Last week my cousin Anne sent out an email regarding an upcoming Barfield Family Reunion. Our last/first reunion was held back in the fall of 2011 and this upcoming one had been loosely scheduled for this spring or early summer. I suggested that we start a private Facebook group to help organize the reunion, which Anne thought was a good idea. Turns out it's been a great idea - and not just for reunion planning!
I created the group, Barfield Family Reunion, and invited a few family members who I was already friends with on Facebook. I knew that there were more relatives on Facebook, so I encouraged everyone to invite any other relatives that they were friends with on the site. I originally invited 8 people to the group. There are now 44 members!
One of the first things I did when I created the group was to add a photo of the last reunion. From there, others started adding old photos of our ancestors and their descendants. Some of these photos have already made the rounds to some of us via email, but now everyone will have a chance to see them. There are also a number of photos that I haven't seen before that I've been able to add to my collection.
Although we haven't quite used the group to finalize any reunion plans, it has given people a chance to get in touch with other family members, many that they haven't seen in years. I anticipate that the group will eventually help us with reunion planning, but until then it's been beneficial in other ways.