We’re going to keep looking for James Collins.
You hear so many terrible things about Facebook; interference in politics, privacy breaches and bullying, it’s easy to be cynical.
When we decided to start Genealogy Investigations, we looked at how we would use Facebook to reach people. Yes, we are a business, but we also wanted to tell stories and reach out.
And it has exceeded our expectations. Not only are we able to share tales that might be forgotten and to honour people, but it just shows Facebook can be a force for good.
So many of you were interested in the story of James Collins, who was buried for three days beneath the rubble of the Park Island Old Men’s Home in Napier after the 1931 earthquake before being rescued, especially that the poor chap was buried without a headstone in Dannevirke, that we have decided we are going to investigate further.
It constantly surprises us how willing people are to help find a family member no one has spoken to for a while, find a person who has moved overseas and help find records on the ground in another country. There is a vast amount of information on the Internet, but it is not always a substitute for searching through hard copy records.
We have found people willing to go to local offices to check things, to cemeteries in far flung countries to take pictures, to reach out to others and help us - in some cases - to reunite families. And in today’s world a bit of kindness is badly needed.
Some of you have reached out to help with ideas about James Collins - thank you all.
We will let you know how it goes.
This is what Facebook should be for.