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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

How to get a response from queries

Thanx so very much WriteAway foryour "on time" post on how it write a genealogy query. It connects to the article today by George Morgan in Ancestry Today.

Take a peek

Along Those Lines...
Message Board Postings That Never Get Answered

by George G. Morgan

I don't know about you, but for me, message boards and mailing lists are an integral part of my genealogical research. I make contact with all sorts of people who are actively pursuing their family history. They share information in their postings, post queries for more information, and are often willing to collaborate with you for the purpose of extending their research. Best of all, these are free resources!

Perhaps the best message boards on the Internet are at and can be accessed from the tab labeled Message Boards at the top of the main screen. Another good source are the GenForum message boards ( at

It is unfortunate that so many posted messages are never answered. In "Along Those Lines . . ." this week, let's discuss the ins and outs of creating really good message postings that will pique the interest of other researchers and more effectively draw responses.

Create an Informative Subject Line
Whenever I get an e-mail that contains a meaningless subject line, such as "Help," I immediately delete it, along with all the e-mails with no subject line. They are certainly less than intriguing. They convey no information whatsoever about the contents of the e-mail. Subject lines on message board postings produce the same effect for me. I feel sad that the poster will probably never get a response to their posting.

The subject line of your posting should cause someone to be interested. It should convey enough information that the reader can think, "Wow! That may be one of the people in my line!" There are message boards for surnames, geographies, and topic areas, so your posting might vary a bit. However, a really good subject line contains several pieces of pertinent information:

* the name of the primary person for whom you are seeking information;

* a year (or year range) for the information you are seeking, and

* information about the location(s) where they may have been or to which they may have migrated.

Check the Ancestry Library for the full details of the article...

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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