Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring has sprung!

Wiarton Willie was right. We spotted the first sign of spring at 7:45 this morn.
The robins have returned to Hunt Club....

Monday, January 30, 2012


I just received a survey from your company requesting my opinion on future marketing possibilities.
I answered the multiple choice survey but wanted to expand on my answers and thought this open letter may draw some extra attention as opposed to adding my two cents in the freestyle answer section tagged on the end of your survey. and it"s Canadian site at provide database access to millions of people who are piecing together their own family history. Subscribers pay an annual or quarterly fee to access and upload family history information to their online family tree. The information can be in the form of a link, a scanned original document or multimedia item. The uploaded information can remain private or be made available to other subscribers. The information sharing aspect makes the formula a success.
Although "Genealogy" is a very popular hobby, I believe the phenomena has slowly trended downward since 2000. Internet firms made it easier than ever to compile history as evident in gen community forums from 1998-2003. However if you study the community forum patterns of major genealogy online firms , there is a noticeable decline in forum participation. It only makes sense for companies like to reposition and re brand their marketing strategy.
I don't quite fit the average family historian profile as I'm under the age of fifty and internet savvy. Or am I part of a new generation of family researchers who have different interests ?
How can reach out to Generation X and Millennials ?

Delete or integrate social media into accounts.
The twitter account is dead . If you don't have the resources in your Canadian "suboffice" to manage ancestrydotca or other social media, please delete it or transfer management back to OR if you have some money in the budget for a Canadian campaign, hire a social media manager to integrate Canadian content into your marketing strategy. I'm for hire !

I was asked, Would you "share" or "promote" if offered rewards when my contacts join such as extra access or months added on to my subscription.
Absolutely, but better make sure the software required to manage this process is solid. Build in tools that make it easy to share family genealogy through all social media platforms. Build loyalty through offering a worthwhile reward. My suggestion is 1 month for each new subscription and brand the campaign using some aspect of the tree analogy.

Offer new learning tools for teachers and students.
Generation Z uses the internet and technology to learn new concepts. Build software for educators to integrate into their social studies or history curriculum. Most countries have developed curriculum which include building a family tree. Online resources for educators could include a group rate for teachers who buy a limited license for their class. Each student could "join" the for the classroom through their teacher and build their own tree complete with stories etc. for classroom curriculum could be offered to educators at three separate levels, primary, junior and high school. I can't think of a better way to integrate genealogy into the next generation.
As an subscriber, I'm excited to see the possible outcomes generated by a new and improved social media marketing strategy. Our history shapes our future and it's important for society to maintain this knowledge base. has the infrastructure and financial backing to develop programs to reach a new generation and new subscription base.
There you have it, a subscribers two cents worth. Oh, one last thing, expand the subscribers "Profile" to include a personal blog complete with social media integration. I'm interested in completing my family tree but want to share the process and the new "finds" along the way.
Thanks for the opportunity to dialogue, please feel free to comment !

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Historical Sleuthing

I have always loved a good mystery.
Add a healthy dose of history and I'm hooked.
Twenty or thirty years ago, amateur genealogists had to scour microfiche at the library, courthouse, or township office. Family history hounds could be found in cemeteries, churches and government offices desperate to confirm hearsay or scrawled stories found in the front of family bibles.
The Internet has drastically changed how we research our family roots.
A myriad of Internet firms exist to assist the local historian connect the branch of their particular family tree with another branch. For a fairly reasonable fee, your family myth can be confirmed or denied through online government sources and other family trees.
Genealogy has been listed for many years as a leading
global hobby ever since Alex Haley's Roots miniseries captured the attention of millions in 1976. It is now easier than ever to confirm and build your families story with the assistance of millions of people who are seeking the very same thing.
It's almost primeval, our belief in the idea, that we are all part of something bigger. Our ancestors life history, not only guides us but also shapes "what we are".
In May of last year, I took the plunge and bought an membership with the hope that I could build a family history for my new extended family. Although my family roots are untraceable, I wanted to put my research skills to work and build the family story. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Almost 4000 individuals later, I am completely obsessed by the rich tapestry of information that has unfurled.
I was able to confirm that my dearest man is 1st cousin 5x removed from wild west legend "Buffalo Bill" , William F Cody. The physical resemblance between William F. and my dearest is startling, they could be twins if only Cody consented to shave the beard and dye his hair .
My guy listened to his Grandfather tell stories about how he sat on Buffalo Bills knee when the frontiersman visited the family in Detroit during one of his wild west show tours in the late 1800's. Although the family is listed in the Cody Family History, they had forgotten how they were connected to Buffalo Bill. confirmed that William F Cody's Aunt Nancy settled in Brantford Ontario and her descendants are now spread throughout the area. The myth was no mere story, it was the truth.
Another one of Cody's sisters , Helen Wetmore claimed the Cody family was " descended from Irish and Spanish royalty, namely through the line of Heremon". Mussolini's propagandist ( he was a cult figure in Italy and married a woman of Italian descent) insisted he was a direct descendant of the Italian condottieri.
Helen's ancestral claims was derived from stories learned at the knee of their Grandmother, Lydia Martin and has been widely derided by twentieth century historians as fanciful fiction woven by a family intent on fame and fortune. Helen Wetmore's ancestral claim was derived from the Cody family crest crest." The lion signifies Spanish origin. It is the same figure that forms a part of the royal coat-of-arms of Spain to this day-Castile and Leon. The arm
and cross denote that the descent is through the line of Heremon, whose posterity were among the first to follow the cross, as a symbol of their adherence to the Christian faith".
The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill, by Don Russell, University of Oklahoma
Press, May 1979; ISBN: 080611537.
In the last days of 2011, partially solved the mystery.
The Philip Cody line contains notable ancestors such as the 3rd Earl of Northumberland, Edward III ( the entire Plantagenet line), the royal Bourbon line, Engelbert of Carinthia, Eleanor of Acquitine, and an entire royal line that dates through to antiquity.
The maternal Cody line can be traced back to Heremon and the paternal line through the Dukes of Carinthia. The other branches (non Cody) include the Knights Templar, Royals, Popes, Mayflower ancestors, Witches (alleged), Pharaohs, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Herod are part of this vast family.
Helen's alleged family history was even grander than she thought.
Unbeknownst to them , two hardworking United Empire Loyalist pioneers joined together two significant lineages.
I'm slowly making family connections and tying the branches together in a quest to weave this amazing massive family history together. In addition to, I have relied on Burke's Peerage, Wikipedia, The Bible , The Torah and other historical evidence to confirm the myriad web this DNA weaves.
I'm totally immersed in this story and obsessed to finish it. The story is as vivid as Dan Brown's Di Vinci Code and I'm compelled to complete it because it's personal.
Family history is exciting because we know the players, our own quirky tribe with it's own language that travels generations to present day.
It's the story of us ... made possible by technology.
Stay tuned ...