This page last updated on January 31, 2004
New Surname Approach! - An Important Note to Users
The old surnames page has changed -- for the better! Actually, the old page is gone and instead surnames will be posted to the Person County Message Board on RootsWeb. This will allow users to include details of the surnames they research and will put the powerful searching capability of the message board at our disposal. Below, on this page, you will find a short outline of this change and then at bottom of this page you will find detailed instructions. I welcome your feedback and questions. A link to my email address is at the bottom of this page.
Although the Person County Surname page provided a good way to connect with other researchers, the approach also had many problems. The worst of these has been the fact that many of the email addresses no longer work. A lesser problem has been the time demands place on me to make the updates.
If you are willing to share information with other researchers about the surnames in your lines, please post to the Person County message board.
Posts are made with the "message type" set to "Query" and the word "Surname" in the subject line. The word "Surname" in the subject line is important for searching as you will see below.
Searchers are made using the "Advanced Search" option and a "Message type" of "query." Setting the subject line to "SURNAME" restricts the search, and setting the "With Surname" to the surname of interest finishes the criteria.
A secondary benefit of the use of the Person Message Board will be that each of us will become better searchers! Obituaries are now being posted to the Person Message Board using the "With Message Type" of "Obituaries." Smart use of the "Advanced Search" function is the key to finding what you are seeking quickly and efficiently.
First a review of searching.
1 - On the Person Message Board web page select "Advanced Search." You will get a window that looks like the one below.
2 - Starting from top to bottom ... Click the "Person Board" option to avoid searching all of the message boards on RootsWeb!
3 - In the "With Subject Containing:" field, enter "SURNAME"
4 - In the "With Surname" field, enter the surname of interest to you.
5 - Use the "With Message Type:" drop-down to select "Query"
6 - Click the "Search" button.
The result will be a list of the posts in the Person Message Board that meet the criteria you have given. Once you get the idea of how to do a search, play with the parameters a bit.
Next, a review of how to post your surnames to the message board.
1 - Go to the Person Message Board web page. Below is a portion of what you will see:
2 - Following the "Post New Message" link will open a window that looks like the one below.
3 - Enter your name and email address. (You can optionally login and have RootsWeb automatically fill in these fields. Loging in has other advantages, so I suggest that you explore that option). A great advantage of the message boards is that the email addresses are displayed in graphics rather than text. This makes it impossible for the spammers to "mine" your email address from the pages.
4 - In the "Subject" field, enter the word "SURNAME:" (in caps) followed by the surname(s) you are researching. (See my commments in the Q&A below about posting just one surname per post vs. posting several in the same message.)
5 - In the "Message" field, enter some information about the surname line. The great advantage of this approach is that you can add here as much detail as you care to share about your line. Dates of birth, death, and marriage of a few key individuals in your surname line will allow other researchers to quickly determine if their line matches with yours.
6 - Optionally you may click the box in front of "Send me an email ..."
7 - Set the "Classification" pull-down to "Query"
8 - In the "Surnames" field, enter the Surname(s) for this post.
9 - Use the "Preview Message" button to check your post before actually posting it. The preview window will give you a chance to go back to editing or to post the message. (Should you discover an error after posting, send me an email or use the "Report Abuse" link when you view the posted message. I can delete the message and you can create it again.)
Please note that although your post will appear on the message board immediately, the indexing files which the search function uses are not updated immediately. It may take up to a week before searches find your post. This should not be a problem since your post will be recent and will show up at the top of the stack for users who use the "Listed by" option set to "Date."
Q: Should my SURNAME post include only one surname or all of the
surnames I research?
Q: Should I include my email address in the "message"
portion of my post?
Q: What if my email address changes?
Q: What if I try an email address and the message bounces?
Q: How much information should I post about the surnames I research?
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