"Build It and They Shall Come"

by Bill Norin

Readers will recognize this saying from the film, “Field of Dreams”. I have brought personal meaning to this expression by my new approach to genealogy.

I have been a genealogist for twenty six years and during that period much of my research has been devoted to sloshing through old cemeteries overgrown with weeds, visiting the dark corridors of city courthouses, ruining my vision by glaring at faded census microfilm roles, and interviewing cousins I never liked too much in the first place.

Now, much of that reaching out is behind me. At this time people are coming to me by visiting my genealogy site on the average of 20-21 hits a day. This has all happened due to the fact that I have built an infrastructure through placing my URL on 35 different search engines, four genweb pages and nearly 50 personal home pages.

I have also provided my gedcom to six different surname databases such as Ancestry, Genserv., Family Tree Maker and Kindred Konnections. Almost daily fellow genealogists are contacting me saying something like, “I believe we are cousins, can you confirm this.”

Several months ago I started a listing entitled, “We Met on the Net” which contains information on cousins I met through the infrastructure mentioned above. It now contains 36 “new” cousins from the last two years and shows promise of growing every day. I have built it and like Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams” they are coming almost every day.

If you would have questions or would like to know more about this approach to genealogy please feel free to contact me. Also, please visit my web page, perhaps we are related.

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