One Social Media Option Often Overlooked in Genealogy Research

If I mentioned using social media to help with your genealogy research, what’s one of the major social media outlets that comes to your mind last?  The first to come to mind are probably Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, other photo-sharing social media, and possibly even Twitter.  How many would put YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, or other audio/video social media near the top of your list? In general, I wouldn’t although that has changed slightly as of a few years ago. If you remember me talking about Simeon and the Cave YouTube video from 2014: 52 Ancestors Week 13 – In Search of the Reverend Swartz Family Genealogy Road Trip 24 March 2014 with a direct link to the YouTube video link:, then you have been following me for a while.

NOTE: Spoiler alert about Simeon and the Cave if you haven’t read the book linked below or watched the YouTube video above (three paragraphs below).

To make a long story short, I have bipolar depression (Type I, mixed episodes, rapid cycling), OCD, and Adult ADHD which means I bore easily and sometimes hyper-focus a bit much. I was bored back in 2014 shortly before posting the Reverend Swartz post (link above) and had just read about the book I linked to: I was on YouTube, looking around and decided to type in Simeon and the Cave on a lark. Imagine my surprise when I found the above video. I e-mailed Shari and she has a connection, through her husband if memory serves, to Reverend Swartz. She was also a teacher and her students’ artwork is shown in the video.

Reverend Swartz started digging a cave, we might call it a basement or a root cellar these days. When his neighbors asked him about it, he said that he was led by the Lord to do it.  From what’s mentioned in the book, he probably got the same kind of response Noah got when he started building the Ark. Regardless of your belief or non-belief i n the Lord, Reverend Swartz’s decision to build the cave saved his family’s life. It was a hard and cold winter, although I suspect most winters in Bushton, Rice County, Kansas tend to be less than ideal for my tastes. I lived in Bird City, Cheyenne County, Kansas which is more north and west than Bushton. My first winter in Bird City saw two -20 F days with wind chills of -50 F and -70 F.

At some point during the winter, the house of Reverend Swartz lost its roof, and the only thing that saved their lives was the cave. The video and the book I linked above both document the account.

I don’t put YouTube high on my list for genealogy research, but it’s a lot higher than it was before I found the above video.

To tie Reverend Swartz closer to my blog, I visited his and his wife’s graves just west of Enid, Oklahoma a few years ago. And my Wichita connection is Mary C. (Swartz) Jefferies that I referenced in Gulfport (Florida) Historical Society and Museum, was their oldest daughter. Her brother, Orvo, mentioned in his book that Mary‘s husband, George Jefferies, got a job with a local Wichita newspaper around 1913 – 1914.

Addit: I included Vimeo, Twitch, and other audio/video social media since they are often overlooked as well.

About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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