I am sending this to all the lists I originally sent to as have had so many
queries as to what would be the correct way. I never started these ROLL
CALLS, but have gained things from them. Thought the following might be more
explanatory. My way serves the same purpose as a ROLL CALL, but I think fits
in with the purpose of the mail lists which do not allow ROLL CALL.
I sure didn't envision all these questions I have been receiving from new
members wondering what is correct. I am not an expert, but am giving hints
to help all of us. You can still participate in a ROLL CALL. The idea was
for the members to get the names they are researching out on the Internet
again and they called it a ROLL CALL.
I think you should put the surname of the person you are researching in the
subject line with perhaps even an approximate date. Example BROWN early
1800s. Then in the letter you could be more specific if you choose. I would
also send an e-mail for each name. This way each name you are searching gets
undivided attention. I don't think that a ROLL CALL with just a list of
names serves much purpose as we never know what years are involved or
anything else. The ones I benefited from were the ones who had a list of
surnames in the subject line and then a few more details in the body of the
message. Roil Call tells us nothing and when you are rushed or as busy as
many of us are, we tend to delete and never look and you are cheating
yourselves as well as others because the answer might be there, but no one
opens it to find out. There is room to do 2 or 4 names in the subject line.
Perhaps Brown, Jones, Smith 1800s. This tells everyone a lot.
As has been pointed out to me, this is also a problem for the Archives. Can
you imagine going into the Archives and checking to see if in the past
several years someone was searching your name so you can contact them, and
there you find 1000 queries titled ROLL CALL.? Would you open those or skip
them? Just think you might miss that connection you have been searching for
Hope this clarifies my thoughts and does serve everyone's purpose.