*Somewhere in the body of that mailing list post, list the specific information you want looked up. I have seen people make posts asking for a lookup in the 1850 VA census, but they didn't mention the people they wanted to find. So I waste time writing back to find out the lookup details. If they had mentioned the details in their post I might have been able to give them the information within a couple of hours after their post.
*Do not type your message in all capital letters. It is hard to pick out the surnames and people will delete the message without reading it. Do be sure to type the surname in all capital letters. Do not type the first name in capital letters. David
*Don't be afraid to ask questions and offer information. For me, one of the best learning examples happened when I finally ask the list how to send a file. I got several sets of directions and I received several messages form others who did not know how to send files asking me to forward the instructions.
*If you join a list read all the messages, even those which at first do not seem to fit. I couldn't count the number of times I have gone back over old messages previously thought unmatched, only to find information that belongs.
*Buy a box of file folders, label a few with your primary surnames, then label the remainder alphabetically. File the millions of printed messages in these folders and occasionally go back over them. I also mark in red and place in the rear of the folder all those that I have finished. This prevents me from reviewing information already put into Family Tree maker files. Leslie
*Make a copy of your gedcom file to a floppy disk at least once a month. I guarantee you (we've all been there) that you will lose your research due to computer gremlins and the only thing that can save you is to have a copy saved on floppy. Another option to this is to periodically upload your gedcom to your web site.
*Buy separate binders for each family surname. It will help you get organized with the tons of email and documents you accumulate.
* When leaving the house to do research do not take your originals with you. Take a copy with you in case it gets lost. .
* When your leave to do research print out a family group sheet with the detailed notes and take that with you. On the family group sheet write down what you want to find out that day, and what information you already know that will help in that day's quest. Be sure to put your name, address, and telephone# in your research folder in case you misplace it.
*Do NOT leave the house to do research without having specific goals in mind. Going to "find out everything about TACKETT" will cause you to waste a lot of time and you won't accomplish much. It is far better to have a goal such as "Where was William L. TACKETT in 1840?" David