Archiver > LANCSGEN > 2007-12 > 1198110867

From: Claire K <>
Subject: Re: [LAN] Geneaolgy sites and boards
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 19:34:27 -0500
References: <> <13C01904E72D420DBC37AC68E8AE43F9@Christine><><000601c83f62$8d115f50$a7341df0$>
In-Reply-To: <000601c83f62$8d115f50$a7341df0$>

Now for something bordering on genealogy blasphemy...

I don't find surname lists / boards very helpful, unless you have a
very rare surname, so no longer use any of them. One I joined for
one of my rarer surnames turned out to be the list owner's forum for
ill-formed opinions on the derivation of surnames and placenames,
quite without substantiation. The few items I posted by recognized
authorities that refuted some of the listowner's wilder leaps of
logic were dismissed, and I got frustrated and left. Most of the
other surname boards / lists I've looked at are mostly questions,
with few answers, or people trying to connect, say, two Smith
families with little or no evidence to back it up. Or, as you
mention, people searching all over the world for the same surname,
which is not very helpful if your part of the family stayed in a
limited geographic area. Many people disagree with me, I'm sure, and
they've probably had very helpful interactions from surname lists.
No doubt we'll hear from them, but I'm speaking of my own experience.

Personally, I prefer geographically-specific boards / lists, where I
can ask about specific family surnames and have a greater chance of
finding someone who knows something about the right family. (I don't
have your prior posts in front of me, but I vaguely remember that you
do have a location for your surname). On a geographically-specific
list, I think you're much more likely to find targeted information
that will help, regardless of where the posters live.

If you really want to use the surname boards / lists, some are more
helpful than others, so you'll just have to check out the posts in
your surname of choice and see if it's a useful venue. And you may
have to learn to do very specific searches to weed out all those
pesky American locations for your surname of interest. Good luck!

Claire K
(in US)

On Dec 15, 2007, at 4:36 PM, Adele Earnshaw wrote:

> Sorry to have confused you, Diana.
> On joining a Rootsweb surname site, almost all of the traffic
> throughout
> the course of a day/week/month, etc relates to lives lived on
> American soil.
> The sheer frustration of trying to forge 'British'connections can
> be too
> much, at times.
> By definition, my forebears stayed on these islands and I would
> love to be
> able to find all about them and their families and lives without
> the need to
> wade through 50 states first.
> Regards,
> Adele

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