I use this blog for a couple of reasons. Mostly it's to hear myself "talk" -- and see the error of my ways, of which there are plenty -- and get feedback from you, dear generous reader. The other way I use it is to catch a cousin. I get about one every couple of months and I've been happy with that rate of return. But I think it can be better.
When lost or unknown to me cousins contact me it's a trip! We furiously compare trees, exchange packets of info in the mail, and email a bunch of photos to share. It's some serious genealogy fun! Being a fun junkie I want more: that's what junkies do;) So I want to build better bait so as to attract more cousins.
My Grandpa Williams, Mom's dad, was a fisherman who made his own hand-tied flies. You have to think like a fish, he said. So let me try to think like a cousin and see what I come up with.
How can I increase searchability so that when my cousin googles grandpa Camey Williams, the fisherman, they are going to find me? Right now I'm using those labels Blogger provides and includes below the blog post... and I have to remember to use as many as appropriate and Blogger allows so that they get picked up by the search engines.
I wonder if google will pick up grandpa if I just put his info here in the text: Cambria Williams (1897 - 1960)? And then what happens if I add a hyperlink in a new window to Mom's Ancestry page for him? Does that help catch a cousin? Do more links out get me higher on the search results page? Gosh if you know please won't you post a comment?
And do I remember something about Alt tags being useful if you know how to use them? I just for the first time used the Alt tag on the photos below. Maybe I should have been doing that all along.
Anything else I'm missing here to improve searchability?
Maybe it's just me, but I love photos. Could have jumped right through the screen and hugged that distant cousin who posted a photo of my great great grandmother, Mary Myers (1837 - 1909) on facebook. Here it is below. She was the granddaughter of my Revolutionary War ancestor, Nehemiah Newans (1740 - 1820) whom you can find on Mom's Big Tree on Ancestry at: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/18168528/person/19373593834
Mary Myers 1837-1909
My ancestors came from such specific places that I think maybe I could be using those too to catch a cousin. Places like Frostburg, Maryland, a town of just 8,000 people in 2000, and Magnolia, West Virginia, now gone entirely. You wouldn't be searching Magnolia unless you have an ancestor who lived there, and if so there's maybe a one out of two chance we're related.
Here's a link to those two places on Wikipedia, and I'm going to use a hyperlink as well as a regular link in the text:
Frostburg : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frostburg,_Maryland
Magnolia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia,_West_Virginia
Do you think this will help with the cousins?
Lists of names and dates... ?
I see Randy Seaver's beautiful blog, Genea-Musings and his posts, Surname Saturday. Here's a sample: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/12/surname-saturday-clark-england-to.html
Now, my first take on it is that it looks like a whole lotta work! And the second thought is that it looks like perfect cousin bait;) Maybe I need more of that, useful to myself and others and cousin bait crafted to attract.
I do get a couple of messages a week in response to Mom's Big Tree on Ancestry. But that has nothing to do with the blog and I'm wondering if it need be connected in some way or other or does it matter? Maybe they are two different vehicles entirely.
Prominent contact information at the top of the blog.
So if I catch a cousin on a search then it needs to be easy for them to contact me, right? I'm gonna go check my blog right now.... Yup, it's there, but I could repeat it a couple of more times in the page layout so it's easier to find.
OK, that's all I can think of. You have any ideas? I just love it when cousins email!
Photo of the day from the Archive:
My Grandfather, Cambria Williams (1897 - 1960)
The best fisherman I ever knew.
Look at the size of that rainbow trout!
Look at the size of that rainbow trout!
After I wrote this post I thought, hey, maybe I should google "cousin bait" and see what pops up... after I wrote this, d'uh. Here's what sharper tacks than I had to say.
Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:
Amy Coffin at The We Tree:
Due to contract restrictions this feature is disabled.
Deb Ruth at Adventures in Genealogy:
There are more so if you're interested go run the search for yourself. I likes these, above.
The URL for this post is: http://nutsfromthefamilytree.blogspot.com/2013/01/cousin-bait-strategy-needed.html