Thursday, February 4, 2010

Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 4 (GenForum 1)

There is a second large genealogy message board system available for researchers to read, comment on or add information - at the GenForum boards at

This message board system has a forum for many surnames, all of the US states and their counties, and most countries of the world. I could find no web page that could tell me how many boards and how many messages are on those boards.

Here is the home page:

On the home page, the user can type a surname, locality or topic into the search box and select from the resulting list. For surnames, the user can select a letter of the alphabet and scroll through the list and select the surname of interest. For localities, the user can select between US States and Countries to find one of choice. Note that if the user selects US States, they find only the State board and not a specific county board (apparently, the user has to use the Search to find a specific county). Lastly, at the bottom of the home page, there is a topic list for boards relating to General Genealogy; Immigration, Emigration and Migration; Religions; Wars; Miscellaneous; Genealogy, Software and the Internet.

In the screen above, I typed "san diego" into the Search box, and clicked "Find," which resulted in a list of boards beginning with "san" (but not beginning specifically with "san d" for some reason):

I chose the "San Diego County, CA Genealogy Forum" link and saw:

There are 1,154 messages posted on this specific message board, dating back to December 1999.
The user can scroll down the list of posts and click on any one of interest.

There for four blue buttons in the just below the page header for "Post New Message," "Latest Messages," "Today's Messages," and "Last Seven Days." These buttons seem outdated - not many messages are posted on any message board each week, and on many there are none. A button for "Last 12 Months" would be more helpful.

There is a "Search this forum" box on the left side of the header box, and I input the name "seaver" in the box and clicked on "Go:"

A list of ten posts with the keyword "seaver" in them appeared. I clicked on the fifth one down and saw:

The screen above shows the message that I posted in 2006 concerning the Glen Abbey Memorial Park (Bonita CA) Memorial Records.

At the bottom of each post are three blue buttons to "Post Followup," "Return to Message Listings," and "Print Message."

There is no way to easily search ALL GenForum message boards for a specific person or surname on the web site. However, using a Google site search can find keywords easily. For example, a search for [ seaver ] resulted in 939 messages with "seaver" in the message on all of the GenForum boards. If you wanted to search for only the last year, you can use the Advanced features of the Google site search.

In the next post, I will demonstrate adding a new message to the Genforum system.

1 comment:

Tonia Kendrick said...

I always forget about doing site searches with Google. Thanks for the reminder!