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Anguline Research Archives.
An organisation dedicated to bring rare books on CD at an affordable price, to the local history researcher and to the family history researcher.

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Research using a Mailing List or Forum

 

1 : Do not be afraid to use mailing lists for your research, they may appear daunting but the majority of listers are there to help.

2 : Most UK counties are covered by a specific mailing list the subscribers to which will generally contain quite a few highly knowledgeable local experts, if you have questions for a specific locality the county list is preferable to a general UK list.

3 : All Rootsweb mailing lists have previous postings archived, a search of those archives may reveal the answer to your question , for more details go to http://lists.rootsweb.com/ and click on the county of your choice.

4 : It is generally recommended to lurk before posting a message, this means spend a few days simply reading the type of messages sent to the specific list to gauge the type of posting that gets the best response.

5 : Decide whether you wish to have each posting as a separate message (list mode) or a number of postings compiled together as a digest (digest mode)
Digests reduce the number of separate postings you would receive in a day as they are grouped together and sent periodically this may be an asset but this also delays such messages.

6 : Due to the way the internet works messages arrive in peoples mailboxes at different times, some arrive almost immediately some are delayed, this can lead to missunderstandings when messages cross before appearing in ones inbox, it is also possible to receive answers before the questions.

7 : To get the best response always try to provide informative subject lines, many people do not open every posting but scan the subject lines to reveal the interesting ones. The more revealing and relevant the subject line the more chance of an answer to your question.

8 : When asking for information give as much information as possible try to include a location, date and surname as these help to pinpoint the relevant ancestors. Remember many names are reused throughout the centuries and a question about for example William Smith could turn up hundreds of responses of many individuals hundreds of years apart or in the wrong location.

9 : Mailing lists use an automatic system to subscribe and unsubscribe listers, keep the welcome message as it contains the address to post any unsubscribe messages, this will be different than the normal address for posting a message to the list.

10 : Whenever possible check the original source.