You and me
The name given to beginners when they start to have an interest in genealogy and join a mailing list.
a child in a strange new world ..
When you subscribe you will receive a welcoming letter from
the List Administrator (also know as List Owner).
It will tell you a bit about the list .. what to do and what
not to do.
It can be very helpful and you probably won't read it ....
Because it's a standard welcome message telling you how to post and how to unsubscribe
Because it's a friendly message telling you what you're not allowed to do
Because it tells you of FAQ, GRO, FHS, IGI, and you don't know what they all mean !
That's why I didn't read my first welcome message :-)
In most cases you won't read it because the genealogy bug has
you and you want to find your ancestors
Method 1 (Recommended)
If you are shy/smart you lurk a while in the background ..
(if you're not see Method 2)
(not recommended, but believe it or not, some people use it)
you notice that people always write surnames in CAPITAL LETTERS
Good idea . makes the names stand out !
you notice how the subject line is written to give an idea of the message
Searching SHAW in Huddersfield before 1700
Good idea . catches the eye of fellow researchers
you notice that people add their home town to their signature
Good idea . people won't tell you to go to a library in Sheffield if you live in Sydney
you notice that sometimes in the subject line there is a NONGEN
Means that someone is talking about things not strictly to do with genealogy
Good idea . if NONGEN doesn't interest me I can filter it out or delete it with a key-stroke.
You notice there are helpful people,
and people who chat about their cats and dogs, the next holiday, the latest grand-child.
I also would like to point out to people that it would be quite awful to go
into an office or club if you didn't greet
people as you went in, or ask after their ailing children or parents.
and maybe you also notice other people and wonder where the 'eck you are.
You take your courage in your hands to write your first email.
Subject line e.g. New member Researching FIRTH in Hull
You introduce yourself , write a short message ..
clearly state who you are interested in, when and where.
You sign with your name and your location
You say you are a beginner and would be thankful for any tips and links.
You write please and thank you 'cos that's only polite and you send it off.
You probably won't remember to do everything right but you're
doing your best and on the right track.
And don't forget ..
"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"
If you are lucky you will receive your first feed-back within a day or so.
If you are unlucky no one will answer :-(
not because they are ignoring you on purpose but because
1. Not everyone is interested in FIRTH in Hull
2. The others interested in FIRTH in Hull are on holiday
If you are very unlucky you will receive a mail from people using Method 2
Don't just sit around waiting .. start searching ..
the archives, the surname lists, World Connect, the web.
In the mean time your long lost cousin will be back from his holidays,
will read his backed up mail or search the archives and find YOU
1. Leave the subject line blank
2. Don't say who you are or where you live
3. Write a very confusing account of your GGG Grand-father's Uncle Bill
4. Ask for all 1891 census details for SMITH to be sent straight away
(Post this 3 minutes after someone has patiently explained that is an impossible request)
5. Don't mention the area/parish they lived in or when they lived there.
6. If you do use CAPITAL LETTERS then not for surnames.
7. Never say please or thank-you or
8. all of the above.
Wait 2 hours and then repeat the above request complaining that no-one has answered.
While waiting for help read the NONGEN mail then write a very insulting message
saying that the list is for genealogy and these people should leave it.
Write to the newbie looking for FIRTH in Hull and tell him ..
1. He's an idiot
2. Hull is ugly
3. This list is rubbish .. no one helps me and they won't help you
4. All members of the list hate FIRTHs in Hull
Wait another day then write another email complaining that other listers are privately
saying you are very rude and you are unsubscribing or be really rude and bad mannered and wait for
the list owner to throw you off.
You have finally found your vocation !!
Subscribe again with another name !! and start again.
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