Lincolnshire logo

Mailing List - Frequently Asked Questions - Tips

V Tips and Techniques
V.A How do I post a message?
V.B How do I reply to a message?
V.C Can I post anything I want?
V.D What does a good Query look like?
V.E Tips for using a List
V.D E-Mail Etiquette and Good Manners

V.A - How do I post a message?

You simply send your message to a list address. This is a different address than the one used to subscribe or unsubscribe. For our list the "posting" address, as it is called, is:

ENG-Lincsgen-L@rootsweb.com

Capitalization of this address doesn't matter, and you can use the same address regardless of the mode in which you subscribed. But you can only post from the same address you used to subscribe. If you have e-mail forwarded, or use multiple accounts, only the subscribed address will work. This is done to prevent spamming.

Post only one query or request per message. Keep it simple, but also tell us where you've searched so we don't waste effort duplicating your work.

Mike Short suggests that if someone answers your posting directly, i.e. not via the list, that you post another message to the list cancelling the request, to save others doing an unnecessary lookup (e.g "Cancelling MILLEN 1881 lookup request: info received").

Return to top of page
Return to FAQ

V.B - How do I reply to a message?

This is very "Software Dependent". Meaning your software and the settings you have for it may work differently from mine or the next guy's. Normally, just click on the Reply or Respond button in your e-mail software. This will copy the posting address into the TO: field and the subject line to your SUBJECT: line. Note: on some e-mail software, Digest mode users get the Digest number as their SUBJECT: line. If your software does this, please copy and paste the subject from the detail message so that other subscribers know what you are refering to. The Reply button normally replies to the List, but your software may work differently. Always check the TO: address before pressing SEND. If your comment should go to just the poster, you might need to copy and paste their address into the new message. Oh, and if you have a spellchecker, please use it!

Return to top of page
Return to FAQ

V.C - Can I post anything I want?

No. You may find yourself unsubscribed and banned from the list without notice if you violate the List Rules, (see below). In addition:

  1. Because we use Rootsweb as our host, providing the maillist services, you must compy with their Acceptable Use Policy.

  2. Stick to Lincolnshire history and genealogy (see Rules).

  3. Keep your posts short and on a single topic. There is a 15,000 character size limit (that's over four single-spaced pages of text) to messages.

  4. When you are replying to an earlier posting, quote only as much of the prior posting as needed to let people know to what you are responding.

  5. You may only quote a limited amount of material that is under copyright. Generally, this means you can post a single individual's historical event (marriage, baptism, etc.). But not an extract of all the SMITH entries in a marriage index. Violating copyright gets you AND the list in trouble.

  6. Some material which you may have may have a sales contract that forbids use other than for personal research. A good example is the National Burial Index, which the Federation of Family History Societies sells under the proviso that you don't post any portion of it to a mailing list.

If in doubt about what to post, contact the list administrator (listowner).

Return to top of page
Return to FAQ

V.D - What does a good Query look like?

Well, think before you post. In the Subject line, put the surname you seek in CAPS, followed by the year(s) you are searching and/or the place. Put the placename in normal case. For example: "MILKTOAST, 1740 in Stamford".

In the body of the message, tell us what you know about MILKTOAST and what you'd like to know. If you've already searched the Stamford parish registers, tell us that so that we know where you've looked and don't duplicate a wasted effort. A good query looks like (the entry is fabricated):

I'm looking for the birthplace of Robert MILKTOAST, born circa 1740 in Stamford, married circa 1766 to a woman unknown. Robert was wounded in the American Revolution, but settled in South Carolina after the war where he remarried in 1784. I find no MILKTOAST entries in the Stamford parish registers. Can anyone assist or provide ideas of where to search?

Don't assume that everyone on the list knows the places and events you write about, so avoid abbreviations, local references, etc. Remember, it's an international list.

Return to top of page
Return to FAQ

V.E - Tips for using a List

Before sending your first message to the list, please check your software to insure that you are using plain text. Messages written in HTML or MIME will be rejected automatically by the Rootsweb filters and returned to you.

SURNAME lists are okay. Use your common sense about what you post. PLEASE capitalize ALL surnames (not the whole message) as this makes it much easier for others to see your surnames when reading your message. Do not capitalize towns or cities as this may mislead people as to which names you are seeking.

SUBJECT LINES - When replying to a message please check the subject line to make sure that it is relevant to the topic in hand. It gets very frustrating when subject lines get repeated over and over from the original message and it has nothing to do with the present topic. Digest users MUST change the subject line to reflect the content of their messages. Our subscribers prefer to see a SURNAME, locality and date in the subject line if appropriate.

TRY to keep quoting to a minimum. "Quoting" is repeating text of the message you are replying to. Some quoting is necessary to remind other readers what the thread is about, but do try to use good judgement. Quoting the previous writer's signature block or surname list is totally unnecessary. To prune the text, drag your cursor over the words to be removed to select them, and overtype with to show you have removed a section.

ACKNOWLEDGE replies to your queries. This is a regular occurrence where someone will reply to your message but receive no acknowledgement that you have received it and not even a simple thank you for any information they have furnished.

REPLY to the list if your information may be of value to others on the list. REPLY to the poster directly if it would only be of interest to the individual you are replying too. In other words, post any replies to queries to the list to share with everyone. On the other hand, a simple "Thank you" is best kept off the list and sent directly to someone who helped you. The rationale for that is that saying Thanks should be personal and not use up the bandwidth of 1,000 other people.

POST your query frequently, perhaps every other month, if you have not yet found your ancestor. New people are joining the list all the time and they may have the info you need.

The list is for all kinds of users. Some will be novices, some experts. No one should feel threatened just for being new at this. Treat everyone with respect.

When you ask< "Where can I find ...", tell people where you are. There's no sense in my telling you to go to the Lincolnshire Archives if you are in New Zealand!

Use abbreviations sparingly. The list contains novices and people who've never been to Lincolnshire. Here's a list of common abbreviations:

Return to top of page

Return to FAQ

V.C - E-Mail Etiquette and Good Manners

Here are some ideas for being a "Good Citizen" on a mailing list:

Return to top of page
Return to FAQ

Last updated on 5-May-2003
Click here to send any questions and/or comments about this site to the Lincolnshire County Coordinator.

© 2002 EnglandGenWeb Project