One rainy Saturday, I found an email waiting in my inbox. The subject line was “Most Wanted – John Bulmer (1823)” and seeing it, I felt a surge of hope that this might be the day that I would finally discover what happened to my three times great-uncle. The email I received turned out to be from one of John Bulmer’s descendants. “I found John Bulmer’s details on your website under the ‘Most Wanted’ section,” it read, “and I think I can help you. John Bulmer was my great-great-grandfather…” The email went on to tell me about John’s emigration from England to Australia in 1852 and included details of his life in Australia up to his death in 1877 in Melbourne. My brick wall had indeed finally come crashing down, thanks to having my family tree online, where my distant cousin could find it with a simple Google search.
When it comes to putting your family tree online, there are many choices, ranging from creating your own website to uploading your tree to an online hosted website like Ancestry, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Explore the alternatives and decide which way is the best for you.