Using Twitter for genealogy research

Twitter logoI did it. I finally learned how to tweet, and it is all Jen Baldwin’s fault. I watched her webinar, Capturing the Community: Using Twitter to Connect, Engage and Educate in Genealogy, and when she described Twitter as the “cocktail party of social media,” I was hooked. This 40-minute webinar is part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ free webinar series. Make sure you take a look at the four-page syllabus offered with the webinar.

Ms. Baldwin says that Twitter is “designed around the concept of short, sudden bursts of information.” She suggests we think of Twitter as a big party. “When you go into a social event like a cocktail party or a baby shower, you gather, you chat, you snack. You maybe have some short conversations before moving on to the next person or someone else engages with you and changes the dynamic.”

I joined Twitter because I wanted to find out if it could lead me to new genealogy resources and help me with my research. Initially, learning to tweet caused me to become frustrated, which resulted in frequent requests for help from my savvier Facebook friends. Now, less than two weeks later, it is hard to remember what caused my confusion.

Through the webinar, I learned how to follow genealogists and how to use #genealogy to follow tweets about genealogy. Tweets from genealogists have led me to several resources, but it is still too early to know if it will further my research. As Ms. Baldwin says, Twitter is just “another tool in our genealogy toolkit.”

My Twitter handle is @geneaalacarte, and you can follow me by clicking on the Twitter logo under my photo on this blog.

About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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5 Responses to Using Twitter for genealogy research

  1. Jana Last says:


    I want to let you know that two of your blog posts are listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  2. Welcome to Twitter! I joined because believe it or not, my mom is really into twitter (she is in her late sixties) and has more than 10,000 followers. She insisted I join. I am way behind my mom still (about 800 followers) but I do enjoy twitter and I love following other genealogist. I look forward to reading how your twitter experiment progresses!

  3. luvviealex says:

    Yes, I’m still taking baby steps with Twitter but the steps I have taken have borne some fruit so I’m not giving up quite yet.

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