Saturday, 1 March 2014

Reunion Tips - Promoting

So you've decided to bite the bullet and hold a reunion, how and where do you let others know about it?

The following is a list of ways to spread the word, the more ways you use the more extended family you will reach. There is an amazing array on the internet, so rather than overload you here are some key sites. Remember though, like family history research, not everything is on the internet:

  • Directly - reach as many of the family you already know and ask family to pass it on!

    • Word of mouth
    • letters
    • phone calls
    • emails

  • Internet - many allow free announcements and others allow you to build your own page or mailing list or group

    • Websites - put a notice in roots chat, rootsweb set your own reunion page and tree up at wikitree
    • Groups and mailing lists via:
      • Facebook - start a group for the reunion, post in existing groups
      • Yahoo and Google both have a range of tools to help. Existing groups to post in and facility to start your own. Handy to set up a mailing list, so you don't have to individually email everyone. To get an idea you might want to see the Jones Family Group we have on Yahoo.
    • Send announcements via others such as Dick Eastman's or Lost Cousins's Newsletters and of course Twitter

  • Magazines and Journals

For those of us down under there are two musts for announcing any reunion, whether it is being held in Australia or New Zealand. As branches of down under families have travelled across the Tasman many times you are bound to find family on both sides. So do send notices to both. We live in a small world you will be surprised how many genies will pass on your information to others they know in your tree.

1) Australian Family Tree Connections and for those of you who are members of a Family history organisation the listing both in the magazine and on the website is FREE. Thank you Michele Stephens.
"Individual magazine Subscribers (and members of Family History, Genealogy and Historical Societies which subscribe to the magazine) have their Family Reunion advertisements published FREE of charge (both in the magazine and here on this website).

Readers (i.e. those who dont subscribe to the magazine) are welcome to place Family Reunion advertisements in the magazine (repeated here free of charge). Modest Classified Ad rates apply – please see Classified Ads for details."

2)  The New Zealand Genealogist free to members and those who live overseas. $5NZ charge for those in New Zealand who are not members.  This magazine has a reach of over 7,000. One of the largest distributions of a genealogy society magazine in the world. An easy way to reach most people in New Zealand who are interested in family history.

  • Location based notices
Many newspapers (particularly those smaller locally based giveaways) would love to have a story and a photograph, such as a family treasure to fill space in an edition.

Most Family and Local History Organisations and Museums have magazines and newsletters and most have a section for notices about upcoming reunions. So think about where your family originally landed as well as where they came from. Remember many are volunteer groups or are only published quarterly and need plenty of notice, so do get in touch in plenty of time.

It pays to think further afield than just the area, state, county or country you live in. You might be as lucky as us and have someone fly out from England with letters written in 1874 & 5, sent from New Zealand giving the younger brother back home all the family history. The relative of that branch flew out with the letters and we heard how his father in law - the persons arrival we were celebrating was impossible to get on with! Well if your son-in-law went bankrupt and left your daughter you may well have been impossible too.

1874 Letter written by Dr Robert Porter Welch sent from the Wairarapa in New Zealand to his brother John Porter England

Send notices to as many places where branches of your family settled as you can find. If we hadn't promoted our family interests outside of Sydney we would never have found nor seen these wonderful treasures. Thanks to Gareth Winter and the folk at Wairarapa Archives.

Don't forget the old country - the place they came from - be it the UK or the US the local family history society is more than likely to be in a position to pass on details about your upcoming reunion.

For a list of Societies check out these links:

FFHS - Federation of Family History Societies - mostly UK based
FGS - Federation of Genealogy Societies - mostly US based
AFFHO - Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations - Australia and New Zealand

Well I keep aiming to make these posts shorter and here we are another long one. Thanks for reading this far, do let me know if you have any comments to make below and if you enjoyed this post please share it via which ever social media you use. TIA


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