Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Searching for your Roots - Genealogy in Second Life

First Life Ancestry & Genealogy (FLAG) Center  (moderate)

So somebody mentioned on twitter today that people don't do "genealogy" in Second Life.  The point she was making (I think) was that people interested in that topic explored their history inworld through builds and roleplay not actual genealogical pursuits.  I knew this wasn't quite true because I had visited a couple of sites for people interested in the search for physical life roots.  I mentioned this and was asked if I'd blogged them - well, um, no I hadn't.  I guess I should. :)

I first found the sites when I was thinking about the early days of the interwebs - one of the things many of us did was start using the now available online resources to look up our personal histories.  The nice thing about Second Life is that you can connect with others interested in the topic and share tips and resources and methods and stories.

Just Genealogy  (moderate)

I'm sharing 5 locations with you today but there may be more.  It helps when you're searching on the topic to spell it correctly (blush) - I always try and use an "o" instead of the "a", not a good idea. Other good search terms might include "ancestry" and "family history" but I didn't try them this afternoon.

One of the interesting things about these sites is that they work together to foster the study of their topic inworld.  There is a Union of Genealogy Groups and they have an Integrated Calendar of events online so if you want to go test the waters and talk to fellow researchers that's a good place to start.

Genealogy Research Center (moderate)

Most of these sites appear  to be very broad in terms of focus - you can get help or enter into discussions about your family history no matter what part of the world you're from.  At least one,  The Genealogy Centre - Greater Ireland, however is devoted to the Irish, Scottish, and Celtic heritage.

The First Life Ancestry & Genealogy (FLAG) Center provides both a link to Genealogy Today (an online newsletter and list of resources) as well as a very useful notecard outlining guidelines you should use to protect your privacy while discussing family names and history.

The Genealogy Centre - Greater Ireland (moderate)

When I was poking around in the misty beginnings of the internet those of us searching for ancestors wondered a lot about when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would get their records online.  It's a huge resource and there was much excitement when it finally began to happen so no blog post about genealogical sites inworld would be complete without a tip to the Family History Centre run by the Friends of the LDS.

I didn't spend much time at any of these locations today because my intent was just to pass on the basic info of their existence.  I plan to go back though and get more help from them to fill in a huge gap I have in my family's history prior to 1729.  If you're at all interested in the topic I suggest you check out the inworld resources available to us - really it's hard to think of anything you can't find on the grid.  :)

Family History Centre   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (general)


Anonymous said...

"So somebody mentioned on twitter today that people don't do "genealogy" in Second Life. " Right then and there you should have known she was WRONG. Just as you can find any and everything on the internet, I'd be willing to bet you can find any and everything in SL.

(I'm so tempted to add: "well, everything that MATTERS. after all *I* am here. " but that would dilute my point totally. *grin*)

Riven Homewood said...

Yep, I should have know you can find everything on SL. :) Thank you, Honour. I'm going to go take a look at some of these genealogy libraries. (And thanks for correcting my spelling too :)

Honour McMillan said...

@Ahuva your importance goes without saying

@Riven I didn't even notice your spelling - it was my error I was stumbling over :)

Salazar Jack said...

Nice work! Interesting finds.

Honour McMillan said...

@Salazar thank you :)

Nyx said...

*Big Grin* I have a firm belief that the knowledge of generations is absolutely represented in many facets of SL - this post may be enough to motivate me to dust off the pile of Viewers and go exploring again - thank you

Honour McMillan said...

@Nyx Yay! :)

tami osmer glatz said...

There's even the SL chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, that meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month in Second Life, with excellent speakers, and a membership rivaling many of the non-virtual world chapters.

Honour McMillan said...

@Tami Thank you for that!