Making Your Own Family History Website Using Blogger
What is the best way to share our family history to future generations or collaborate on Family History with others?
Answer: A Family History Website
Here are some of the advantages to publishing your family history records online.
1. Easily share and collaborate with others around the world
A previously unknown relative in Australia saw my website and sent me 50 names of relatives with verified sources and photographs on a family line I'm interested in. I found her surfing the internet using family names I was researching and was able to direct her to my website. She immediately recognized she had research that I would be interested in.
2. Digitally archive your research
Back in the 1920's my grandmother, Emma Scholl, paid a genealogist to research her Swiss ancestry. He found approximately 4,000 names with no verification as to the source. Good family history work depends on primary sources that verify family relationships. A website shows others your primary sources so they can collaborate with you.
3. This is a no cost method
4. Records are instantly accessible anywhere at any time
A few years ago I made 33 DVD's of my father's life and to my knowledge few watched it as only 3 people acknowledged they received it. People won't drop a DVD into a machine and play it but they will click on a website. My site has had 150,000 views in about five years.
5. Provides organizational structure for your photos, histories, videos, newspaper clippings, maps and research log
How do you make a blog into a website on Blogger?
Anyone can easily set up a website for free through many blog service companies. I use blogspot.com and will be talking about how I formatted their program to make it user friendly to family history work. For other services you can link to this article, The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today. Which one is for you?
The advantage of using Blogspot.com for your website is that it is free and easily accessible to everyone. You can backup your website to a computer in a minute or two. If you want to move your information to another website you can easily back up your site and transfer the file to another site.
1. Sign up for a Blogger account and pick a template. This is where you decide what you want your blog to look like. I like simple ones without all the side panels.
Here is the link to Getting Started
Make a few posts and add photos and text from you family history records. I use one page per person. On that page I post histories, photographs, newspaper articles, videos, grave markers and documents.
Here is a page on How to Make a Blog into a Real Website
2. To make one of your posts a homepage go to Design in the upper right corner of your blog on blogger. Then click on Posts on the left of your dashboard. Click on the post you want to make your home page and change the date of the post to the distant future. This page will come always come up first. All other posts will have a published date as you add them.
3. With two pages posted you are ready to make a hyperlink. Copy the address on the designated post that you want the reader to go to which we will call post B. Then open post A. Type in the title of post B in Post A. Highlight the words, go up to the A with an underline and color it blue. Then with the words highlighted click on Link and paste the address of post B. Click Update and you have added a hyperlink.
Here is an article with more detail on adding hyperlinks to your website: How to Add Internal Links Within Blogger Posts
4. To have one page per ancestor go to your dashboard/ Settings/Posts and choose Show only 1 post on main page.
5. Hide the "blog-specific" values from posts, by going to dashb oard/Layout /Blog post/Edit
At a minimum the things to turn off to make your blog function more like a website are:
- Links to this post
- Email post links
- Post sharing
certificates on deceased persons (birth, death, marriage)
emails you want to save (with initials of originator to protect privacy).
What does my site look like?
How many views will you get?
Many, depending on how much you post and who you tell about your site.
What are the additional benefits of your own site?
1. You control the content
2. You can easily share the information with FamilySearch
3. You can share videos using Vimeo or YouTube.
4. People interested in the same families will see your posts and contact you.