17 August 2010

Facebook as a Genealogy Tool

Facebook, with 500 million active members and many more inactive, is an often overlooked resource for finding people.

Although anyone can opt out of appearing on Facebook's public search listing by changing their search privacy settings relatively few have done so. You can go to http://www.facebook.com/directory/people/ and browse through a directory or do a search.

Common names are a challenge. John Reid appears more than 100 times in the list, plus those with middle initials. The directory listing is a bit quirky. Additions to a name to indicate, say, a maiden name can throw it into a completely different part of the listing.

Give it a try for some of the less common surnames in your family tree.

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