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Mailing Lists, a.k.a. Email Discussion Groups

Being part of a mailing list is like having your own virtual research community. It's an easy way to network with other genealogists to share distant ancestors, get answers to questions, request lookups and swap research stories. Genealogy mailing lists are free, fun and are often one of the best online possibilities for filling in some of the blanks in your family tree. These same lists not only help you find information about your ancestors but many times can connect you with people who have research interests similar to yours.

Message Boards

A message board is a computerized version of the old-fashioned bulletin board. You'll find message boards related to surnames, localities, and other topics. By posting a message to the appropriate message board, you create a record through which other researchers can find you.

Magazines and Societies

Another option is to submit and look for queries in a genealogy magazine or newsletter. Everton's Genealogical Helper is one popular national outlet for this purpose. The magazines of some national organizations, such as National Genealogical Society, allow queries in some of their publications. You might also want to check for a historical or genealogical society magazine or newsletter that is published in the area where your ancestors lived — it will often be published by the genealogical society in that area. If someone is researching the same family line as you, it is possible that they subscribe to the newsletter and have already posted a query, or will see a query that you post.

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