December 1, 2015

Kiva Lending Team – Genealogists for Families

In Memory of Joan Miller

I’ve known about Kiva for years, but until earlier this month I hadn’t ever made a loan through them. What prompted me though was the death of one of the genealogy community’s treasured friends, Joan Miller. Joan was the author of her own genealogy blog and passed away on January 4th after a year-long battle with cancer. Her friend Judy Webster in Australia has written a wonderful tribute to Joan on her blog Genealogy Leftovers.

Genealogists For Families – Kiva Lending Team

Genealogists are a world-wide community, but very tight-knit and caring. Even though I was a late-comer to the Kiva Lending Team – Genealogists for Families, I can tell you this group has done some really wonderful things for people around the world through their loans.  Whether you are a genealogist or not, it would be so wonderful if you made your loan through the Genealogists for Families lending team link above. Doing so makes more loans available for more people.


Carol Wilkerson’s Kiva profile Page


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How To Use Genealogy Criteria To Improve Your General Communication Skills


Make Yourself Understood

When I first began doing genealogical research I was participating in online message boards and mailing lists. One of the things that really became apparent to me early on was that I needed to be specific to make myself understood for the best communication results.

For instance, if I was in a chat room it was imperative to say for whom I was looking, where they had lived and what time frame. Subject lines needed to include surname, location, and possible years, etc.: “YATES, Roane, TN 1840-1918” is one example. On message boards and mailing lists, it was much the same, but I could also include more in-depth information such as collateral names, etc.

Who, Why, What, When and Where

I’ve noticed in this era of shortened messages via Twitter or texting, many people don’t make themselves specific enough when speaking verbally to one another. I know they are trying to be expeditious and get their thoughts out while they have them fresh in their minds, but really, you are short changing yourself and your listener to leave out some facts. The “who, why, what, when, where” of old should always apply.

So, if you are speaking to someone, even if it not about genealogy, make sure you include whom you are speaking of, the location you are citing, and give some sort of time frame at the very least. Example: “When I was in Howell County, Missouri in 1972 I didn’t get to see any of my Yates, Pentecost or Smith cousins because we were just passing through West Plains and I was just picking up a postcard for my grandpa Will Yates who was then living in Washington State, but was born in the Brandsville area.”

Many times, my conversations with family and friends just leave me more confused as they jump from one person to another. It might be their style of conversation, but my advice is, Slow Down and think about what the other person might be hearing. If you get to the end of your story and people look puzzled, or need to ask for clarification, you need to spend extra time thinking about how you present your thoughts.

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Genealogy: Why You Still Need To Use Message Boards And Mailing Lists


Rootsweb Message Boards and Mailing Lists

When genealogical research was still in its online infancy many people were using mailing lists and message boards on Rootsweb to make connections and find new cousins. Guess what?!  You still can!


About Message Boards

Message boards can be found in major categories, with in-numerous sub-categories.  Rather than me listing them individually, please visit the Rootsweb Message Board page to choose your areas of interest.  (Locations, topics, surnames, etc.)


About Mailing Lists

Rootsweb Mailing Lists can be a little more diverse in topics, but equally as helpful in your research.  There are over thirty-nine thousand mailing lists to choose from in categories similar to message boards.  They include Surnames, USA, International, and “Other”.


Additional Mailing List Suggestions
  • Don’t overlook the Rootsweb Archives search engine.  All the posts to those mailing lists are archived and waiting to be discovered.
  • When you join a mailing list, you have the choice of doing so as a Digest of the posts that come in your email less frequently (i.e, per week); or the full Daily postings to the list.  If one doesn’t work for you, then maybe the other will be more suitable.
  • When you post your query to a mailing list or message board be sure to include as much descriptive information as you can. For instance: YATES, William Gale b. 1920 MO – d. 1996 Olympia, WA.  The surname in caps designates that it’s the surname of the person. The b. means ‘birth’ and d. means ‘death’.  If I was looking for marriage information I would have also added m. 1944 Seattle.  Do NOT waste your time putting in a query with titles like “Looking for Family” or “Smiths in Tennessee”. Be SPECIFIC.

Two Tips For Organizing Aquired Genealogical Records

How To Clean A Headstone – Advice From The Artist

Have you tried using Mocavo the newest genealogy search engine? Just out this month and it’s a gem!