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CMT: Living relatives board

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


JaneyCanuck Report 13 May 2011 17:38

There's really a quick and easy answer, isn't there:

A single board, with a moderator.


Jonesey Report 13 May 2011 17:36

As has been said by many the Find Living Relatives board configured as it is has many obvious shortcomings.

I note that as of now there are 256 posts that have been made on it so far during the month of May. Out of those posts only 7 show the green tick indicating the the poster has either received the information/help that they were seeking or have in some other way have been satisfied by a response that they have received. Of course it could also indicate that the other 249 posters are either as yet unsatisfied or perhaps did not know how to or could not be bothered to acknowledge any help that they may have received.

Whilst believing that precautions are very necessary to protect the privacy of the living it certainly does not inspire anyone to offer any assistance without first knowing whether they may be duplicating what information others may have already provided. It can also be discouraging not knowing whether any information which has been provided has been of any use.

I would urge GR to reconsider the workings of the LRB and for them to try to revise it incorporating some structure that will address both the privacy of the living and allowing potential willing helpers a method of identifying what information may have already been given by others.

It might also be an idea to emphasise to original posters the importance of indicating that the information/help that they have received has indeed been of some use.


jax Report 13 May 2011 16:07

Glad you think the same Ela

I had one yesterday that was looking for some living people I replied saying one of them could be found on living relatives on ancestry but she would have to pay to see the address.

I got a reply saying "How did you find that"

So explained and also gave details about

Did I get any Thanks.....No



Ela Report 13 May 2011 09:00

We all like a good challenge, and the searching keeps are brain cells active :-) :-)
I have stopped trying to help on Living relli site, because you do not get a clue what is happening, it would help if in a box it said how many different people had contacted the person asking the question, and if that person had replied to any of them.

had my moan, off to do some work :-)on another board, that does'nt feel like a waste of time.



SylviaInCanada Report 13 May 2011 05:38

Hi Gregory

Thank you for your psot.

To answer you last question:-


Ignore the Find Living people board, and post on Find Ancestors!

then you will get all the help we helpers can give you.

and you will find how we often work in concert, with 2 or 3 or more people all working together ............. which is why we all dislike the new Living board, because we cannot do that joint work

see you on Find Ancestors!



Gregory Report 13 May 2011 04:03

Thanks for your messages.

Janey, I feel suitably humbled. Your reply has put into context what I wish I had known all along. You have explained the frustrations of one and all with your message. Now I am starting to understand the weaknesses in the way this board works. It maybe also puts the original post by Jax into context.

I don't expect much - I am truly awed by the genealogy research skills you all possess and the help you can all provide. I am sure Jax never meant to be rude - not if you read my post I said that she was - perhaps you are right - terse might reflect what you have said about about everyone having other things going on in their lives - other things are far more important.


Many thanks for your post. It reaffirms what Janey has said. It appears GR needs to address your concerns and listen to what you have to say. I hope they are listening .....

If all Jax was trying to say was that the message board doesn't work, as you have demonstrated between you both, then I apologise to Jax for mis-interpreting her post.

I have always tried to be pleasant and measured in any contact I make and fully understand that if we are all to get something from a site like GR, then we must all muck in together.

You all seem to be frustrated with this board - is there anything mere mortals and members like myself do to improve the situation, apart from jumping off a cliff as I imagine one or two of you might be thinking?


SylviaInCanada Report 13 May 2011 03:27


sorry, I do not see anything "bordering in rudeness" in Jax's posts

blunt and to the point, yes, but not rude.

I think the advice you have been given in the last few posts is spot on ...... and ti is given by some of the people who provide the help on this site, and have done so for many years.

What these helpers don't know about how to search for ancestors and descendents would not fill the top of a pinhead, to coin a phrase.

We can't help it if GR decides to call boards by titles that are more misleading than they should be.

It seems apparent that what they intended was that the Find Living board was intended as that literally ........... finding children who had been adopted, children finding parents who had given them up or walked away, possibly cousins who had lost touch.

It is proving counter-productive.



JaneyCanuck Report 13 May 2011 02:22

btw, Gregory, you may (appear to) have completely misinterpreted jax's statement: "Sending private messages not knowing what anyone else has found is a waste of time for all concerned."

She was referring to posts on the Living Relatives board, which is the subject at hand.

With no replies visible in a thread, no one reading has any idea what information, if any, has already been sent to a poster by private message.

Anyone else undertaking to do searches and send the results by private message may be duplicating everything already done by someone else -- which makes the undertaking a waste of time.

This is the main complaint about the Living Relatives board. It is a waste of time to post there, in virtually all cases, because

(a) no one who is actually related to the subject individuals will ever see the post on this little corner of the internet; and
(and even if someone came looking, there is no reasonable search facility for finding a message -- people could be posting what amount to mutual looking-for messages and never know it)

(b) the other, unrelated, users of the site with vast experience in finding people, whether living or otherwise, are simply not going to put time and effort into helping with the searches posted.

Perhaps that will clarify.


JaneyCanuck Report 13 May 2011 02:15

Gregory, your eloquence is impressive, as I'm sure it was meant to be.

Some people don't type as fluently as thee and me, or with as much comfort. Their posts may appear terse. There may be reasons.

We "helpers" here have grown very accustomed to being told we must take the potential idiosyncracies and personal problems of people asking for help into account -- ranging from just not having the time to answer one's replies because one has to feed the kids, the instant after one decided to ask a bunch of strangers for their time, to having an elderly disabled parent requiring round-the-clock attention. Some of these are more worthy of consideration than others.

I've always thought it would be wise for those asking for help to remember that the people responding are as likely to have difficulties of their own, and even that spending time helping on these boards may provide a welcome respite from them for some.

It's not so welcome when one has one's time wasted and is, er, castigated. And there's really only one person I see here doing any castigating, all unprompted.

What did prompt this, anyhow? I'm gathering it was maybe a private message meant to be helpful. Well, help offered can be rejected, I guess.


jax Report 13 May 2011 01:58

I cannot see anything rude to be honest but if thats what you think I will not bother to help anymore

Good luck


Gregory Report 13 May 2011 01:51

Janey, What is helpful is being guided, not castigated. I can see that there is much expertise here, and I for one greatly value the help I receive. I do take your points on board. I think your insight is useful - perhaps this isn't the best place to search for descendants - I imagine most of us follow our nose when we start trying to tie down a family tree - clearly, many of us do not have your skills in genealogy research or knowledge of best to use this site.

Tooty Fruity, Many thanks for your message, it is appreciated. To my simple mind, it is counter-intuitive to expect to post on an 'Ancestors Board' when you are trying to find more recent family, many of whom might still be alive - as you rightly point out they are descendants. I need to look at this aspect - I just don't want to overwhelm the volunteers on the site - there are a lot of people I need to track down and I should be able to do much of this myself. Or should I be posting a message about each one???

I have found the census records to be invaluable in trying to trace back through ancestors. Perhaps it is because the census stops at 1911 that I am finding something of a brick wall in tracing descendants - how many John smiths or Bob Jones do you have to send a message to before you find just one that may be able to shed light on some missing part of the jigsaw? You might tell me hundreds - and that is fair enough. I know I don't receive hundreds and it seems sensible to try to contact someone who seems to offer some semblance of a match - or have I got it wrong?

Jax, your replies border on rudeness.


JaneyCanuck Report 13 May 2011 00:14

Gregory says: Blunt and to the point: "Sending private messages not knowing what anyone else has found is a waste of time for all concerned". But not helpful.

How so, Gregory? You don't think it's helpful to know that none of us is going to send messages to someone about a post on the Living Relatives board? Since you can see we're the ones (some of the ones) who know what we're doing and are worth having on one's case, how is it not helpful to know that?

I've replied to one post on that board, the one referred to in this thread. I didn't put my back into it until she posted on Ancestors, and I've found just about all the answers in a complicated search now.

Your post on LR has been viewed a grand total of 16 times. It's now on page 2. How do you imagine that anyone who is actually related is going to run across it? Why would it not be better to have help from other members in doing the searching? As jax says: are you getting that help from your post on LR?

Gregory's questions certainly do illustrate the problem though: people are interpreting "Find Ancestors" absolutely literally, and the searches for collateral relations -- descendants of one's ancestors -- are being diverted from where they would actually have a chance of success.

More counter-productive.

The posts on Living Relatives, for the most part, illustrate my criticism of how most people set about these things.

One finds people by *looking for them*, not by posting a message someplace and waiting for *them* to find it.


jax Report 12 May 2011 22:52

As a matter of interest Gregory have you had a lot of help from other members regarding your request?
If you have then maybe it is working



jax Report 12 May 2011 22:35

I think what that board was designed for was for looking for paticular people that is what most of us thought

What are you expecting to find with your post ? unless you expect anyone related will see your post you could be waiting a very long time.

As I mentioned in my message to you is to try the search trees as a start. Most of the regular helpers would rather search on the open boards so they can see what others have found. If it is a living person then we post "details of marriage or birth sent by pm" so others will know what is going on and not send the same details.



TootyFruity Report 12 May 2011 22:30

Gregory I have just looked at your post on the living board and agree with Jax you would be best to post on Finding Ancestors. Although your ultimate goal is to find descendants there is a lot of work to fill in the gaps from the 1840's to the present day of people long deceased.

Once information about people living today is found this would be sent via pm. However without the groundwork it would be an impossible task


grannyfranny Report 12 May 2011 22:22

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2009 there were approx 1.4 million people aged 85 or over in the UK.


Gregory Report 12 May 2011 22:17


Blunt and to the point: "Sending private messages not knowing what anyone else has found is a waste of time for all concerned". But not helpful.
In many cases, what other people have found are individuals with the same name, born in the same year, but scattered the length and breadth of the planet. Enquiries to the most likely matches has so far revealed nothing of value.

"If you need help why not place your request on the open board and once living people have been found they can then be sent privatly". This I can work with.

Which board do you suggest? I was under the impression other boards were to help find long gone ancestors - and are extremely useful and helpful in this regard. If there is a board for "Long lost living relations", I would be happy to post there. All I need is a pointer. In my naive innocence, I thought a board for tracing living relations was just that.

If this board is designed to help those with adoption issues, which appears to be the main topic of conversation on the thread, then perhaps it is mis-labelled?



TootyFruity Report 12 May 2011 20:54

Janey I like conversing with you because even though we don't always agree you always raise good points for consideration. :-)


jax Report 12 May 2011 20:30


I see you posted on that board and I did reply as what you were asking could be done on the find ancestors board as you were looking for decendants from someone born 1840s

Sending private messages not knowing what anyone else has found is a waste of time for all concerned.

If you need help why not place your request on the open board and once living people have been found they can then be sent privatly



Gregory Report 12 May 2011 20:07

From what I see, many of you are capable of such fantastic research - I wouldn't know where to start. There are a couple of examples in in this thread. Whilst terse comments about 'not getting a response' to individual posts whilst almost certainly insightful, they are unhelpful.

The question is from your knowledge and experience, what do you want this board to be?

I am surprised when I see posts from people who have clearly not tried to find a record - which is a point raised here - but when an individual has clearly done some research and has hit a brick wall - how do you help them to get a bit further?