"Real life" Guide lines from Slowhands (Announce)

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Monday, October 27, 2008, 20:28 (5681 days ago) @ admin

I am new to entering on forums so not sure what to put on them.

You will find the official ones here >>

My own "real life" advice is ...

First search the Forum just in case your relative / question is already in a Thread - Don't be put off if you get a "Prior Thread" response - it has been put there to save time and help you.

{ on this topic , please do not ask the same / very similar question a second time in a new thread - it just wastes peoples time and willingness to help }

The usual advice is make the title clear and relevant, and then in the message add your question and as much context / background info to assist those who are trying to help you.

Please try to put the surname in capitals i.e. JONES, this is not considered shouting, it simply helps when scanning the index by eye

So if you have census and parish records , save for a gap , then state it !
If you are trying to link an individual to a specific branch , then mention that too :-)
If you are completely lost - dont hide it - we have all been there too

By doing this someone else may read that information and recognise an individual - not necessarily the one you are interested in , or an event, or some other fragment and be able to add to your knowledge.

Sometimes from a surprisingly small amount of context information to a question, we can generate a 100% hit and then a lot more information - however these are rare.

Occasionally the information we find may open up an unpleasant surprise; we try to avoid providing information about living people but sometimes that information is published. Our sources are public information.

Equally it will save time for the helpers who can struggle matching a "John Jones" from East Dean, when " John Jones, born mid 1850's , parents maybe William and Mary, in a later census (1881) he is from Redbean" will help direct the initial search to Ruardean / Ruardean Hill area etc etc .

... or " I think he was from Drybrook" without any reason Why you think that can slow things down - just to confuse you there are two Drybrooks in the FoD !

..or if the person was known to have moved away from the Forest , spending our time searching in Glos / Mon/ Hereford data is fruitless, when a note of this with the question would save valuable time and effort, opening the search globally.

....or after getting a reponse to a request, the original questioner, replies with " I knew all that" or similar !!!!

.... when tracing records between 1837 and 1874 bear in mind that from 1837 civil registration was voluntary, from 1874 it became mandatory.

.... Let us know if you think/know you have non-conformists roots - Methodist, Baptist etc - that may just be the reason you are having problems tracking your roots :-(

Whilst on my hobby horse (!) keep an open mind to spelling - DAVIES / DAVIS; GRINDLE / GRINDAL; HALE /HAILE, even WATKINS / WALKINS etc are likely to be the same family / person ..

and keep an open mind to ages too, its not uncommon to find a relative who gets younger with later census data !

In the 1841 returns adolescent and adult ages are often rounded to the nearest multiple of 5. Not always but can be very confusing !

Also, a word of caution - you may be fortunate to find "your" tree / branch on a Public web site - you can just accept this information and plough on. However my advice is to use this information as a guide and revalidate it against multiple sources and your own common sense. You may be surprised at how many assumptions have been made, which in turn cause you to reject parts of this information.

By the way, the same is true of any of the responses I provide on this Forum.

And yes, we welcome healthy balanced challenges to our research / suggestions..
we are not super human we make mistakes too :-)

Enjoy your research, good luck.


Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

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