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Recruiting Techniques

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  • Recruiting Techniques

    My surname project has grown from 1 member to 9 members in about 6 months. I thought this was pretty good. When I became admin in May this year, I got the message out to various surname forums, mailing lists, etc.
    So far no matches among 7 of us, and a possible match among 2 of us. I feel this will not look good to potential members if there is no matching yet. I'm going to wait another month when all of the pending results are in, but I'm wondering what other methods have you used to recruit members? I've also written a couple letters, and I was planning on doing a random mailing, maybe 20 or 30 letters to areas of the U.S. where we are lacking in the project. Any other ideas?

    Also, for those of you that have 50 or 100 or more members, how did you achieve this? Was there a certain turning point in your project where the project really took off, or was it more gradual, over time?

  • #2
    Re: Recruiting Techniques

    I'd suggest recruiting among people posting to surname forums/mailing lists.
    I'd hit them with followups, especially when there is new information.
    I'm not much in favor for "blind" contacts.

    Another suggesting is posts about the DNA project with subjects that encourage readers - such as "x number of members now", "found new connections thru DNA", "breakthru in DNA Project". These are in place of "re: Surname Project".

    As far as viewing your results, I strongly suggest using Yutility at
    My example is


    • #3

      Thanks for the suggestions. I especially like the one about the subject lines.
      I just don't feel we have much positive news with the lack of matching going on. I will have to be creative. Yes, I've used that utility. It will come in handy when we have some closer matches.

      One thing I recently discovered is that our original surname (Schuetz) is occupational, and I believe that makes it tougher for a surname project, because you will obviously have more unrelated lines.


      • #4
        Recruiting - Sheats - Schuetz

        Perhaps you could add some information that has been widespread the name is - what countries is it found in, how it was occupational (what does it mean?), that sort of thing. It can still be interesting even though you are not finding a lot of related families (although somewhere someone has to be related!).

        What does it mean? I have no idea!


        • #5

          That's a good idea. Thanks.

          From my German / English dictionary:

          1-Schütz - See 2-Schütze

          2-Schütze - marksman, huntsman, (good) shot; sharp-shooter, rifleman: private (infantry); (Hist.) archer; (Astr.) Sagittarius


          Shuttmann / Schützen: Means "watchman, guard" from the Middle High German schützen

          There is also:
          Shute: Means "From the castle of Shute, in Normandy, France"