3 Reasons to Post on a Message Board

If you have attended one of my classes about using social media or beginning genealogy, you know that I always recommend reading and posting in message boards. My favorite is boards.rootsweb.com which is also tied to boards.rootsweb.com. All of the boards are searchable, so only put your post on one board.


1. Organizing material helps you understand it

I have always my college and graduate students to send the questions that they had outside of the classroom in an e-mail. The act of reviewing the material and formulating a question makes your brain actively engage with the problem. This may cause you to have additional insights and ask new questions that lead to solutions.


2. People you don’t know may be able to help

There may be people out there who hold the answer to your questions, or know how to find them. Those cousins you have not met yet might have vital records, bibles, pictures of other memorabilia. Others who read the message boards understand the location, the records that are available and how to search for them.


3. Putting your request online is cousin bait

When a cousin you do not know yet searches for the names and places of your common ancestor, your post will be in the results. Message boards can be searched for keywords, and can also be located using Google searches.


An example:

Whether you enter through Ancestry.com or Rootsweb, the interface and the message board is the same.


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If you are already signed into Ancesty.com

Help -> Message Boards


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Remember to search the message boards for your family members. There may be a post waiting for you!

A search of the surname message boards yielded no good leads. The surname is common. I elected to make a post in the threads for a place rather than a surname. So I checked the message boards for the location I knew for one of the family’s events, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, England, Cheshire, and put my post in the General message board.


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I clicked on BEGIN NEW THREAD and entered my post.


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Things to include in your post:

  • Tell people what you are looking for
  • Keep your post brief and direct
  • Keep your post informative
  • Include family structure for potential matching
  • Include other key information

CAVEAT: Not all message posts are answered within hours. Make your post and be patient.

Good luck posting and let me know how you do!