|The following are instructions and advice on how to post a query.
These instructions and advice will increase your chances of receiving a
positive response from other genealogists and the internet public.
First of all please take notice of the entry boxes for posting a query. There are seven entry boxes.
In the NAME box you should at the minimum identify your first and last name. There are several good reasons for doing so. The most important reason is that it correctly identifies you to others. Good genealogy research takes years to complete, your message will soon be buried among thousands of other messages, helping others quickly connect your past messages with you is an aid to both your research and that of others.
2) E-MAIL ADDRESS
Your message posting will not be accepted without a valid e-mail address in the E-Mail box. It is suggested that all researchers obtain an e-mail address to use exclusively for genealogy research purposes. There are free e-mail addresses provided by several internet entities, a good one is YAHOO.COM
3) SUBJECT HEADING
The SUBJECT HEADING box is where you state the subject matter of your message or query. The purpose of the subject heading field is to assist readers focus on a particular query when they scroll down the pages or run a search. The subject entry should be brief and to the point. It should at the minimum include the paternal and maternal surname of the individual who is the subject of your query and the specific town which he/she is from [Example #1].
Limit yourself to listing no more than two towns per subject line.
If you want to list a second town, do so as follow [Example
When the specific town in question is unknown, then the subject entry should read as follow [Example #3]
Avoid making entries in the SUBEJCT HEADING box such as indicated below [Example #4] and do not enter the first and/or middle name of the individual.
The fourth box to fill in when posting a message or query is the MESSAGE box. This is the where you indicate what information you are seeking AND what information you already know reference the individual or family in question. It is here where most people submitting a query make their mistakes. The best way to illustrate a good query is to show some bad ones and indicate their flaws.
The first thing wrong with Query #1 is that it is written entirely in CAPITALIZE letters. A query such as this is unacceptable for this reason alone. Query #1 is comically referred to as the "hail Mary" query. The submitter is requesting information but is not offering any in return. The submitter fails to indicate where his family Rivera is from or what particular time period he is requesting information for. This would infer to anyone reading the query that the individual submitting Query #1 has done little or no research reference his family line, and thus would be of little help to anyone doing research on the same family line.
Query #2 is better than Query #1. It makes proper use of capitalization and the towns in question are indicated. Query #2 however suffers from information overload. Too many surnames listed in one query. Query #2 does not indicate the time periods for the particular surnames nor does it indicate the family relationship of the surnames with each other. Outside of listing the surnames and towns, the person submitting this query offers little information. The same inference listed for Query #1 can be stated for Query #2.
Query #3 is a query where the person submitting same should have been clearer on what specific information he was requesting and what specific information was already known on the individual in question. Important details are not indicated, e.g. the possible life span time period of the individual, the names of the other three children, the spouse, why it was believed he was born in Camuy or moved to Humacao. The time period in which Maria lived and where her death may have occurred.
Query #4 is an example of a well written query. There is no question the query concerns Buenaventura Nieves Gonzalez. A specific time period and town is specified for Buenaventura as well as a spouse and offspring. The reader is advised that there is additional family line information and that the source of this information will be provided upon request.
A good idea is to first type your message in a word processor, check it for spelling and grammar and then cut and paste it onto the message box. This will help minimize embarrassing typos.
5) CHECK BOX
The fifth box to pay attention to when posting a message or query is the check box. This box is used to indicate whether or not you wish to receive an automatic e-mail when your message receives a response from the general public. Check this block when you do, uncheck it when you DO NOT wish to receive an automatic response.
After checking or unchecking the CHECK BOX field you are requested to classify your message picking one of categories offered on the drop down list. Indicating the CLASSIFICATION closest to the subject matter of your posted message or query is VERY IMPORTANT, and will ultimately determine the degree of success or failure your message has in being viewed by the public. This is so because during searches specific messages can be excluded or included base upon their classification. Failing to properly classify a message or query may mean your message may not be read at all by a fellow researcher holding important genealogy specific to your research.
In the SURNAME BOX you should indicate the specific surnames mentioned in the body of your message. DO NOT include surnames which are not mentioned in the body of your message. To do so, is to help create a long and tiring list of messages where the surname indicated has nothing to do with the posted message itself. This helps no one and if anything will cause serious researchers to ignore all your messages altogether.