Cousin Connections: Plan a Virtual Family Reunion

Whether it’s a small/large family gathering or a virtual family reunion, this webinar series has you covered. The tips are transferable to an in-person event as well.

My husband’s in-person reunion isn’t happening this year after all. Due to current circumstances, it’s being rescheduled for another year. Whether you find yourself in a similar place or you’re thinking this is a great time to catch up with family even if you can‘t see them in real life, my new class offers tips on connecting with cousins.

Collecting, sharing, and collaborating on family history has never been easier. A lot of families are meeting via computer and there is a way to turn those casual get-togethers into a virtual family reunion. Those cousin connections can help you build a family archive, identify photographs, and save stories.

My husband’s family gathering dates back to the late 1940s and they’ve never missed one. This year however things are a bit different. But not seeing everyone in person doesn’t mean we can’t gather with the technology at our disposal. We have what we need to collect, organize, and share family information, photos, documents, and all the other stuff passed down.

That’s why I created this three-part series. The tips in this webinar are transferable to in-person events too.  

Session 1: Gather Everyone and Everything Together

Technology is our friend but it can also be a challenge for relatives not familiar with it. You’re thinking that a reunion will be too much work, but there are rewards to reaching out.

I once worked with a family interviewing them about their memories. Turns out each of the six siblings remembered bits of the family immigration story and each one had photos and artifacts that the others didn’t. Imagine bringing all that together to share and save it for future generations. You can do it. I explain how.

In this session, I talk about how to engage relatives and options for meeting virtually. There is more than Zoom available.

There are best practices to follow when planning and collecting. You might want to consult a professional genealogist to dig a bit deeper into the family tree. Finding all the pieces that get divided up in every generation can be a challenge but hey, we’re genealogists we love collecting things.

You’ll learn ways to locate photos, documents, and artifacts for the reunion with practical tips on scanning and photographing objects. Don’t have the material in your family archive, no worries, this session provides an overview of searching online too.

In this session:

  • Ways to “meet” with cousins using web-based communication platforms
  • Best practices for holding a reunion and recruiting volunteers
  • How to analyze your family history to spot who’s missing in your album
  • What “stuff” to look for to enhance the family story
  • Techniques for tracking it down in family collections and online sites
  • Tips for scanning and photographing material

Session 2: Collaborating and Organizing using a Digital Photo Organizer

Collaborating with relatives can reveal new family history details and new images to share. Feeling overwhelmed is a common reaction, but there are a variety of web based platforms to help you tackle the problem. I’ll cover how to get ready to use these platforms.

Nancy Desmond of MemoryWeb joins me to demonstrate how to use MemoryWeb to collaborate with cousins and how it’s a great family reunion planning tool. The power of metadata is amazing. MemoryWeb is the photo organizer created by genealogists for genealogists.

In this session:

  • How to create a family archive
  • How to collect family stories
  • Ways to keep track of information
  • What is a digital organizer and which ones are available
  • How to collaborate with cousins using MemoryWeb
  • How to use MemoryWeb for Reunions

Session 3: Sharing Family History

You’re ready to meet with all those interested cousins and you want to share everything you’ve learned. Not so fast. In this session, I cover web safety and posting online.

Every reunion should have a take-away and I’ve got you covered. From virtual tours to family tree charts and more, your family will be clamoring for more.

Edith Wagner, founder, publisher, and editor of Reunions magazine and will be here to answer your Reunion questions. Edith knows the A-Z of reunion planning.  And Nancy Desmond pops back in to demo how to share a MemoryWeb album with all your relatives.

In this session:

  • The importance of the MemoryWeb album feature
  • Safe ways to share material online
  • Which Reunion activities work
  • Tips for planning a take-away

Masterclass Extras

  • A handout of tips to plan your reunion
  • A resource guide of products (with special discounts)