AncestorNews: Your Own Newsletter


AncestorNews: Your Own Newsletter

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

Since you’re getting this newsletter every week, you already know how exciting it can be to get the latest genealogy news delivered directly to you via e-mail. Did you ever think about publishing your own family genealogy newsletter? Once a week or every month, you could send an e-mail to your online family members letting them know about your family research, while keeping them up to date on the latest family news. And if you’d like, you can even include items from the Family Tree News Service, free of charge. This service is sent out weekly and contains articles from this newsletter. You can use any or all of the articles, as long as you credit the source. Sign up for the Family Tree news service online at.

To start your e-mail newsletter, just go to one of the free mailing list companies and start a new mailing list. During the setup, you’ll be given the option of making this a totally private list (choose this option), and you can determine whether it is an announcement list or a discussion list. If you want to use the list solely as a newsletter, choose announcement. This means that you are the only person who can post information. To make sure that no one but family can access your list, pick the option for you to approve all list members.

Once you’ve set up your mailing list, add the e-mail addresses of your online family and send a brief note letting them know what you’re up to. Then, decide on a publishing schedule and you’re off! To save yourself a lot of work, be sure to solicit articles or news items from other family members&#151you don’t want to be the editor, publisher, writer and proofreader.

There are several approaches to publishing your newsletter: You can simply put in whatever you like (you are the editor, after all!), choose a theme (remembrances of a specific relative), publish vital information about various ancestors or make it more a “family” newsletter than a “genealogy” update. To give it more of a family feel, confine the news to current events, anniversaries, birthdays and so on. Or do a combination of all of the above. It’s really your choice. Good luck! If you decide to publish your own newsletter, please let me know.

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Nancy Hendrickson is a contributing editor for Family Tree Magazine. She also is a family historian, freelance writer and the author of two astronomy books. Her Web site is at E-mail her at

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