It is now the 28th of October, 2020, meaning the Hidden Branch blog has officially been around for ONE WHOLE YEAR!!! For this occasion, our member, Tyler, would like to present the history of this small blog group…and you would be surprised how much history this group has!
The first idea of “the Hidden Branch” originated as a genealogy service that our member, Tyler, started in the spring of 2018. He began by asking family, friends and classmates if they would like to have their family tree made. The 13 year old had some success and eventually he earned a grand total of $100 from happy clients. Then, he stopped researching family trees for others because he wanted to work on his own family history and maintaining the Hidden Branch by himself was difficult.
Flash forward to October, 2019, nearing the end of the decade, when the modern group of the Hidden Branch formed. The group started out with three members: Daniel, Emily, and Tyler. The teens met through Instagram, where each had their own genealogy profiles. Daniel suggested creating a blog group, which turned out to be a real pivoting point. They decided to use the name “the Hidden Branch” from Tyler’s old business and immediately began setting up social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook and a website on Weebly. The year ended strong when the group was featured in the November issue of The Genealogy Show Newsletter (based in Birmingham, England) and in Irish Roots Magazine, Issue 112.
Our interview with The Genealogy Show
Irish Roots Magazine, Issue 112
In early 2020, the group worked hard during quarantine to update the social media accounts and switch the website to WordPress. In June, our group recruited its fourth member, P.J and in September, the Hidden Branch added it’s fifth member, Emmy. Expanding our group to over three different countries. The five now collaborate via Google Meet or Zoom calls and have become pretty close friends. The group currently have accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a website. Posts are current and relevant, offering information about genealogy in a way that would attract younger people to the field. The Hidden Branch also currently admitting one new member, Rebecca, into the group and is excited for what is next to come as 21st century genealogists and who we will meet.
Our group, Emmy, P.J., Emily, Daniel & Tyler
[Not pictured: Rebecca]
Here are some thoughts from each group member about why they decided to join and what they think of the group now:
Emmy – “Starting genealogy when I was a young kid was a lonely business, no one around me was interested in it and so I kept to myself, starting an Instagram page to connect with other (mostly adult) genealogists. Now I have a group closer to my age to chat about and share genealogy finds with, and I would hate for future young genealogists to feel the same way I did as a youngster! That’s why I joined The Hidden Branch.”
P.J. – “I joined because I want to get more kids and teens into history and genealogy. I’d never heard of a group this young doing genealogy, I thought I was alone. I’m so glad I joined because I think this group is going to start a movement in the genealogical community.”
Daniel – “I had joined because I felt that we needed to create a community made by young genealogists for budding young genealogists so that we can share tips and tricks to help not make the start seem so daunting – as it did for me 3 years ago. I’m personally glad that I’m not alone when it comes to teenagers interested in genealogy as we then take the baton from those before us and pass it on to future generations and keep the memories of family long before us alive.”
Emily – “I joined the Hidden Branch because I wanted to talk to and get to know people my own age who were interested in genealogy, as before I joined I didn’t know any teenagers interested in the topic. I also wanted to contribute to the genealogy community by writing posts and sharing research tips. I’m really glad that I joined the Hidden Branch as I’ve made new friends and I’ve been able to both share and expand my knowledge in the field of family history. I look forward to the future of our group!”
Tyler – “I am really glad that I met the people at the Hidden Branch and that we have created this blog group together. Before, I thought I was the only teenager out there who loved researching his genealogy…thankfully I was wrong. It is really nice to talk to people my age who also really enjoy learning about their family history. I also deeply enjoy sharing my love of family history with the world by writing blog posts and contributing to the Hidden Branch and BWB Hour and sharing my finds on my genealogy accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I am happy to be a part of this group and I am excited for what the future holds for us.”