Frequently Asked Questions
If your question was not answered, or you need additional help, please post below. Please do not use angle brackets (< >), the program deletes everything between them.
While registration is not required to post, reply or search, it is required in order to use some special features of the boards.
First-time users should register to set up an account to use many features of the message boards. The free registration of account information enables you to make universal changes of account information including e-mail changes. It also protects your identity and greatly reduces the potential for abuse of the boards. If you register/login when posting, you do not have to enter your name and e-mail information for each message posted as the information is on file and will be entered automatically for you.
To register, click here. Complete all required items on the registration form and click "Submit" when finished. Once you are registered, remember to log in before posting to the boards using the username and password you establish for your account. Click here to login now.
How do I post a new message? How do I post a reply to a message?
To post a new message on any board, click on "Post Message." If you are viewing a message on a board, you can choose between posting a new message and posting a reply to the message you are viewing. If you elect to post a reply it will be threaded (grouped with the original message rather than standing alone) with the message to which you are replying. Posting a response, as opposed to an original (new) message, also means that if the previous posters in the thread have elected to receive e-mail notifications of responses they will be notified of your reply.
When choosing a subject, try to be as concise as possible while covering the basics of who, when, and where. For example, if you are posting a query about John Smith who was born in 1832 in Pittsburgh, PA, an informative subject line would be exactly that: "John SMITH, born 1832, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA." Avoid using all-purpose, non-informative, subject lines such as: "searching," "looking," "genealogy," or "family search." Remember all who are using these boards are searching and looking for their ancestors. Ask yourself if the subject you have posted will help others to understand the topic of your query. If the answer is "yes," then you have chosen an informative subject line. Be careful about abbreviations though. It is always best to spell out place names and include the country. Remember, these boards are used by researchers in many countries.
Only surnames (last names) mentioned in your message should be listed in the "Surname Box." When multiple surnames are included in the post, a comma is used to separate each name. The Surname Box also is used to index the surnames in your message and it should not be used for listing surnames that are interested in, but are not included in the message text.
Use the "Classifications" menu to select from a list of data types. Data classifications should be selected only when you are posting actual data not queries about data. For example, a query about a will is still a query.
How do I change my e-mail address, name, or password under "My Profile"?
The "My Profile" link allows you to control the name and e-mail address associated with your login, name and e-mail address displayed on your posts, login password, as well as the format of e-mails you may receive.
To change the name and e-mail address associated with your login or the name and e-mail address that are displayed on your posts, you must update the "Change Profile" section. If you leave the Post Name or Post E-mail fields blank, the registered name and e-mail address attached to your login will be used. The Post Name and Post E-mail will be changed on ALL of your posted messages. If you wish to use different names and e-mail addresses when posting, you must create separate login accounts.
To change the password to your login account, update the "Change Password" section.
To choose the format of e-mail sent you, update the "Change E-mail Preferences" section. There are three formation options:
What do I do if I have forgotten my login information for the message boards?"
Message board logins are done by Ancestry.com and RootsWeb.com does not have your password for the boards. If you have forgotten your password, click here, or you can use the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD? link on the message boards' login page.
Where do I find "My Profile"?
"My Profile" is a link on the message boards that appears when you are logged in as a registered user. It is in the blue bar on the right-hand side, next to your name.
Can I request a new board topic?
To request a new board topic, you must be a registered message board user. If you are not already registered, click here to do so.
Before requesting a new board, please search the existing boards and use them where appropriate. Once you have done this and logged in, click on the link at the bottom-left corner of each page to request that a new board be created. You will be given the option to check a box if you wish to be named the administrator of the new board if it is approved and created. New board creation requests can be submitted for Surnames (last names), Localities, and Genealogical Research Topics.
Surname requests must be for a single surname only; variant spellings require separate boards. Localities must be countries, states, provinces, departments, shires, counties/parishes or the equivalent. Genealogical Research Topics must be specific subjects that would be of interest to a sufficient number of researchers.
How do I report abuse?
While viewing a message that you deem to be inappropriate or in violation of message board or posting rules, click on the "Report Abuse" link and note your reason for objection: Spam, Obscenity, Impersonation, Personal Attacks, Other. Be sure to include any additional remarks in the "Comments" box, and click "Submit" when finished. The board administrator or someone on the message board staff will review the objection and take appropriate action.
To use the "Report Abuse" link, you must be logged in as a registered user. This box also can be used by an author to request that his or her own post(s) be removed.