Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't Stop Believin' in Message Boards!

I must confess to being a huge fan of the band Journey. In fact all my children have their songs on various music devices because their momma indoctrinated them from infancy. Even my heavy metal son can be caught singing their tunes on occasion.

This morning when I opened my email "Don't Stop Believin' instantly sprang to mind. In fact, while writing this post I'm humming away with each typed word.

Why that song?

The email concerned a query on RootsWeb I completely forgot about posted back in 2009. That is when this genealogy adventure started. I went a wee bit crazy on the boards and left messages about every family line in the hopes of connecting.

One feature of the boards is to receive emails when someone leaves a response. Periodically there would be a nibble resulting in a few additional pieces of the puzzle. Nothing ever as amazing as the information received today from that long ago planted seed!

This message has me singing and dancing this fine morning.

"Henry and Nancy (husband's 3rd great grandparents) had 7 children, all born in caroline co. md. Mary Ann Conley (husband's 2nd great grandmother) (b) 8/28/1932 (d) 9/12/1970. she (m) David Montague (husband's 2nd great grandfather) (b) 1815 (d) 1858 the (m) 10/5/1852. David was also married 2 times before, 1st to Mary Pippin d/0 Dauris Pippin, 2nd to Henretta Williams who died in child birth. Mary Ann and David 3 children Margaret M., Rachel M., (husband's great grandmother) and David Frank. Samuel Conley (b) 12/24/1834 (d) 6/24/1862. He married Ann Levinia Hinsley on 9/3/1853. Samuel was hit by lighting while standing at the screen door, the had three children Marian, Walter A. and William Henry. William Henry had a finger cut off and two others mashed while working of the railroad. Henry and Nancy to Charles Henry to Samuel Pippin, to Samuel E. to my mother. Samuel Pippin Conley Wife Agusta lived to be 98 and her mind was sharp as a tack. David and Mary Ann Montague's (husband's 2nd great grandparents) daughter Rachel (b) 3/1856 married Nathan H. Hindsley (husband great grandparent's) ;(b) 10/4/1858 (d) 4/14/1895. They had on child Mary A. Hindsley (husband's grandmother)."

From this one message I have verified dates, discovered family members and have several interesting stories! Best of all the poster left her email and wants to collaborate.

Also, I hope this new connection can help with the photograph in this post. We know one of the woman is my husband's great grandmother, Rachel Montague Hindsley. The other may be one of her sisters. Maybe this new friend can help identify them?!

Moral of the story? Don't stop believing in message boards. Someday you may connect with a person holding the keys to your family history.

16 comments:

  1. As much as I love social media I still believe in message boards.

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    1. Jill,

      Love the social media just as much as you do! Sort of addictive. Sometimes we have to be reminded to get back to the basics more often.

      Delete
  2. Good tip! I think most of my collaboration & learning verifiable info has come from message boards & my genea-blog!

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    1. Wendy,

      Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear you are also using the message boards. Great way to connect and share. Would love to hear about your experiences.

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  3. I admit that I've strayed from message boards. You're making me want to revisit them. Today. :)

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    1. Stephanie,

      Yup, you need to get yourself on the boards right away!

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  4. Wow, this was quite a wonderful result. Congrats! I've had great luck with message boards also. Even locality message boards--when I can't find an obit or a death cert, I post on the locality board and often someone from the area will either explain that my ancestor died during the two years when certs weren't filed with the state (true) or will be kind enough to volunteer to look up my ancestor. So I'm a believer!

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    1. Marian,

      Thanks for the congrats! Still walking on air. Hadn't thought about using the locality message boards for obits. Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  5. Congratulations! I agree: Keep posting on message boards - if it's a busy one, I re-post the message every 6 months or so, so it keeps near the top. So far I've found a number of 3rd cousins, a few 2nd cousins, and in particular 2 first cousins 'lost' due to a post-war divorce. All resulting in a copy of a book, photographs, stories and more. Heartwarming when you get such good results!!

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    1. Celia,

      Thanks for the congrats! Great advice to re-post periodically. Must put that on my list. Great story about your connection! Have you written about the experience? Would love to hear all the details.

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  6. I haven't posted much to message boards - where do you recommend posting?

    Congratulations on your new discoveries!

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    1. Debi,

      Thanks for stopping by to read the post and offer your congrats!

      As for what I recommmend - a bit ago I wrote a post just about this subject.

      http://deb-adventuresingenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/07/heard-it-from-message-boards.html

      Here I added several sites about using message boards along with some of the more popular boards.

      Good luck and keep me posted on how things go with you on the boards!

      Delete
  7. I also love message boards. Like you I posted A LOT of messages several years ago on both Ancestry.com and Genealogy.com and every once and a while I get a hit. So happy that you hit the jackpot today!

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    1. Heather,

      Thank you for your comments! Indeed I feel like I hit the jackpot. Just goes to prove always stay connected and get your information in every possible place.

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  8. Deb, ever since I saw the title of your post in my reader this morning, I've been singing and dancing with you! Don't you just love it when stuff like that happens?!

    I see those posts in genealogy forums as a type of investment--I made it a long time ago, but it keeps on paying dividends over the years. That's because all posts in the forums are searchable, so even if my entry isn't listed at the top of page, people who are looking for what I've written will still find me, thanks to the site's search capabilities (or, in some cases, generic search engines like Google).

    Now that I've started posting info about specific blog posts--where applicable--on the forums, I can track by my analytics when people have found my blog post (covering the topic in more detail) from my entry in a forum on the same subject. Sometimes, there is a lot of time in between the forum post and a reader finding it in the blog--but it does happen.

    The beauty of it is that our search terms and queries remain on those forums as long as the company continues hosting the venue. It provides such a serendipitous way to connect. And you're right--in this age of bright, shiny social media, we ought not forget the old standbys.

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  9. Great post. I have had many of the same feelings recently infact, this was exactly my point of my post called "Treasured Find" on my blog Southern Sleuth back in August. Some of my most priceless finds have come through individuals that I found via lists and forums but I have realized that I used those more early on in my research days and that sadly I have used them less as I have gained experience and skills as a researcher. I really need to return to them not only to find connections and those that can help me, but in order to share what I now have. Thank goodness like you said, people can continue to contact us many years down the road. (which is exactly why I have hesitated to change my ISP and therefore my email for years)

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