The meeting room of the Manatee County Public Library was filled to capacity this morning for Drew Smith’s presentation on Effective Online Queries. Drew Smith of The Genealogy Guy’s Podcast shared hints on using mailing lists, message boards, and groups/communities.
Utilizing message boards is old news to many genealogists, but I wonder how many of those in that room utilized this way of crowd sourcing in the past, but not recently. I’m guilty. I also know there were a number of people there that had never used message boards. Even us seasoned genealogists came away with many helpful hints.
When posting queries Mr. Smith said make sure your query is relevant to the particular message board. Craft your query carefully. It should contain enough information but not rambling. The subject line should be concise – who, where and when should be stated. Surname should be in caps. Share in your query what you know and where you have already looked. You don’t want to waste your time or that of someone trying to assist you. Ask a specific question. If you posted a query long ago and changed your email address, go back to that query with a reply and put in your new email address.
Do not include your family surnames in your signature as this will confuse and interfere those researching the message boards.