Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Genealogy Newsgroups on Google Groups
One of the first genealogy data sources I found online was the Genealogy Newsgroups back in the early 1990's. I had to FTP into them, download a bunch of stuff, read it offline, write a post offline, then upload it the next time I accessed it on my dialup modem. Later, the Newsgroups could be accessed through my email programs, Eudora and now Outlook Express. But it was a hassle, since you couldn't read the threads, only the current messages.
That's all changed. Many (if not all) Genealogy Newsgroups are now accessible on the Web through Google Groups.
By jumping through a few hoops, you can subscribe to any number of Newsgroups and receive them via email, or you can choose to read them on the Web at your leisure. I chose the latter, and signed up for the alt.genealogy (over 95,000 posts), soc.genealogy.computer (over 20,000 posts) and soc.genealogy.methods (over 8000 posts) Newsgroups.
The major benefit of reading these Newsgroups on the Web is that there is a Search box for the Newsgroup (obvious isn't it, it's hosted by Google!). There may be a distant cousin of mine (or you) who posted something to one of these Newsgroups a long time ago and I (or you) need to find them.