About Queries & Look Ups
What is a Query?
A genealogical query is an inquiry about an ancestral surname, a family
line, or other genealogy-related questions. Posting a query can help you
connect with other researchers, who may have the information you are
looking for, and you can help them with their research in return.
- A Clear and concise subject line.
- Surname, location, date(s).
- One surname per query.
- Birth, Marriage, Death dates.
- No unnecessary information.
- No information not directly related.
Before posting a query, familiarize yourself with standard posting
practices by viewing/subscribing/following a newsgroup or FaceBook activity.
From this, you will learn what is expected of you and what you can expect of
The more you post, the more chance you have of connecting
with a person who can help!
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A
Whether you are posting to a mailing list, posting to a message board, or
requesting your query be posted on a website, your query should be a concise
short paragraph that clearly defines the information you are seeking. It may
help to post your query on multiple sites. There are useful links at the end
of the query section.
Here are some tips:
- Many sites limit queries to 1 or 2 ancestors.
- Do not include excessive or unrelated information.
- Do not attach files to your request.
Do not include extensive genealogies.
- Capitalize SURNAMES so they stand out, include maiden names for females,
and be open to alternate spellings.
- If you do not know an exact date or year, give an approximate date range.
- The location where your ancestor lived is useful in locating information
- Include parents, spouse and children's names to help identify the individual
you are interested in.
- Since USGenWeb coordinators are volunteers and have responsibilities outside
of this project, it could take some time for your query to be posted. If
a significant amount of time has passed and your query has not been posted,
send a follow-up email to remind them.
AN EXAMPLE OF A QUERY
- Subject: Oliver KINLEY of Tama Co IA, 1865
- Researching Civil War service information for Oliver Cromwell KINLEY,
b. 1844, d. 1923, served in 10th IA Inf, Co I. His father Frederick also
served in that unit. Will share information I have with interested researchers,
contact MAS at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE ELSE CAN I POST A QUERY?
HOW DO I REQUEST A LOOKUP?
- The lookup section of a website should contain instructions for contacting
the lookup volunteers and any requirements they have for requests. Generally,
you would send an email to the lookup volunteer and indicate the reference
material you wish to be searched. Be sure to include information for the
ancestor you are researching, such as their name, a location, and dates.
- Consider thanking the volunteer for their efforts even if no information
was found, and if you have reference materials that may help others, sign
up to be a lookup volunteer.
ELSE CAN I REQUEST A LOOKUP?
Page content reviewed and/or updated by the Advisory Board 2022 Dec
Contact the National Coordinator
with Project questions, suggestions, or concerns.
Contact any Web Management Team member for
usgenweb.org website questions, suggestions, or concerns.
Please include a link if your inquiry is about a specific page or Project website.