How helpful are message boards in genealogy research?

United States
May 30, 2009 12:41pm CST
When I can, I have been doing my genealogy research, off and on for the last 4 years. Like many, I can not afford the yearly memberships to many of the key genealogy database websites, so I rely heavily on free sources and the help of kind strangers on message boards. The bulk of my findings have been from those kind strangers on message boards. Without them, I would be virtually at a standstill. One of the best message boards, and one I just found recently, is They are based in England and focus mostly on the UK, Ireland, and Australia. However, they will definitely help out where other countries are concerned. These people have been a god-send when it comes to helping out. Many have been doing their family trees for many many years and have fine-tuned the research process. Not only do they help you find the information you seek, but also tell you HOW they found it so that you can continue to do research on your own - which is the most rewarding part - finding the information on your own and saying you did solved the puzzle! *grins* Naturally, I still need to send off for the various birth, marriage, and death certificates to make the validation process as complete as possible. Those certificates, and any other documentations you find (wills, census records, draft notices, etc), make your ancestors "come alive" ... makes your family tree more rich in history. And it also gives you something of value to hand down to future generations, related or not. Describe your experiences with genealogy message boards and forums.
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