All messages that were sent to our mail list so far this year can be
easily searched. You can find any Surname or Word or Phrase (it could
be a first and last name) that was contained in either the subject line
or in the text of the message. Messages from past years are also
available for reviewing in this same manner.
In fact you can do the same thing for any list serviced by RootsWeb, any
place in this country or in the world. You just need to know the exact
name of the list. It is very easy to do. Here's how.
1) Go to: http://searches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/listsearch.pl
You get: RootsWeb Mailing Lists -- Interactive Search
2) Type in the name of the list, such as NYCOLUMB, or NYRENSSE, or
DUTCH-COLONIES, or DENMARK, or the exact name of any other mailing list
serviced by RootsWeb (the "-L" is not necessary). For NY State, the
pattern I use is to put NY before the first six letters of the county
name. For a foreign country, use the entire name. No spaces are
allowed in the name. South Africa would have to be South-Africa. You
can access 33 countries in Europe.
3) Click on Submit Query
You get "Search the Archive of Messages for (list name appears here)
It contains a Query box.
4) Type in the surname (or word or phrase) that you want.
5) Select the year that you want searched. (It is here that you learn
what years are available for searching)
6) Click on Search.
You will get a list of every message that contains the information that
you submitted. If you then click on Full, you will be able to read the
entire message including heading.
For a surname, don't forget to try each separate spelling variation that
you think might have appeared in the messages.
Having access to mail list Archives is a VERY important genealogical
tool to have at your disposal. At this point, you are only limited by
your lack of knowledge of the names of all of the RootsWeb mail lists
available. So here is how you find those names.
Assuming that you want to know what mail lists exist for a particular
state, go to:
Cursor down a few lines to Regional Lists. Find North America (or any
other part of the world that is listed). Click on United States. Select
the State from the column at the left. A list appears containing all
RootsWeb mail lists in that state. Write down its exact name and do the
archive query mentioned above.
A FINAL NOTE. Since every message we send to our list is archived:
1) We should be cautious about saying anything that we would not want
to be preserved.
2) We should strive for accuracy in our details and instructions
because they may have an impact for years.
3) Private notes that don't have any lasting genealogical value should
be discouraged because of the amount of space they require for RootsWeb
to store them for our future use. When making a reply to one person's
question, ask yourself if several people on the list might benefit from
your answer. If not, then write to that person privately. Some mail
lists address replies to the entire list. It is not difficult to erase
the RootsWeb address and put in the person's private address.
Cliff Lamere Albany, NY