Family history researchers with the same surname you’re investigating can produce some of the most valuable sources by reaching out to link up. Between family heirlooms, diaries and Bible records to the research done by other people, a wealth of information can be learned and shared.
The following are some of the most fruitful places to start connecting.
Web sites to help connect:
Using its search engine, either by alphabetical letters or typing in a certain surname. Going to an individual letter just about every range of surname will be located. For example: Eagle, Eaglebarger, Eagleburger, Eaglehoff, Eagles, Eaglesham, Eagleson, Eagleton and Eagley are all fairly similar and a family’s surname can alter over many decades and locations.
Select several of the various forms to further read questions, comments and data offered by other individuals interested in that surname. If nothing listed matches your ancestors or location you are searching, post your own message at that site. Place a message in other similar surname spellings as well.
At Surname Finder, it has links to over 1.7 million surnames on free and commercial sites. After typing in a surname or selecting an alphabetical letter, it will direct you to an array of categories. Topics include books written on certain surnames, censuses with that surname, military records containing the surname, obituaries from 1977, photo sites with individual having that surname and personal web sites centered around the selected surname. It is an excellent way to connect on many levels with individuals who share the same surname.
This community of researchers share names, similar geographic regions, historical events, religions, ancestral homes and occupations. There are questions and offers of information on a large selection of surnames.
For Rootsweb, in the request box place a certain surname and a listing appears of fellow researchers who are also looking into that name. For example, placing the surname ‘Kershaw’ produced 45 other individuals, with contact information, researching that name then there was the list of alternative spellings, ten variations, which could be checked. There are some 1.3 million different surnames listed with Rootsweb.
Use this search engine to discover additional websites on specific surnames. In the search box place the surname then a plus mark (+) and the word ‘genealogy’. That way you will only get sites related to family history. Another method is placing the surname with the plus mark and the word ‘surname’. Both will provide varying results. Check under the Google web sites, images and books using the same method. Review every site and if an email address of the creator of the site is provided, don’t hesitate to contact them.
A free photo sharing site allows you to look for a certain surname. Place a specific name or review all those of a certain letter. There are over one billion records, photos and family stories, available. Unknown photos treasures can be discovered along with a contact address for the individual who submitted the image.
Allen County Public Library
Place a surname and view if any individual names correspond. If there is a match, the researcher’s name, email and regular addresses are given along with the date their name was added to the list. This ‘Genealogical Center Surname File’ might prove to be very helpful in connecting with others who share the same surname.
By belonging to genealogical societies in certain regions or counties where you had generations of ancestors can provide bonus sources of fellow researchers who share the surname you are examining. Your common interests of the surname and the region can benefit everyone.
There are also genealogical societies focused on broad geographical locations, ethnic, ancestral homelands, languages and even family name based societies. The link for genealogy societies will provide a full listing such societies and their contact information.
The crucial component is the desire for each to share information and sources with another possible branches of the same family. Rarely is a person uninterested in sharing even the tiniest fragment of data, photos, stories with another person, especially when it comes to their family history.