September 21, 2017

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.

[intlink id=”1321″ type=”post”]Two Tips For Organizing Aquired Genealogical Records[/intlink]

[intlink id=”447″ type=”post”]How To Clean A Headstone – Advice From The Artist[/intlink]

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

iPentimento Genealogy Search Quick Tip

This shows a search in Ancestry, but try it too at any genealogical database like Family Search, Rootsweb or even FindAGrave.  Family Search might be a little difficult since they have a set way to do searches with surnames, but Rootsweb will look in any nook and cranny (including archives) for that combination of names.  At FindAGrave, many times the woman is listed with her maiden name along with her married name.

Don’t forget to leave a (genealogy related) comment today to be entered in our giveaway!!

[intlink id=”1834″ type=”post”]JMK Genealogy Gifts – iPentimento $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway [/intlink]

A Wish List for Genealogists

A Wish List for Genealogists

As a genealogist, what kind of things would you most like to have? Do you know someone who is just beginning to research their family tree and you’d like to give them a gift? Here are some ideas:

  • When I began doing genealogy, one of the first books I bought was The Handy Book for Genealogists. It lists all the states, and all the counties in the states, and when they were created. Did one census say that grandpa was born in Kentucky, but another said it was Virginia? Both answers could be correct if the county line moved instead of grandpa.
  • One of my favorite genealogical magazines is Family Tree Magazine because every issue is packed full of handy tips and thought-provoking stories and ideas. Every issue I have received has had at least one (usually many) idea that prompts me to jump on the computer to see what I can find. Check out these free forms that you can download from their site too.
  • Census takers are notorious for having poor penmanship. If you are going to be examining any printed paper census images, having a good lighted magnifying glass would bring into focus the scribbling handwriting you will need to see in order to determine if that name is “Martin” or “Mankin”.
  • You can’t expect to get much accomplished in genealogy if you aren’t organized. I don’t think there are too many genealogists who do not have notebooks and/or filing cabinets. Putting documents in page protectors is a good idea too. A gift of a couple notebooks, some index pages and a box of sheet protectors shouldn’t set you back too far monetarily, and I bet the recipient would be thrilled to have them. Make sure you get archival sheet/page protectors though!
  • How about a GPS for that intrepid researcher who likes to visit cemeteries and find old homesteads? Maybe you could throw in a prepaid gas card too! While you are at it, a nice gift card for an eating establishment would be very thoughtful also.

  • If you have a scanner, why not offer to scan some photos for that budding genealogist?
  • If you have been doing genealogy online for some time now, maybe you could make a list of your favorite free sites and send it to them in an email so all they have to do is click on the links. Send them to Rootsweb, UsGenWeb and Cyndi’s List, and they will be happy for at least a week!

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. Do you have any suggestions for gifts, or perhaps there are tools you use for research that you would recommend? We would like to hear from you!

*some (not all) links are referrals

Rootsweb Gets A New Address

I suppose it was inevitable that when The Generations Network bought Rootsweb there would be some changes. It was announced today that there will be an address change for Rootsweb, but not a change in availability or affordability. It will still be free, which is very good news. If you are new to Rootsweb, its intent was that it would be by the people, and for the people, and it touted itself as the only free place on the web to find genealogical information.

As you can see from the comments on the link I included here, most seem to feel that this is the beginning of the end of Rootsweb as a free entity. We can only wait and see, I guess, but sad to say, it may be that once again greed will win out.

What will be different is that the Web address for all RootsWeb pages will change from to

  • Don’t forget the other enormously helpful (and still free) site USGenWeb is still available for your family history research needs too.

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