I am always hesitant to part with my money for a subscription site, whatever the cost. However, in the past few years I have had great success in connecting with relatives through a website, www.genesreunited.co.uk. I began my membership in April 2007.
Like many other subscription sites, family names can be added to Genes Reunited one by one on the site or uploaded with a Gedcom. Initially, I entered some of my deceased ancestry on my mother’s side. My maternal grandmother Alice, had disappeared in the 1920’s in Canada after a divorce. I have always felt a need to find her and have, through persistent research, found records in India, England, Ireland and Scotland on her aunts and uncles and their children. However, in all my years of research, I have never been in contact with anyone with a direct relationship to this family.
The site allows you to continue to add to your Tree as well as view others Trees. The best part is that on a regular basis I receive “Hot Matches” in my e-mail box, indicating that there are other Trees who may have m atches to my family names. I can ignore these e-mails or click on the link and review the Hot Match. Also, if a member sees a name of interest on my Tree, they can contact me through the Genes site, protecting my e-mail address. I can decide whether to correspond with the member through the site and my privacy is guaranteed.
Over the last four years, I have made contact and shared documents with members from all over the world. Sometimes they give me more information than I had, or I am able to help them with their family tree. Recently, John made contact with me. After I shared some documents with him, he suggested that I should be in touch with Derek & Donna. Since John and I had already swapped e-mail addresses, I asked him to share mine with them. Twenty-four hours later I was talking to Donna on the telephone.
It was a very emotional experience. Derek’s grandmother was one of my grandmother Alice’s aunts, and although Derek had very few official records for the family, a maiden aunt had kept all the photographs and journals and passed them on to Derek a few years ago. After a one-hour telephone call, I began e-mailing Donna over sixty documents. She in turn, e-mailed me photographs of the entire family. For the first time, I have been able to put faces on this family that has always haunted me.
Websites such as Genes Reunited can facilitate your research. There are family members out there looking for you just as you are looking for them. It could be the thrill of a lifetime!