Prior to the advent of the Internet, family historians posted queries in newspapers, genealogical society newsletters, and other printed publications in an effort to connect with fellow researchers and distant relatives. Queries posted in highly regarded publications such as The Boston Transcript newspaper and Everton’s Genealogical Helper were widely read by casual and scholarly genealogists alike.
When we genealogists first went online, we tried to replicate what we had done previously in print. Message boards and mailing lists were, therefore, among the earliest uses of the Internet for genealogy, as we quickly realized the much wider audience that could be reached online. If you were online in the early days of the Internet, did you then have the same e-mail address as you do now? Were your user names the same then as today? Mine certainly weren’t. Without a means of linking your earliest e-mail addresses to your current online presence, how would someone interested in the subject of that very old query or post find you today?
My own online genealogical queries date back to 1997, and I continue to use genealogy message boards to develop new leads. Over the years, I’ve made valuable contacts with genealogists of all stripes, and have connected with family I never knew I had. The original idea for Ancestor Roundup was to create an archive of my old posts (regardless of persona) from several sites under one umbrella, and to use those queries as a jumping off point to share further information garnered in the intervening years.
You’ll soon begin finding this information under a separate section of this site. Do check back often as I add to the archive.