I love connecting with other researchers. I post on message boards, mailing lists, county and state surname lists. I honestly cannot remember all the places I have posted messages and am truly shocked and excited when I receive a reply.
On the other hand, when I use Ancestry I am more focused. I usually have a particular ancestor I am researching and not thinking about 'connecting'. I also hate change and clutter so I keep my home page on Ancestry simple with any new or 'extra' information towards the bottom. What a mistake!
Recent Activity Connectections
The other day I was not making any headway on the Haag family of Brooklyn when something caught my eye. There on the lower part of the screen was a list of people reseraching names that were familar to me.
What was 'Recent Member Connect Activity' and who was researching the Stadler family besides me? Scrolling through the 'Activity' I found messages I had posted on Rootsweb and other researchers with surnames in common with me.
After 'connecting' with a Stadler researcher through Ancestry I browsed more family trees and posted a comment on a family tree of a researcher who was trying to add my great grandmother Johanna Pahlke to a family tree of Pahlkes in Australia.
Setting Up Your Ancestry Connections
Once I was done browsing a number of family trees I started to wonder how Ancestry was able to provide such a great tool. My two options were 'Learn More' and 'Customize Activity Filters'. The 'Learn More' option will walk you through how Ancestry gathers the infomation. The "Customize Activity Filters' give you the control over how the information is gathered.
Since I want to connect with everyone possible I have left all the options checked. One option I love is being able to track other members who have saved content I entered. I do not mind they have saved it - if I did I would not have posted it on the Internet! What I want to do is contact them to see if they have ADDITIONAL information.
Check It Out
If you are an Ancestry membership and have not paid attention to this feature you could be missing out on some valuable connections. Don't have a family tree posted to Ancestry? You can still benefit from this feature, but your connections may be minimized.
The Speach Family Tree was started by my daughter in law years ago and is an abbreviated version of our family. The portions with the most detail in many cases are my brick walls. I tend to post more information on families I need information on, hoping to connect with others.
So, start connecting through Ancestry.