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Sharing Your Family History Online (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History P&S History

By Chris Paton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 15.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526780300
eBook Released: 19th May 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.

A complete and comprehensive course of DIY instruction for aspiring and practicing genealogists, "Sharing Your Family History Online: A Guide for Family Historians" is an extraordinarily 'user friendly' instruction guide and manual that is fully accessible to even the most novice of family historians. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Sharing Your Family History Online: A Guide for Family Historians" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library Genealogy instructional reference collections.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

For some researchers, the online world can seem to offer endless possibilities of finding answers to their problems. Apart from actually discovering facts and details, the author explains how the internet offers a platform to host our own research findings and thereby to tempt possible relatives from afar to get in touch to explore and share ancestral stories.

The author outlines basic steps to undertaking research and the ways in which the facts can be recorded, covering how to write, present and share stories and the packages and online programs which can be used. He details the various organisations, social media applications and software platforms that are available and illustrates many of the ways to publish stories and hold meetings with people online.

In addition to a chapter on the subject of DNA, there are also very valuable sections about privacy, data protection, copyright and the digital estate which people are now creating.

Bristol and Avon Family History Society

Whilst this book could be a useful guide for beginners, the breadth of coverage means that even experienced researchers will learn from it – let's face it, we all have our favourite sites, and this can often blind us to other opportunities.

Read the full review here

Lost Cousins

The content comes logically presented and packed with helpful advice, particularly for those with little or no experience of the vast range of online options available. As such, it comes highly recommended.

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

We’re all pretty confident now accessing census records and BMD’s online. What this excellent book reveals are the dozens and dozens of other ways we can discover new ancestors and even make new friends. Everything from online methods of collaboration and crowdsourcing to social media, DNA research and even putting a video of your family stories up online.

Alnwick FHS

This book will guide you through the processes.
A very useful book.

Powys Family History Society

I can heartily recommend the book as a reference—it's full of substance. That means it's best taken slowly, pausing to explore the online resources as they arise and meet your needs. I can imagine each chapter forming the basis for a small group discussion.

Read the full review here

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As someone who has been looking into my family history for over 10:years I have appreciated any help I can get for my research. Pen and Sword publications have never failed me , and Chris Paton is someone whose advice has been invaluable..There is something in this publication to help both the beginner and more advanced in Family History..A really informative and helpful book which I cannot recommend highly enough.

NetGalley, Alison Bevington

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a fantastic, thorough, and informative reference book for anyone researching their family history. I have been researching mine for many years and I have still found it to be a very useful guide. It is packed with useful websites for researching and recording your family information, as well as a clear explanation of DNA testing and what choices you have when selecting a test. The book is very readable and I would recommend it to beginners and experienced genealogists alike.

NetGalley, Jill G

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I found this to be a very informative book with many suggestions on how to research your family history. There are many websites that the author mentions as well as other ways to learn about your relatives.

NetGalley, Amy Higgins

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

Northern Irish born Chris Paton is a genealogist and writer today based in Ayrshire, where he 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 Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd edition), Tracing Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, and Sharing Your Family History Online.

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