The Photos and Stories feature of Family Tree is quickly becoming a wonderful way to connect with your family. As of early September over one million photos are found on Family Tree. Caleb Love summed it up, “So many of us are linked up with family members via social media, email lists, etc. What an easy way to get family member’s attention and encourage their participation.” So, just how are families connecting with each other using Photos and Stories?
Michael McCormick sends an invitation to living cousins with a link to the photo posted on Family Tree. “All I have to do is pick what to share and paste the link to them! This process is generating interest with so many, that some of my new-found cousins and I are beginning to plan a reunion. The first one for that family for decades.” Michael also set up a Facebook group for his immigrant ancestor where he shares photo links. Several cousins who became acquainted through the Facebook page are now connecting on Family Tree. The newly-found cousins are adding more information, photos and stories to Family Tree.
Adding Photos and Stories can help us heal after the death of a loved one. Nancy Tychonievich recently lost her mother. The process of posting photos and writing stories was a tender time to remember her sweet mother. Nancy said, “So many wonderful memories flooded into my mind — very healing and uplifting for me.” The connection may be just for us and the one we love who has passed on.
Heather McPhie found that you can even share photos with people who are not your cousins! Her great-grandmother labeled all the children in an early school photo from Lanark, Idaho. Heather scanned the photo and attached it to her relatives in the photo. Going the second mile, she looked up the other children her great-grandmother labeled. Given they were all from a small town, she was able to locate and tag the children on Family Tree. To her surprise, she received an email from a granddaughter of one of the young girls in the photo. The grandmother had died very young and the family only had one photo of her. “What a treasure to have these pictures,” said the granddaughter.
At first, Photos and Stories appear to simply be a way to make our family trees more interesting. For many it is quickly becoming a tool and a resource to help their families to connect online. With Family Tree updates showing who added a photo, and with Google searches finding Family Tree photos, your chances of connecting increase every time you post a new photo. So, keep on adding photos–you never know who may find you!