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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions:

Why does Gen Gathering only use first names for their members?
For privacy reasons, we only use your first name.

How do I get the Charter Member ribbon?
The first 250 people that volunteered their resources were automatically rewarded with a Charter Member ribbon added to their profile page.

What are the other awards that were mentioned in "What is Gen Gathering?"?
After a year of service, volunteers will be rewarded with a ribbon on your profile page.  Continue to volunteer, and you'll see them add up!  It's our way of saying thanks.

In addition, an "Awesome Volunteer" award can be received by a volunteer.  Members may nominate volunteers for this award when they receive outstanding service from the volunteer.  Send nominations to the site administrators at any time.  Note that a volunteer can receive any number of awards.

Who is behind the scenes at Gen Gathering?
Dean Boman - Dean is a retired electrical engineer who spent 30 years designing communications systems for spacecraft.  He is interested in electronic design, software development, home automation, gardening, hiking, camping, and mountain biking.  He has developed all the webpages and software behind them for this site.

Valerie Boman - Valerie has researched for decades.  She has built and maintains approximately 15 genealogy-related websites (cemeteries, family sites, unidentified photos, etc.).  She has also written articles for a Historical Society, indexed for Family Search, and has given lectures on researching.  Outside of genealogy, she is interested in or passionate about canning, gardening, birding, quilting, her husband, daughters, grandsons and friends.  She is an NQA certified quilt judge, has a quilt pattern company, and a machine quilting business.

Can I share the link to Gen Gathering online?
Absolutely!  Our site will grow through word of mouth, so we need your help. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, or any online site.

Profile page questions:

What should be added to the "More About Me" area on my profile page?
You can add your hobbies, where you live, how long you've been interested in genealogy, any of the areas of interest in your research, etc.  It's up to you what you share.  Keep in mind that networking can be done by finding people in particular areas that might share common interests or specific areas of research!

Why are we able to see all of our requests and volunteer acts?
We thought it would be nice to always know your volunteer or request history. It's interesting to see who you have worked with in the past, and it can potentially be helpful to view past requests or volunteer acts.

I don't like my photo and I want to change it.  How do I do that?
On your profile page, you will see a link to add, delete or update your photo. Click on that link, and you can change your photo.

I want to change my biography on my profile page. How do I do that?
On your profile page, you will see a link to edit your profile.  Click on the edit profile link and you can edit your profile from there.

How can I find other Gen Gathering members that might be researching the same line I am?
To find a possible match, go to the menu box on the home page, click on "Kindred Connections" and search for the surname you are researching.

If I can no longer volunteer, how do I delete my acts?
On your profile page, you will see a link to view your volunteer acts.  Click on the edit link next to each act.  From there you can remove your act.

Volunteer and request questions:

What if I have a resource such as "New England Churches" that spans several states?  Where do I put that?
Add this type of resource to each of the New England states this resource addresses.

How do I easily view all the surnames that are on Gen Gathering?
Go to "Find a Volunteer" and then to the Family History category.  In the "Search Method" box, click on
"Similar to search" and leave the "Search for" box empty.  When you click "Search" all entries will be displayed.

I want to add volunteer acts but am not sure where some of them fit. What do I do?
Contact us and we will help you determine the best placement for your volunteer acts.

Why do some volunteers charge a fee?
Some acts require that the volunteer pay for parking, postage, public transportation, copying costs, or the price of admission or donation to a Historical Society, etc.  Also, some volunteers charge for gas if they are obtaining resources far from their home or outside of their stated area.  It is reasonable to pass these charges on to the requester, but the volunteer might also choose to waive those fees.  If they choose to pass those fees on to you, they must let you know in advance.  Items that are not acceptable on this volunteer site are charges for your time, "per hour" fees or using Gen Gathering to sell your products.

Why does the "wait time" for my request vary so much?
Some volunteers have their resources in a cabinet in their home, and response might be immediate. Other volunteers may only go to the library twice a month for lookups.  Others may only be occasional visitors to a particular area.  You are dependent on a volunteer's schedule.

I want to change the description of one of my volunteer acts.  How do I do that?
On your profile page, you will see a link to view your volunteer acts.  Click on the edit link next to each act.  From there you can edit your act.

Why are there no volunteers in the location I want?
The volunteer areas are dependent on people stepping forward with their willingness to help.  Encourage people to join us.  Check back on a regular basis, and you might see each of the areas grow as people find us.

What is taking my volunteer so long?  They said it would be 4 days!
Lets assume the volunteers have the best of intent when stating how long the request should take.  Allow for someone being out of town or in family crisis mode.  It can happen. Be patient, but if you feel too much time has elapsed, contact them again to see if you can determine the problem.  After three reasonable attempts, contact us.

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