Are You Using Photos To Catch A New Cousin?

L-R Dory Fildes (nee Stead) Mary Middlebrough (nee Beaton), Auntie Annie Pimm (nee Kottman), Mrs. Amy Phillips, Jose Stead (nee Kottmann)

This past Sunday, as I was sorting and organizing my photos at FOREVER, I realized that I could and should add more photos to my accounts at Ancestry and MyHeritage, I realized that by doing this, I might meet more cousins.

You might be thinking, well duh.. but for me, it was a lightbulb moment.

I have my mom’s photos and some, not all, have information written on the back that identifies the people in the photos and sometimes even the year and event. So this kind of information can be valuable for anyone with that person in their tree. I know I love it when I find someone that has added photos to their account. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve put some, but I’m talking about adding more, much more.

Whether they attract more cousins or not, they make my own tree more interesting. But if they attract someone that wants to attach the photo or photos to their tree, I can always contact them and see how we connect.

When you add photos to MyHeritage or Ancestry, you are credited with being the original person who shared.

Here’s what you see on Ancestry ” jay70_1 originally shared this on 23 Mar 2015.” (unless the person copies and reposts.)

At MyHeritage, it looks like this “Submitted by Ellen Lee Thompson-Jennings.” (By the way, if you ever see this user in your matches or jay70_1 at Ancestry… that’s me, and please contact me).

If you’re still unsure about sharing your photos, you can always add your name to the bottom of your photos before you post them as copyright acknowledgment.

I know some people are hesitant about sharing their photos and their trees, for that matter. But here’s what I think, right or wrong. I actually wrote about this in my blog from 2015; I Don’t Own My Ancestors I Think They Own Me. I still believe that I don’t own my ancestors, yes, I own my research, but this past year I’ve also thought about who will take over my research. Or will anyone want it? I guess that’s why I’m putting my genealogy not only on the sites like; Ancestry and MyHeritage but also on my FOREVER account. By putting the information, I’ve gathered on those sites, then even after I’m gone, if my family doesn’t want my research, someone will still be able to access what I’ve done. For me, that makes me feel my time and money haven’t gone to waste.

Did you know that in your FOREVER account settings, you can not only make someone the beneficiary of your photos, but you can also set the settings so that your photos are accessible to the public after a certain amount of years? You can choose after 1, 5, 10, 25, 100 or never. (To see what I mean, go to FOREVER and search for Jack Snyder, and you’ll see his legacy album).

Recently on MyHeritage, I had someone contact me to say that I didn’t have all her sisters listed on my tree. She let me know the information that was missing, and since then, we’ve exchanged information and I’ve provided photos of her mother and grandmother that she’s never seen before. She was so happy. I vaguely remember meeting her when I was in my early teens, but our families have lost touch, and that’s the point. It doesn’t take very many years; sometimes, not even a generation and connections are lost.

So if you have an Ancestry or MyHeritage account, consider adding photos, and if you have done that already…. are you checking to see who’s saving your photos? It might be a cousin you’ve never met yet.

1 Comment

  • EJ Jackson says:

    Great post! I’ve been uploading my photos for quite a while for this very reason, which is what makes the recent upset about the change to Ancestry’s T&Cs all the moreconcerning, because people have been removing images just in case Ancestry might decide to use something in future advertising, etc. Quite how much content has been removed because of this, is unknowable, but I am sure it will become apparent in time. I mourn for the lost connections that might have been made.