I love January—the time for reorganization and renewal.
For getting myself and my records reorganized, I always bow to the wisdom of Sharon Carmack and her must-read book, Organizing Your Family History Search. For renewal, I turn to the Internet and start posting new queries.
I think January is a good time to re-visit last year’s successes. After all, you’re certain to have discovered new clues or new connections—but have you taken the time to go back and post queries based on those new findings? I haven’t.
For example, thanks to Judy Richardson, an Internet cousin, I learned more about my Knox ancestors than I ever dreamed possible. However, I haven’t taken the time to post queries for John Knox, an ancestor who was a judge in early Virginia. Seems like I’m wasting an opportunity to learn more, doesn’t it?
For those of you who have never posted a query, you’re missing an excellent chance to network with other people who are climbing the same family tree you are. If you’ve never written a query, read this outstanding tutorial by Gary Lee Phillips. The tutorial has several samples of both well-written and poorly written queries.
If you’re ready for a New Year’s renewal too, these are some of my favorite places to post queries:
Post queries on the county pages relevant to your ancestor. From the USGenWeb home page, go to the state project, and then click on the state, then the county. This is my favorite place to leave queries, because you can connect with other people who are searching the same county records—and may have a link to your family.
Post either by location or surname.
Post by locale, surname or general topic.
Post here and get an instant e-mail when someone else posts a query that meets your pre-defined parameters.
• Surname Mailing Lists
Join these free mailing lists, and post queries to other people who are researching your surname