Facebook Groups for Genealogy

Last weekend I learned just how helpful Facebook groups can be for your genealogical journey.

As I was “fleshing” out a branch of my tree (it’s my great-great aunt on my dad’s paternal side) I was hoping I could find more information about her father and in turn his father (as they are my direct line).

While searching on Find a Grave, I stumbled upon a grave listed in Hopewell Cemetery (Hopewell, Bedford County, Pennsylvania) where Phoebe Blair Edmonson is buried (she’s the great-great aunt in question), and the girl’s name was Phoebe Thelma Edmonson. I clicked on her name and it said she was the daughter of my great-great aunt and her husband, James Edmonson. It turns out she was born in 1905 and passed away in 1906.  Immediately I went to Ancestry and found her death certificate stating she died from broncho-pneumonia.

As I clicked on other names I came across a 3-year old boy, Marshall James Edmonson that once again stated he was the son of James and Phoebe Edmonson.

I was lucky with Phoebe Thelma as 1906 is the first year Pennsylvania required birth and death certificates. But Marshall was born in 1896 and passed away in 1899 – was there any record of his death?

I decided to go to a Facebook group I’d joined last Fall to find out.

The group is called “Old Bedford County PA Genealogy (Includes Huntingdon, Fulton, & Blair Co)”.  Here was the question I asked:

FB Post 17Mar2019

I was super lucky – within an hour I received various suggestions where to look. Someone asked for more information which is when I gave Marshall’s name, birth and death dates, and his parent’s names.  Turns out Marshall was found in a register that the county kept.  It wasn’t mandatory to report the deaths, but Marshall’s was.  The book was called “Register of Deaths 1894-1906 Vol 2, D-G by James Boor” and it had the following information listed:


I was so thankful for this man having this book on hand and answering this question.  Within 12 hours of my post, I had received an answer.

I have found that many of the genealogy groups on Facebook have some of the kindest people in it.  They stop what they are doing and go out of their way to help you find what you are looking for and to me, it’s one of the greatest parts of genealogy.

So if you are a member of Facebook, fill in the search box with “genealogy” and see what you can find. I’m sure there is a group for the area of the world your ancestor lived or just an overall group that will help you with your search.

Good luck searching!