Some Do's and Don't for
Some Email Rules for Lookup
- Select a concise title or Subject
Line for your email. "Whazup, Missy" very seldom gets a prompt
response and may even receive a visit from the "Delete Without
- Edit any quoted text down to the
minimum needed and attempt to refrain from sending us images of
census pages. While we live to download and muddle through
countless pages of U.S. Census images, you might get a quicker
response if you just send us the name and cite the census reference.
- Read your own message 2 or 3 times
before sending it. If it doesn't make sense to you, what chance does
your lookup volunteer have?
- Think about how your lookup
volunteer might react to your message. Some things that can be said
face to face with a smile among friends don't translate well to
email and may send our volunteers screaming for the local
- Check your spelling and grammar.
"Looking for "Uncle Kpjm Dkoyjs" might not get the same results as
"Uncle John Smith".
- Do not curse, flame, spam or USE ALL
CAPS. Nobody knows or cares that your great grandfather was a real
%!@#% *^&!%, it does no good to complain that your ancestor wasn't
found in our resources (we can only work with what we have), believe
me we already get enough spam and WHEN YOU USE ALL CAPS, WE THINK
YOU'RE YELLING AT US.
- Do not forward any chain letter. We
know how to do research! We'll find out where you live -- if we
don't know already.
- Do not use e-mail for any illegal or
unethical purpose. Always a good idea unless you are looking forward
to a little time in prison or a long time in hell.
- Do not rely on the privacy of
e-mail, especially from work. If you feel like a forced career
change, fine -- just leave us out of it.
- When in doubt, save your message
overnight and reread it in the light of the dawn. Sobriety is always
a good editor.
- Don't put our volunteers in your
address book and, if they're added automatically, please delete
them. We all enjoy a good challenge but dealing with shady Nigerian
lawyers and removing email borne viruses from our machines, is a bit
much. Don't you think?
And, here's the "Golden Rule" of E-Mail:
That which thou findest hateful to
receive, sendest thou not unto others.
Page Last Updated:
Wednesday, 21 March 2018