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 so that 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 tracing your family history. It is inevitable that we will hit a brick wall or 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.
Genealogy Forums and Genealogy Message Boards 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.
8 Genealogy Forums and Genealogy Message Boards
1. Ancestry.com and Ancestry.co.uk Message Boards
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 what you are looking for by either locality or by topic category. Each of these categories are 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.
The forum is split into four 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, labourers, 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.
8 sub forums include:
- Genealogy Help – Ask any question that you may have, whether it is about surnames, occupations, coat of arms, or travel.
- B.M.D.s – Gt 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 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.
You will need to register to ask for help within the forum, although non members are allowed 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.
By searching this database you are then presented with all information that has been accumulated for that surname. This database will save you a lot of time as you will not have to spend hours on Google looking up your surname.
This website is quite 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 them. Despite this you may find what you are looking for within the collection of over 14,000 online forums.
These forums are spread over three different categories, them being 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. Or alternatively you can check through the the different categories.
What are these 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 not only the MyHeritage site and its features but also any general queries that they may have.
10 sub forums of MyHeritage.com include:
- 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 query 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 that you will find within RootsChat:
- 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 presenting or presenting 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 query regarding your military ancestors then there is a board for that too.
- Interpret Handwriting – Trying to read 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 on Genealogy Forums and Genealogy Message Boards
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using either forums or message boards. 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?
That is where these forums and message boards come in. They are there to help you get passed 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.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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