Welcome back to this installment of the 22 Steps in Researching Your Family Tree!
In the digital age, genealogy research has become easier and more accessible than ever before. One of the most valuable resources for genealogists is RootsWeb, a free online community for family history research. RootsWeb offers a wide range of tools and resources to help you trace your family history, including mailing lists and message boards. In this article, we’ll explore how you can join a mailing list and search message boards through RootsWeb to connect with other genealogists and uncover new information about your ancestors.
Join a Mailing List
A mailing list is an email-based discussion group focused on a particular genealogy topic or region. By joining a mailing list, you can connect with other researchers who share your interests and exchange information and advice. RootsWeb hosts hundreds of mailing lists covering a wide range of genealogy topics, from specific family surnames to regional research. To join a mailing list on RootsWeb:
- Visit the RootsWeb website at www.rootsweb.com.
- Click on “Mailing Lists” in the top menu.
- Browse the list of available mailing lists or use the search function to find a list that matches your research interests.
- Click on the name of the mailing list to view its description and subscription information.
- Follow the instructions to subscribe to the list. This usually involves sending an email to a specific address with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.
The advantages of joining a mailing list on RootsWeb are:
- Connect with other researchers: Joining a mailing list on RootsWeb allows you to connect with other genealogy researchers who may have information or resources that can help you in your research.
- Share information: Mailing lists on RootsWeb provide a platform to share information about your family history research with others who are interested in the same topic.
- Access to expertise: Mailing lists often have experienced researchers who can provide guidance and advice on how to approach your research or where to look for specific records.
- Stay up-to-date: Mailing lists often include discussions on current events and updates related to genealogy research, such as new records becoming available or changes in research methodology.
- Find new leads: By participating in mailing lists, you may uncover new leads or connections in your family history research that you may not have found otherwise.
Once you’ve subscribed to a mailing list, you’ll begin receiving emails from other members of the group. These emails may include requests for information, research tips, and updates on genealogy events and resources.
Search Message Boards
In addition to mailing lists, RootsWeb also hosts message boards where researchers can post queries and connect with others who are researching the same family lines or regions. Message boards are a valuable resource for finding information about specific ancestors or families, as well as connecting with distant relatives who may have information to share.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Search Through RootsWeb Message Boards
- Go to the RootsWeb website at www.rootsweb.com.
- Click on “Message Boards” in the top menu.
- Browse the list of available message boards or use the search function to find a board that matches your research interests.
- Click on the name of the message board to view its content.
- Use the search function within the message board to search for specific surnames, locations, or other keywords related to your research. The search function can be found at the top right-hand side of the message board page.
- Enter your search terms in the search box and click on the “Search” button.
- Review the search results that appear on the page. The results will include all posts that match your search terms, along with the author and date of each post.
- Click on any post that interests you to view the full message and any replies that have been posted.
- If you find a post that may be helpful, you can reply to it or send a private message to the author to ask for more information.
- Keep searching and reviewing posts until you find the information you’re looking for.
Tips for Searching RootsWeb Message Boards:
- Try using different combinations of search terms to get more results.
- Don’t limit your search to just one message board; search multiple boards to increase your chances of finding information.
- If you don’t find any relevant posts, try posting your own query on the message board to see if anyone can help you. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about the person or topic you’re researching.
- Check the message board regularly for new posts and updates.
Here’s another story about Jane’s Search for Her Great-Grandfather
Jane has been researching her family history for several years and has hit a roadblock in her search for information about her great-grandfather. She knows that he immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s, but she’s been unable to find any records of his arrival or his life in the U.S. She decides to join a mailing list and search message boards on RootsWeb to see if she can connect with other researchers who may have information about her ancestor.
After browsing the available mailing lists, Jane finds one focused on Italian genealogy and decides to subscribe. She introduces herself to the group and asks if anyone has information about her great-grandfather. Several members of the group respond, sharing tips for searching Italian records and suggesting resources that may help Jane in her search. One member also recommends a specific message board on RootsWeb that focuses on Italian immigration to the United States.
Excited by this new lead, Jane navigates to the message board and searches for posts related to her great-grandfather’s name and immigration. She finds several posts from other researchers who are also searching for information about Italian immigrants from the same time period. Some of the posts contain valuable insights and tips that Jane had not previously considered.
Jane decides to post her own message to the message board, providing all the information she knows about her great-grandfather and asking if anyone has additional information or advice on where to look. Within a few days, she receives several responses from other researchers who have either found additional information on her great-grandfather or have suggestions on where to look next.
Through the mailing list and message board, Jane has not only found valuable information about her great-grandfather’s immigration, but she has also connected with other researchers who share her passion for genealogy. She has even formed a relationship with one researcher who lives in Italy and has offered to help her with research on the ground.
Joining a mailing list and searching message boards through RootsWeb can be an excellent way to connect with other researchers, share information, and find new leads in your family history research. Here are some popular mailing lists and message boards to consider:
- ROOTS-L: A mailing list that covers a wide range of genealogy topics and allows for discussion and sharing of information.
- ITALIAN-AMERICAN-RESEARCH: A mailing list specifically for those researching Italian-American ancestors.
- GERMANS-TO-AMERICA: A mailing list for those researching German immigrants to America.
- AFRIGENEAS: A message board and mailing list for those researching African American genealogy.
- JEWISHGEN: A message board and mailing list for those researching Jewish genealogy.
- ANCESTRY MESSAGE BOARDS: An online community of researchers where you can search for surnames, locations, and specific topics related to genealogy.
- GENEALOGY FORUMS: Another online community of researchers where you can ask questions, share information, and connect with others who share your research interests.
Joining a message board on RootsWeb has several advantages, including:
- Access to a large community of researchers: You’ll be able to connect with other genealogists who are researching the same surnames, locations, or topics as you are.
- Ability to share information: You can share information and ask for help from others who have more experience or knowledge in certain areas.
- Discover new research leads: By browsing through the message board, you may come across information that you didn’t know before, leading you to new research leads.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest genealogy news and events: Many message boards post announcements about upcoming genealogy conferences, webinars, and other events.
- Free access: Joining a message board on RootsWeb is completely free, making it an accessible resource for genealogists of all skill levels.
- Share information: Mailing lists and message boards are great places to share information about your ancestors and family history. You can share stories, photos, and documents with others who are interested in your research.
- Find new leads: By connecting with other researchers and sharing information, you may be able to find new leads in your research. Other researchers may have access to records or information that you don’t, and by working together, you may be able to make new discoveries about your ancestors.
- Access to specialized groups: RootsWeb offers a variety of specialized mailing lists and message boards for different research interests. Whether you’re researching Italian-American ancestors or German immigrants to America, there’s likely a mailing list or message board that caters to your interests.
- Online communities: Joining a mailing list or message board is a great way to become part of an online community of genealogists. You can learn from others, share your knowledge, and connect with others who are passionate about family history research.
- Free resources: Joining a mailing list or searching message boards through RootsWeb is completely free. You don’t have to pay anything to access these resources, making it an affordable way to connect with other researchers and find new leads in your research.
Overall, joining a mailing list or searching message boards through RootsWeb can be an excellent way to enhance your genealogy research. By connecting with others, sharing information, and finding new leads, you can make breakthroughs in your research and learn more about your family history.
RootsWeb has a variety of message boards covering a wide range of genealogy topics, including:
- Adoption: for those researching adoption and related topics
- Canada: for those researching Canadian genealogy
- England: for those researching English genealogy
- Ireland: for those researching Irish genealogy
- Military: for those researching military ancestors
- Scotland: for those researching Scottish genealogy
- Surnames: for those searching for specific surnames in their family history research
- United States: for those researching genealogy in the United States
- Wales: for those researching Welsh genealogy
These message boards allow for discussion, sharing of information, and connecting with other researchers who share your interests.
As of September 2021, RootsWeb had over 30,000 message boards on their website. However, the number may have changed since then.
Review – RootsWeb
RootsWeb is an online genealogy community that provides a platform for family history researchers to connect with one another, share information, and access valuable resources. This website is a great resource for individuals who are interested in tracing their family history and discovering more about their ancestors.
One of the best features of RootsWeb is the community feel. There are countless message boards and mailing lists that cater to different genealogy topics, geographic regions, and ethnicities. This means that regardless of your research interests, you are likely to find other individuals who share your passion and can offer support, guidance, and advice.
Another great feature of RootsWeb is the wealth of information available. The website provides access to a variety of databases, including census records, birth, marriage and death records, and military records, among others. This makes it much easier to access important genealogy data without having to search through various resources.
RootsWeb also offers an easy-to-use search function that allows you to quickly find information on specific surnames, locations, or research topics. Additionally, the website has a range of helpful tools, such as genealogy forums and newsletters, which can help you to stay up to date with the latest news and trends in the genealogy community.
Overall, I would highly recommend RootsWeb to anyone interested in genealogy research. Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced researcher, this website provides a wealth of resources, a supportive community, and a range of helpful tools to help you explore your family history.
In conclusion, joining a mailing list and searching message boards through RootsWeb can be an effective way to connect with other researchers, share information, and find new leads in your family history research. As Jane discovered, these online communities can provide valuable insights, tips, and even connections with other researchers that can help you make breakthroughs in your research. So, if you haven’t already, consider joining a mailing list or searching message boards on RootsWeb today and see what new discoveries you can make!
In closing this blog post, I hope that this blog series has been beneficial to you in learning more about genealogy and how to trace your family history. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback on the series or would like to suggest any improvements, please don’t hesitate to send me a message or email. I value your input and appreciate your support in helping me to create more helpful and informative content for aspiring genealogists. Thank you for following along on this journey, and I wish you the best of luck in your own genealogical research.
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