We all need help sometimes when tracing our ancestry. There are genealogy forums and genealogy message boards where beginners and experts come together.
Check out these top 8 resources that are available to you. Here you can get the help that you are after and progress with your family history research.
What are these forums and message boards?
There will come a time when you will need help to trace your family history.
We will inevitably hit a brick wall. Or maybe we are not quite sure how to search a site, or how to use a software program.
Who or where do you turn to?
Whether you call them genealogy forums or genealogy message boards they are essentially the same as they are there to help you.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or you have been tracing your ancestry for years. Anyone can use these forums or boards for help.
Discussed in this post:
The forums and message boards that I discuss here are not ranked in any special order. They are simply listed in alphabetical order.
1. Ancestry.com and Ancestry.co.uk
Ancestry has the world’s largest community of genealogists and family historians. There are currently over 25 million different posts spread over 198,000 boards.
3 Ways to Search the Boards:
- Find content in the boards – Enter a name or a keyword and then click the ‘Search‘ button.
- Find a board about a topic – Here you can enter a surname or topic and then click the ‘Go‘ button. Alternatively, you can search by surname by the handy A to Z list underneath.
- Search by category – You can find to look for by either locality or by topic category. Each of these categories is then divided into more subcategories.
You can ask any question that you may have about your British ancestors.
If you have any brick walls in your research, queries about DNA research, or talk about illegitimacy, immigration, or just about anything then you can ask within these forums.
Split Into 4 Sub-Forums:
- Family History – Get help with many topics, including your census queries, brick walls, or advertise that you have any unwanted certificates or wills that you want to sell.
- Topics – Covers many areas including adoption, religious records, emigration, schools, wills, etc.
- Occupations – Has sections for certain occupations including miners, military, laborers, miners, and more. There is even a general section if your ancestor’s occupation is not listed.
- History Topics – There are sections within this part of the forum that covers different periods in British history. Dating from the Medieval Period – 500-1500 right up to Post World War II.
Another British genealogy forum where beginners and amateurs can come together for support.
- Genealogy Help – Ask any question that you may have, whether it is about surnames, occupations, coat of arms, or travel.
- B.M.D.s – Get help regarding your birth, marriage, or death certificates.
- Census UK – Discuss the census records from 1841 to 1911.
- Country – Get specific help for your English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish ancestors. There are even sections for other countries of the world.
- Military – Discuss your World War I or II ancestors.
- Criminal/Prison/Convict – If you have any queries regarding your convict ancestors then you can ask them here.
- Old Photos & Documents – Get help with your old family photographs.
- Software & Internet – Query about genealogy software or anything about the site within this section.
No matter whatever query you have you can ask the friendly and helpful members of the Family Tree Forum.
First founded back in 2006 this forum strives for a safe environment for all genealogists, whether they are a beginner or more experienced.
Anyone is welcome to the forum. Not only do they have members from the UK but also the USA, Canada, and Australia as well.
Please register first!
You will need to register to ask for help within the forum, although non-members are able to read the forum.
One of the benefits of joining this site is that you have access to the Surname Database.
This database has been compiled by other members submitting their GEDCOM files.
Every piece of information accumulated for a surname is presented to you.
Learn about your surname!
This database will save you a lot of time as you will not have to spend hours on Google looking up your surname.
The site is unique as it also has a Community Forum.
This separate section will allow you to socialize with other members, meet up with them, share your old photographs, or just talk about your day.
The forums at Genealogy.com were once run by Ancestry but from September 2014 they decided to discontinue the forum.
Despite this, you may find what you are looking for within the collection of over 14,000 online forums.
These forums are spread over 3 different categories; and they are Location; Surnames; and General Topics.
To get help with your query you just enter keywords into a search box and select the most appropriate forum.
Alternatively, you can check through the different categories.
3 Different Categories:
- Location – Get help for any state in the United States or country in the world.
- Surnames – Got a question relating to your surname. You can use the simple A to Z menu to find your surname and then ask your question.
- General Topics – This section is split into 6 more subcategories (General Genealogy, Immigration, Emigration and Migration, Military Service, Religions, Wars, and Miscellaneous)
MyHeritage has an incredible 20 million members where they can get help with using the MyHeritage site and its features.
Users can also get their general queries answered as well.
- Important Information – Get help with any urgent matters connecting with the MyHeritage site within this section.
- Mobile App – Queries regarding the MyHeritage App can be answered here.
- Family Site – Any problems you may have with your online family tree are directed here.
- Family Tree Builder – This section of the forum is the most active and regards the genealogy software that MyHeritage provides.
- Research – Get assistance searching for your ancestors here.
- Accounts – Queries regarding your membership and subscriptions plans.
- Posters, Charts, Reports – If you have any queries regarding the presentation of your information then you can ask them here.
- Product Suggestions – Give suggestions for future updates within this section.
- Discoveries – Queries regarding matches with your family tree and records.
- FAQs – A section where your frequently answered questions can be read here.
RootsChat has a collection of over 5.5 million posts that has nearly 250,000 members.
You do not have to pay to join this family history forum. It is completely FREE to join and use.
8 Boards to Discover:
- Immigration – Get help regarding your traveling ancestors, so whether they came to Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South, USA, or wherever you will get help with your queries.
- British and Irish Genealogy – Get specific help with your English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh ancestors. There are even boards to get help with your Isle of Man or Channel Islands ancestors.
- Technical Help – If you have a query with your genealogy software, need help to organize or present your research then this board is for you. There is also another board here where you can ask other technical help queries.
- Family History Events – Find out what family history society events are happening near you. Also within this section, you can sell a book or anything genealogy-related. And if you want any material then you can simply request it.
- Piecing It Together – This section of the forum is geared for the beginner who needs help. But if you are a seasoned family historian you can pop in here and help someone out with their problem.
- Date and Restore – Get help restoring and dating your old family photographs.
- Armed Forces – There are boards for your World War I and World War II ancestors. If you got any other queries regarding your military ancestors then there is a board for that too.
- Interpret Handwriting – Trying to read the writing on old documents or certificates can be hard. You can get help deciphering what appears to be illegible handwriting within this section of the forum.
This is essentially Ancestry as it is both funded and supported by the world’s largest genealogy company.
So, by going to RootsWeb you will have access to millions of posts spread over thousands of boards.
My Final Thoughts!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using either forums or message boards for your genealogy research.
When you start something new like genealogy do you …
Know what you are doing?
What is the best approach?
Or are you doing all that you can to trace your ancestry?
Forums and message boards can help you!
That is where these forums and message boards come in.
They are there to help you get past that brick wall, to give you the advice you need to move on.
So, if you do get stuck or are unsure what your next step should be then why not check out any of the resources that I have discussed above.
If you feel as passionate as I do about family history then you will ask for help.
Only then will you know more about your ancestors.
And you will have a legacy that you can be proud of that you can pass on to your children.
What do you think?
If you decide to check out these forums and message boards then please come back and let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post showing you genealogy forums and genealogy message boards that you need to check out. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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