Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rootsweb Lists

Many family history resources are US or UK centric and not particularly relevant to those researching their ancestors in Australia.

Of the Rootsweb Mailing Lists hosted at Ancestry.com there are many that have an Australian focus. Listed today on the Rootsweb site are 211 Australian lists including 25 NSW Lists where one can connect with others with shared interests. The shared interest may relate to a name, a place, or ethnic, occupational or society group. One can join these groups and receive emails each time a member posts an item for discussion. Joining instructions can be found on each Rootsweb list site. The archives for each list can be searched from each list's home page - one does not need to subscribe to do this.

One may also subscribe to these lists via RSS and read the posts in a favourite feed reader such as Google Reader. This method only gives read access to the posts so one cannot contribute to the conversation. I use this method for the TMG list - a list for users of The Master Genealogist.

Over the years I have hooked up with distant cousins via a number of NSW lists: AUS-NSW-HILLS-HAWKESBURY-HUNTER-VALLEY; NSW-ORANGEBATHURST and AUS-NSW-PENRITH. These days the lists keep me informed of events and new resources. Having reviewed the lists available I am going to join a few more today.

Not often can I provide assistance to others but yesterday I was able to shed light on a problem for a lister on the Sydney DPS List who wanted to locate St. Peter's Church of England in Sydney. Being able to help a fellow genealogist gave me a real buzz.

I was one of the first hundred to join the new Social Networking site GenealogyWise and immediately set up a group for Australian Genealogists that now has 173 members. Whilst I am activley recruiting Aussies to join this group I still think that the Rootsweb lists provide a better option for Australian genealogists to pursue their specific interests. This may change as the GenealogyWise site and its users mature.

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