Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Still Learning? see my Irish Genealogy Tips

Irish Genealogy Tips
These tips just point you in the direction of some good resources. In your case some may be helpful and some not so helpful.

1. Maybe someone has already done a good bit of work on your family but you don’t know it. Perhaps a third or fourth cousin you don’t know. Or there might be some people searching the same surname who are not closely related but may have some advice. One way to check that out is my  Irish surnames page

2. There are also mailing lists where you get emails on a topic which could be a surname or interest such as Irish genealogy or even as local as Co Limerick genealogy. Maillists work by sending a copy of each message to posted to all subscribers. Some lists are very small and some are large.
Generally on lists, it is good practice to subscribe and then just read messages for a week or 2 before you post. Get a feel for the list. And read the welcome message you get when subscibing. List owners often describe the type things that are allowed and not allowed on their lists. Mail lists are a very powerful way to get your message in front of many people who may be able to help. Make a good first impression. Learn the types of things that are unacceptable on the list, how people ask questions, etc.
Many lists are hosted by Rootsweb. You may want to check out the Rootsweb Maillists. There are 2 search boxes and you can search the archives for a name or term of interest. Or search for a maillist (Find a mailing list) by keyword. The keyword Ireland pulls up about 200 mailing lists out of the 30,000 or so lists at Rootsweb.

3. There are also many websites with good information.  See the web version of this for a list

4. This relates to all above. Let others know the names you are searching and the questions you have. Maybe you’ll find someone or someone will find you and they may know more (or less). The real power of the internet is not the records you’ll find online. There are some but not that many. It is the person-to-person sharing that goes on. It may be on very general matters or very specific but it only happens when people know about each other. Participate in a maillist list if you want. Also leave queries and register your surname interested when you can. You might want to explore Rootsweb. They have a very large web site with all sorts of resources. They are the online home of many genealogical societies (including the IGSI) and host many mail lists. And among many things you will find the the world’s largest surname interest list.

5. There is an amazing amount of information on the internet, most of it free. Just look at my search page for more information on searching options.

Most all of it’s a hobby (although it borders on obsession in many cases) so enjoy it.