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proposed: a "look-up offer" board

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JaneyCanuck Report 17 May 2011 16:27

(edited because I said "look-up offer thread" at first, duh - tell me when I make no sense!)

This has been discussed tangentially in other threads here.

Some members have acess to specialized resources and databases, e.g. county-specific parish records.

(They may have CDs of transcribed records, or they may make regular visits to local records offices.)

There are numerous threads on the boards containing such offers. Derek's Derbyshire thread is the one often cited. ;)

"Records Office" seemed the logical place for them in the past. With the merger, they are now found on "Find Ancestors".

This placement means that they are difficult to find, even when you know they're there. They're not ever going to be seen by most new users, or even many regular users, since they are seldom on the first page or two. (And "nudging" them to prominence just bumps actual help requests down the board and off the page.)

How about a Look-up Offer board?

One that is

- for *specialized* records, not general "I have Ancestry and FindMyPast and will do lookups"

- not for people to post look-up *requests* as new threads (they go on Find Ancestors)

- clearly announced, in the heading, as for the purpose of offering specialized look-ups *only*

Non-conforming posts should then be *moved* by the site staff to, say, Find Ancestors.

The guidelines for the board should make it very, very clear that the look-up offer threads are *not* to be used for duplicating requests already on the boards. (This is, truly, a significant problem both for look-up offerors and other members, both of whom very often waste a lot of time duplicating research.) An exception could be if posters expressly direct attention to their own threads, by posting the link. I know that starts to sound complicated, but duplicate requests are so hugely unfair to regular members that there has to be attention given to this.

A couple of points.

No look-up threads should say "FREE" in their titles, as at least a couple of current ones do. ALL help offered on these boards is free of charge to the user, other than their subscription fee. Offers of FREE help may mislead users into thinking that they will have to pay, otherwise.

No new general look-up threads should be permitted. These operate as private "boards" within the boards, where other members have never felt welcome to contribute to search requests, and overall they restrict rather than add to the help a user is likely to find here.


jax Report 23 May 2011 17:11

Now JC would you say a Look up thread offering to do look ups for the US from world wide ances*try is specialized ? I don't

I do not have access myself, but I know many do...but when the question came up today I was the only one who objected

cant win really, I shall keep my opinions to myself perhaps



InspectorGreenPen Report 23 May 2011 17:47

No objection to the concept, but just need to be careful as to what your subscription allows you to look up for others.

For example, this is taken from the T's and C's of a UK website which offers subscription access to census, bmd records, etc.

"Those proven to be using our service to provide a look-up service to others will be liable to a charge of £5 per distinct name for which they have searched and £10 for each result viewed."


JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 18:10

InspectorGreenPen, if I had *ever* ever ever seen you doing research for someone else on this site, I would be most interested in your opinions about how that research is conducted and reported on, and how that process is organized by the site.

If you have an issue with users of this site allegedly violating copyright, although I dn't know what your actual *interest* in that would be, please feel free to take it up with the site management. I believe there is actually a thread about this on the Suggestions board at present, in fact.

My proposal in this thread is simply that the research *already being done* by members for other members at this site be organized, within the site, in such a way that users are able to find the offers to do rsearch that are made here.

The terms and conditions of subscriptions to FindMyPast are a matter between that corporation and its customers, and not my concern at all.

Honestly ... did you *read* my opening post?

My suggestion is about, and only about, *specialized* records, and the example I gave was an offer to do lookups in pre-1837 bmd records in Derbyshire -- an offer that has precisely nothing to do with the big corporations that sell access to records:

for *specialized* records, not general "I have Ancestry and FindMyPast and will do lookups"

-- that is what I *said*.

In fact, I then expressly stated that I was *not* referring to look-up offers that involved searches at those major sites. I don't think individuals running private threads to do lookups that any other regular user of the board can do, and that it is likely to be more beneficial to members to have multiple people working on, belong on the boards anyway.

Way to devolve the thread ...


InspectorGreenPen Report 23 May 2011 20:10

In that case, no probs.

It isn't FMP that has these draconian T's and C's, but members offering lookups should just be aware that most sub sites may have restrictions of one sort or another.


TootyFruity Report 23 May 2011 20:17

Some people offering lookups have the records on disc and so do not fall foul of the websites T's and C's


JaneyCanuck Report 23 May 2011 20:27


We're talking mainly about pre-1837 parish records that are not available on line, or if they are (at free sites) it is less productive to do on-line searches than to have someone check a specific database on CD or otherwise.

Also, of course, about people who offer to do searches in the parish records themselves on site. Wendy has been doing just that, for me and others, in Nottingham, for instance.

The Meercat

The Meercat Report 25 May 2011 08:05

Hi Janey,

if we just had a counties board then other people with different parish cds could join in the look ups without feeling they were interfering.
That would save people trawling areas to see if they can help.



Cynthia Report 25 May 2011 08:35

Hi Meercat, I take it you mean something similar to the Rootschat site?

I have to agree that such boards are very useful on two counts ....

1) if you are looking for help in a particular county/area

2) you may have knowledge of a county or access to records which could help others.

At the moment, in addition to Derek's Derbyshire thread, we have AoGG who has Whitchurch, Wales records, Victor with Gloucester and NBI information and Margaret Rose with Bucks/Oxford records. Mustn't forget our Australian/New Zealand friends with their records too!

That's almost a board in itself ;-)

EDIT......nearly forgot..... our Irish record many queries re Ireland.


The Meercat

The Meercat Report 25 May 2011 09:42

Hi Cynthia,
Yes, thats exactly what I mean.
Sometimes people are ill, to many look ups or the wrong family.When it is someone elses thread you appear rude if you point out they have the wrong family.



SylviaInCanada Report 25 May 2011 19:38

Good idea, Meercat


Kense Report 16 Jul 2011 20:48

What is proposed is not a look up board for things that are available on FMP and Ancestry. They are already done, not very surreptitiously on the Finding Ancestors board. This is for lookups of specialist data that is not readily available on line. Such offers might be made by those who live near record offices.



jax Report 17 Jul 2011 12:48

The look ups that are being mentioned pigletspal are not the sort people can find themselves.



jax Report 19 Jul 2011 00:24

If you read Janey's opening post she is not talking about BMD's and census record look up threads, it is the more specialized like parish records that some people have on discs. which cannot be found on the net


Kense Report 21 Jul 2011 14:44

I thought we were supposed to avoid starting new threads about the same thing, and that Phil was going to merge threads on the same topic.


TootyFruity Report 21 Jul 2011 18:11

I too thought we weren't suppose to have duplicate threads and I don't see what the status of Janey's membership has to do with the suggestion. If she has decided not to renew her subscription does not mean she is no longer a member of the site only that she holds a free membership. Who knows she may have renewed her subs but too busy in her real life to contribute to the boards

Janey's suggestion should be debated and considered along with everyone elses


JoyDean Report 22 Jul 2011 10:44

Whether or not the original poster is still on site is irrelevant, I would have thought.

I see no point in a new thread being started on this subject.


TootyFruity Report 22 Jul 2011 11:26

IGP I misunderstood. When rereading your post I can see what you meant.

However, I don't think starting a duplicate thread would be an answer either because the new thread could also go around and around in circles and so not benefit anyone. Although Janey is not in a position to put it on track if any new ideas in relation to this thread are posted here then maybe it can be debated further.

There is nothing worse than having fragmented information with multiple threads on the same subject.


TootyFruity Report 25 Jul 2011 13:27

Is GR any closer to having a lookup board for those members who offer lookups from specialized sources, whether that be by cd or going to records offices.

If it is going to be awhile off can you not sticky some of the more popular ones to the top on the genealogy chat board. I know of one of these members who is seriously considering jumping ship and going over to rootschat to offer their services there. Can GR really afford to lose members who do lookups?


Persephone Report 26 Jul 2011 07:04

Why would we allow this thread to lapse, it is neither here nor there where Janey is. What she has put up is a damn good suggestion and should stay.

Someone with a different suggestion by all means put up what they like...

i don't think saying: "Not sure where this is going now, not helped by the fact the original poster is no longer a member." is helpful.

A debate on the actual subject would be far more to the point. I think what is put at the beginning is well thought through and some of it may definitely be something that the GR site "team" might want to consider in there next lot of changes.