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Sharing Your Family History Online (Paperback)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History P&S History

By Chris Paton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526780294
Published: 30th January 2021

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For many enthusiasts pursuing their family history research, the online world offers a seemingly endless archive of digitised materials to help us answer the questions posed by our ancestors. In addition to hosting records, however, the internet also offers a unique platform on which we can host our research and lure in prospective cousins from around the world, to help build up a larger shared ancestral story.

In Sharing Your Family History on the Internet, genealogist and best-selling author Chris Paton will explore the many ways in which we can present our research and encourage collaboration online. He will detail the many organisations and social media applications that can permit co-operation, describe the software platforms on which we can collate our stories, and illustrate the many ways in which we can publish our stories online.

Along the way, Chris Paton will also explore how we can make our research work further for us, by drawing in experts and distant cousins from around the world to help us break our ancestral brick walls, not just through sharing stories, but by accessing uniquely held documentation by family members around the world, including our very own shared DNA.

Chris is clearly very enthusiastic about the possibilities for sharing family history online, he never shies away from flagging up considerations that are well worth remembering. Written with a stylish, authoritative tone, packed with information and insights born of experience, it also has a light – even humorous – touch that makes for a very readable read!

Family Tree, February 2021

Author article: Sharing your family history online as featured by

Family Tree, February 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sharing Your Family History Online: A Guide for Family Historians by Chris Paton is an extensive resource for someone conducting genealogy research on their family and looking to share their family history with others.

As someone who started doing research into my family history during my time at home this past year, I found this book to be filled with useful information! The author provides information where to research your ancestry, as well as contacting relatives (known and possible discoveries). There is a whole chapter dedicated to collaboration and crowdsourcing, as well as one for recording your family history using software, websites, and online family tree sites. I found the chapter on DNA to be very interesting since it provided detailed information for multiple online testing sites. Finally, it closes with a chapter on sharing and preserving family stories.

I really appreciate the information provided in this book and will be buying a copy for my mother as her retirement gift, since she has been wanted to take a deep dive into her family history.

NetGalley, Nikki Raymond

Paton not only gives some sound advice, he also provides detailed explanations on various genealogy websites and how to navigate through them. Believe me, it can get complicated. He also has some good pointers about documenting your family history. He certainly knows his stuff. He also talks about the many cousins he's met through his research and how as a team they have worked together. I, too, have found a cousin who lives clear across the country. We have pooled our resources and helped each other by sharing family photos and some pretty significant research surprises. I will definitely keep this book as a companion guide and reference it while I research and write my family's story. Nicely done, Chris Paton!

NetGalley, Debra Pawlak

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Chris Paton has written many books about how to research your family history. His previous books have mostly concentrated on how to build your family tree, how to get more information. In Sharing Your Family History Online, he shifts the focus to taking your discoveries and sharing them with others.

Of course you can put everything you want onto the internet and let the world sort through it. But Paton shows you the benefits of considering who you want your audience to be, what you want to tell them, and how and where you can best accomplish your goals. He outlines websites and formats, walks you through choosing a blogging platform, and alternatives to blogs such as videos or podcasts. He also explains copyright and privacy concerns, and although his audience is primarily in the United Kingdom, the principles also apply to the United States and other countries. Just be sure to check the copyright and privacy laws in your own jurisdiction.

The book is not long (144 pages with illustrations) but it is packed with information and ideas. He includes a substantial section on the ins and outs of DNA testing and results. He shares advice about how to respond to those who contact you once you've put your family history out there. He's very candid about both the potential benefits and pitfalls of sharing your work online. This is an excellent resource for any family historian.

NetGalley, Helen Cota

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book. As a genealogist for over 30 years, I found the information information very useful. Most of the links provided were from the UK, but the information was still very valuable. I will be purchasing this book for my library.

NetGalley, Stephanie Maines

About Chris Paton

Chris Paton is a genealogist and writer based in Ayrshire, who runs the Scotland's Greatest Story research service at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk. As well as contributing to many of the UK's best known family history magazines, he also writes for his own Scottish GENES news blog at www.scottishgenes.blogspot.com, and regularly gives talks to family history societies across the UK and worldwide. His previous Pen and Sword publications include Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the InternetTracing Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State RecordsTracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd edition), and Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd edition).

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