Sunday, April 17, 2016

Field Notes: Do You Yahoo!?

A bit old school, perhaps, Yahoo Groups is a great place to talk genealogy. And often get answers you might not find elsewhere. Researching Illinois? There's a group for that. How about Irish or Dutch? There's a group for that. Twin Cities? You bet. There are county groups, surname groups, state groups, nationality groups. City groups, DNA groups, adoption and brick wall groups.

Are you a member of one, or several? If not you need to be! I first discovered Yahoo Groups about 9 years ago when I was just starting my research into my Faulkner line. I can't even tell you how I happened upon it. Serendipity, happenstance, genealogy fairies?

The HOW, I guess, is really not that important.

I had more questions than answers and my research was going nowhere fast. I knew there had to be answers out there. After my lackluster success with various genealogy message boards, I stumbled into the Yahoo group that eventually was paramount to my success in tearing down a very irritating brick wall.

The key members of this particular group (it was a county group) either lived in the county or did extensive research in the county. Some were members of the genealogical/historical society there, others had centuries of family history, being of the same stock as the county's founding families. I was able to request lookups in various books and other materials that might only have been available to me had I made the 800 mile trip myself.  Bonus, the surnames I was researching were familiar to them and I was able to learn more than I would have in other types of groups or message boards.

And, like all of us, the group members in all the groups I belong to really, genuinely enjoy the research and are more than willing to lend a hand.

I encourage you to investigate Yahoo Groups for yourself. You just might discover that missing piece you've been searching for! Or possibly you could have the answer to someone else's brick wall.

So as not to reinvent the wheel, here's a great wiki that will walk you through the process and get you up and running in a flash.

Do you Yahoo!?

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