Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"the genealogical equivalent of placing an ad in the newspaper's classified section that says, 'Used car for sale. Please call for make, model, condition, and asking price.' You might get a response, but don't count on it. The idea is to encourage people to reply. They are more likely to do so if they recognize your family as related to people they have researched. Include some details about when and where your family lived. Always include: Name Place Date and put them in the subject line. If you don't know exact dates, estimate. It's a good idea to include the name of a spouse, too. As John Cartmell, former editor of the North Cheshire Family History Society's journal, puts it, 'I have found the most useful link for strangers to pick up is the marriage; two surnames coming together at a given time and place are the best indicators that this could be of interest to you. It even makes the SMITHs interesting.' For example: 1. better Subject: LEGGETT Rufus / LOUCKS Belle; Columbus, KS,USA; 1860-1940 My great-grandfather Rufus LEGGETT died in Columbus, Kansas when my mother was a little girl, sometime in the 1930's. She thinks he was in his 70's then, maybe somewhat younger. His wife's name was Belle LOUCKS. I'm looking for information on when and where he was born, as well as his parents." from http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~surnames/goodbad

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way: "In the world of hackers, the kind of answers you get to your technical questions depends as much on the way you ask the questions as on the difficulty of developing the answer. This guide will teach you how to ask questions in a way more likely to get you a satisfactory answer.

Now that use of open source has become widespread, you can often get as good answers from other, more experienced users as from hackers. This is a Good Thing; users tend to be just a little bit more tolerant of the kind of failures newbies often have. Still, treating experienced users like hackers in the ways we recommend here will generally be the most effective way to get useful answers out of them, too.

The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here. If you give us an interesting question to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus and a gift. Good questions help us develop our understanding, and often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about otherwise. Among hackers, “Good question!” is a strong and sincere compliment.

Despite this, hackers have a reputation for meeting simple questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance. It sometimes looks like we're reflexively rude to newbies and the ignorant."

which ideas can be adapted to questions about genealogy


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