November 28, 2014

Genealogy Inquiries That Get Results

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Get The Most From Your Posts

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing genealogical research it’s to be specific and precise.  Early on in my online genealogical pursuits I was a member of mailing lists and message boards.  At first, I just “lurked” on the list and boards to see what other people were saying and looking for, and I quickly found out that the best way to get quality replies was to use a certain format for my subject line.

As you can imagine, some people with little patience would get a bit angry with individuals who would post something like ” Need help with my genealogy“, or even the overused, “Genealogy inquiry“. That’s not the way to ask for and get help, believe me.

 

Name, Date, Location, Migration

  • A better example would be (without quotes) ” John Q Public b. 1850 Cumberland, KY”. That would be the bare minimum if indeed you have that information.

The whole idea is to save yourself and your mailing list time and confusion.

  • Now, there are other abbreviations that you should get familiar with such as the b. being for born, d. for died, m. for married, d/o for either “ditto” or “daughter of”. etc.
  • If you would like to show the migration pattern for a family surname then you might use carats like this: Smith: VA> KY> TN> MO. If you have the dates you can also include ballpark or specific years.

KISS it!

I can’t emphasize enough the KISS (keep it short and simple) method for the body of your inquiry.  No one wants to (or has time to), read your whole family tree, so keep to the subject at hand.  Give enough information to show your ancestry or descendancy, but not ten generations worth unless someone has specifically asked for it.

As my Mom would say, “Don’t keep us in suspenders“, give us the details!

Yates and Edgemon family members per the inscription on reverse. Taken in Roane County, TN, probably near Erie or Ten Mile. Photo belongs to Carol Yates Wilkerson – do not download without permission.

 

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