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My mother enlisted me to search into her family a little over a decade ago. We never found out much about those she was most interested in (common names, big cities: Taylors and Robsons from urban industrial England who emigrated to Toronto about 1912), but it did start me following whatever leads I found on any of my lines.

My father had a bachelor uncle living in the farmhouse his family first moved about 1850. Inside, amongst all the neglect, were old letters and photographs and funeral announcements. I'd like to find some way of making these accessible - distant relatives - to others who might be able to use the information.

About seven years ago, when I first connected to regular Internet access, I thought that would expand my genealogical knowledge exponentially. But it hasn't worked that way. Connecting to others with knowledge of your lines isn't as simple as I thought it would be. Most queries on genealogical message boards go unanswered, and everyone's research is spread all over. I was looking into too many third cousins five times removed and didn't think it was worth my time. I gave up researching.

But lately I've been thinking there should be someone building a site that brings everyone's research together. Something built on the social networking model of sites like flickr or last.fm. One that will connect me with the person in Australia who came from the same Scottish family as mine and also has letters and photographs neglected by a bachelor uncle in the old farmhouse. Looking for that site brought me here. I don't think this is quite what I have in mind, but I'm just filling in some information here for experimentation, to see if this model works for collaborative purposes.