How to Pinterest Your Genealogy

how to use pinterest for genealogy

Using Pinterest for Genealogy & Family Memories

Not long ago I started a Pinterest board about my dad and another about the Lone Jack Missouri cemetery. Although I’ve been using Pinterest a long time (genealogyteach) it’s only recently that I’ve really crafted a game plan for sharing my genealogy research on Pinterest.

Right now, my dad’s board is sparse as is the cemetery board, but I’ve been working on creating a “blueprint” for how to best share genealogy research, findings, and family information by pinning. For example, I just created a section for dad’s board  on his World War II experience.  Today there are only a few pins, but it’s in progress.

(If you haven’t created a section within a board, go to the board you want to work with and click the +Add Section button. See image below)

Part of my game plan is to create boards for as many ancestors as I have information on. I’ll be adding any documents or photos that I’ve found, as well. I’m of the “share what I have” school, so if other researchers find and re-pin the pins, that’s great by me. I want to make sure all of the work I’ve done over the decades isn’t lost – and Pinterest seems like it would make for a great home for it.

What Else Can You Pin for Genealogy?

Pinterest for family or heirloom recipes
You can see my board here. If you browse through, you’ll see my Aunt Helen’s lime pickle recipe (my favorite).

Pinterest for heirlooms

Yes, it takes some work, but I’m in the process of photographing some of mom’s teacups and jewelry. I gave my brother, Mark (the World War II expert) all of dad’s military records and medals, so I’ll have to photograph them the next time I go to Florida.

Pinterest for cemeteries and tombstones

As mentioned, I started a board for the Lone Jack Cemetery because I have so many ancestors buried there. But, I’ve also photographed lots of other cemeteries so more boards coming. (did you see my article on tombstone symbolism?)

Pinterest for family farms & villages & old houses

I’m just starting this board.  I want photos of places my family lived. This photo is a screenshot from Google Earth of the house we lived when I was born. It wasn’t blue at that time!  The little white house next door was built by my grandparents. Now if only I can find many, many more homesteads. I didn’t realize it until much later in life that my grandparents and a great-grandfather also lived in the house before my folks did.

Pinterest for Loved Ones

When my mom passed away I started a board titled Remembering Those We Love.  To that board I add family photos as well as memory garden ideas and things that remind me of the people I’ve loved who are no longer among us.

Pinterest for genealogy scrapbook ages

If you’re into scrapbooking, you’ll love photographing your pages and adding them to your own family scrapbook board.

Pinterest for genealogy timelines

Now this fascinates me. The idea here is to pin images from different years throughout an ancestor’s lifetime. I’m working on the images right now for my Grandmother Hendrickson and all that happened during the course of her life.

How Do You Use Pinterest for Your Genealogy?

Please leave a comment and let me know how you’re using Pinterest to share your family stories or genealogy. I’m always looking for new ideas. Thanks for sharing this post and for leaving a comment.

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  1. Hello! Thank you for this great article. In the tombstones pictured, the letters are very bright and clear. Did you use flour/cornstarch?
    Thank you!
    Joanie Caldwell

    1. No, I didn’t use anything like that. I try to shoot at a time when the sun is at the best angle, AND if it doesn’t cooperate, I take a hand-made reflector to shine light back at an oblique angle. Great question, though!

      p.s. I’m going to be doing a cemetery photography workshop in the spring. You can get on the early notification list here:

  2. Can I upload directly to Pinterest? Currently I don’t have a blog or a website, so how do I post to Pinterest for others to share?

    1. Hi Cecile,

      Yes, you can upload directly from your computer to Pinterest. When you click the + sign to add a new pin (once you’re logged into your Pinterest account), you have the option of pinning from the web or pinning from your device. Just select device, then upload from your own computer. You don’t need a website or blog to do this. Nancy

  3. Thanks so much for your post, your Pinterest boards are full of ideas. I have just started photographing headstones as we visit various cemeteries and I was wondering how to keep my notes and pictures together and organized digitally. I was thinking PowerPoint, but this would also make it shareable if other family is interested.

    1. Hi Anita,
      Thanks for the kind words! Photographing tombstones is something I’ve been doing for a long time – the genealogist in me is worried that the inscriptions will disappear over time (as many already have) – so I want to record as many as I can. PowerPoint could work, also Google Docs, as they are available to anyone you give access to, at any time as they’re sitting online.

  4. My brother and sister in law live in Lone Jack. I just thought it was interesting to read your info and see the little tiny town mentioned.

    1. Hi Dawn, It’s a small world! My family came there in about 1835; I’m related to almost everyone in the cemetery! Nancy

  5. I love to share what I have found out. I have a several blogs, one for each of the major surnames. I blog infrequently, but typically I choose a person in my direct line … or not … and delve deep into their lives. I typically separate their life into decades, and can get about 5-8 parts which I schedule ahead. This gives me some leeway to work on another ancestor, while that last one is on automatic drive. I still fall behind. I search things like who was the president (with photos), addresses and what they look like now via Google Maps. I look at social things such as the Boll Weevil infestation, or the Emancipation and how that affected their lives. My blogs have a lot of information that isn’t immediately noticable. In doing this in-depth research, I have found information that my father never knew about his WWII soldier dad … that he was in the Balloon Barrage Battalion. I found photos of these battalions, how they worked their balloons, and why. I found newspaper accounts that my grandfather found a Nazi Town on accident. I find lots of newspaper accounts, obituaries. Photographs. Even signatures on their marriage license and their Draft cards. I research their cause of death, finding some that are caused by Sepsis, one death from an abortion in 1930s, and one was essentially suicide by cop. Land sales, land maps and migration patterns. I even was about to finish my great grandmother’s blog when I decided to research the hospital where she’d died, ended up creating a whole ‘nuther blog because this was actually a mental hospital. Daddy never knew. Nothing is too small nor mundane for me to try to find out more information

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