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Use Facebook to Promote Your Family Reunion

Sunday, 22 May 2011 | by Mark Tucker

Have you ever been surprised and delighted by something that in hindsight was so obvious?  That happened to me this last week.

A few weeks ago I received a plain old snail mail letter from a Carol Sweat in Utah.  It turns out that she is my 2nd cousin and is planning a Bunce family reunion for the first weekend in July. My mother’s mother is a Bunce and every Christmas there is a small reunion for my grandmother, uncles, cousins and family. This is the first Bunce reunion that I have ever been invited to.

Too bad that I can’t attend the reunion this year as it conflicts with other plans that have already been made. But I wanted to do something to support the reunion, so I contacted Carol with an idea.  Why not create a group on Facebook for the descendants of James Hyrum Bunce and his wife, Florence Reich?

 

James H & Florence Bunce abt 1896

I contacted Carol by e-mail (found in the reunion invitation) and we connected on Facebook.  I then created the James Hyrum Bunce Family group on Facebook with Carol as the first member.  It is a private group so you must be invited to join.  The group was created on Tuesday (5 days ago) and it already has 43 members. That is 38 more relatives that I have contact with now that I didn’t know a week ago.  Amazing!

Over 30 photos have been added to the group including marriage certificates and funeral announcements.

James and Florence had 16 children (7 died in infancy) and we have started a project to find links to all children on Find A Grave and if they are missing, create them.

There is quite a buzz going on in the group with 65 posts. People are introducing themselves, asking questions about their ancestors, and sharing stories.  I am thankful to Gigi for sharing the story of how my mom invited Gigi and her husband to stay with our family for the birth of their second child. It is another story about my mother that I will cherish.

Carol has added events to the group for the reunion activities and I expect that after the reunion photos and possibly videos will be posted to the group for those who could not attend.

I am very excited about this group and how it is progressing.  I hope that we can continue to build excitement for the reunion and connect family.  Maybe the next Bunce reunion will not be such a long time in coming.

 

I need to thank my 3rd cousin, Richard Tucker, for creating family groups for our Tucker and Dollar ancestors.  He made it seem quite easy and it turns out that it was.

 

What success have you had with family groups on Facebook?  Any specific ideas with using a group in conjunction with a family reunion?

4 Comments »

  1. a great idea of course! how fun that so many people joined it so quickly. I have had in the back of my mind to start two specific Facebook groups – one for my maternal grandmother’s branch of the family and another for my stepmother’s family – both have reunions coming up. Do you have any thoughts for how you think y’all can keep the engagement going even after the reunion?

    Comment by Taneya — 22 May 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  2. How did you set it up that 43 people found you. I would like to find relatives on my father side of the family, the only side I have living in the USA.

    Claudia

    Comment by Claudia — 25 May 2011 @ 5:41 am

  3. After adding Carol to the group, she invited others who invited still more. Since it is a closed group, joining is by invitation only. Others outside the group can see the group name and its members, so it is possible that they could contact a group member about joining.

    Comment by Mark Tucker — 25 May 2011 @ 7:42 am

  4. Our Yahoo family groups seem to have fizzled out, this sounds like a good way of breathing life back into them! Thanks Mark!

    Comment by Carole Riley — 27 May 2011 @ 10:56 pm

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