Using Social Media For Cousin Bait

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

The path to discovering and learning about family history is a journey that can last a lifetime.

Discovering and sharing our family history with cousins that share our passion for our ancestors' stories makes the journey so much more rewarding. The connection to cousins no matter how far back and/or the number of times removed is a connection to family. That connection can bring newly discovered information, a research or travel buddy.

In today's technological and scientific advancements and knowledge, which is constantly expanding, we have an opportunity to be able to connect with so many cousins. Those cousins aren't going to suddenly show up without us putting a little effort to attract their attention.

Using social media is a fantastic way to attract the attention of cousins. It doesn't matter what social media platform you use. The purpose of posting about your family history is to toss cousin bait onto social media to see if someone comes across information about an ancestor that you share.


Here are three ideas for tossing bait out to see if you can catch a few new cousins.

Share in a post about a blog or vlog that you have recently published. By posting your blog to social media it gives more people an opportunity to see and share, which means your publication will receive more publicity to help potentially reach a cousin who shares the common ancestor. Whenever I write my blog I also publish it on all social media platforms that I use.

This is a pin I posted on Pinterest, along with other social media platforms, about a post I wrote about my 2nd great-grandfather. The Steinbrecher family line has been a brick wall for me and I am hoping one day a cousin from the Steinbrecher line will come across something I wrote about my Steinbrecher ancestors and contact me.


Share a photo of an ancestor. Sharing photos of my ancestors is one of my favorite things to do. So many times I have shared a photo and have had other family members write about things they remember or know about that ancestor. I have even had cousins I haven't heard from in a long time reach out to me and we have been able to reconnect. I have also shared photos of people I had no clue who there are. By doing this I have been able to uncover some of the mystery photos that I have in my collection. #ThrowBackThursday or #TBT is a great day to share an image of your ancestors on social media.


Write a post about a situation with an ancestor you are struggling with. It could be a brick wall you are trying to break through or it could be a record you are trying to track down. Do not be afraid of not getting a reply to your post. I personally believe that it is better to post than to not post. There is a chance that even months later that an unknown cousin could do a search on Facebook and come across your post.

For more ideas on creating social media content about your family history be sure to subscribe to The Simple Living Genealogist Newsletter or follow me on social media @simplelivingene.

Until next time, take care.