with. Secondly, blogging regularly is a great way to reflect on your research and see how far you’ve come. You might even connect with other family history bloggers, and learn from each other’s research styles.

The good news – you don’t need to be an IT-whiz to start your own blog. There are a number of easy blog site builders available online which you can use to host, design and write your blog posts. Try out WordPress or Blogger.

Build a website

Want to take your blog one step further? We like your commitment! A website can act as not only a platform for updating your friends and family, but for broadening the type of information that you’re sharing with the world. This could include search tips, tricks that you’ve learned, or even blog posts like this one!

Similar to blogging, there are a number of easy to use website builders available on line – check out Wix and Square Space.

Send a newsletter

e-Newsletters have made a bit of a comeback, with everyone from hobbyists through to celebrities sending newsletters to keep friends and followers updated on their important news.

Sites such as MailChimp make sending newsletters dead simple. Their drag-and-drop interface makes designing your newsletter easy (and fun!) and you can input as much or as little information as you like. Your friends and family can subscribe or unsubscribe to your newsletter as they please, and you can choose how frequently or infrequently to distribute.

Manage a social media group

Are you busy enough without adding a blog post or newsletter to your list of things to do? Or maybe you’re looking for something a little more private?

Facebook groups or pages allow you to keep your friends and family updated through shorter real-time updates. You can post as much or as little as you like, while also allowing you to control the privacy settings. Members can be required to request access, ensuring that you (or even another family member you allocate as Group Admin) can control who is a part of the group.

More of a visual learner? Start an Instagram or Flickr account and invite your relatives to learn more about their ancestors by sharing old photographs or records that you have found during your research.

Host a family get together

In the digital age of blog posts and Instagram channels, sometimes nothing beats meeting face to face.

Why not invite your family to a regular get-together where you can share what you’ve learnt over lunch? Or meet up every other Sunday for a roast and review of the records you’ve been pouring over for the last fortnight. You never know what passion might rub off on your relatives over a Sunday beverage and a Yorkshire pudding. Just a little food for thought…

Kristen Hyde

Kristen is Ancestry's Social Media Manager for the United Kingdom.

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