Genealogy Message Boards and Forums are a fun way to connect with other researchers or jump-start your family history research when you’ve hit a bump in the road. It’s encouraging to chat with others who are working on similar lines. And with the advantages of Social Media you have more options than ever!
Top Free Genealogy Message Boards include:
- RootsWeb and the Message boards at Ancestry.com are the same thing. This is a free family history message board. RootsWeb was purchased by Ancestry.com and Ancestry has kept it as a free offering and they have merged the message boards. You can search by Locale, Surname, Topic, or Keyword. They boast 25 million posts over 198,000 boards so there’s a lot of content.
- GenForum is a free genealogy message board. It was started by Genealogy.com which was acquired by Ancestry.com and is kept as a separate message board/forum from RootsWeb. It boasts “14,000 online forums devoted to genealogy, including surnames, U.S. states, countries, and general topics.” You can search by Locale, Surname, Topic, or Keyword.
- RootsChat is a free UK based genealogy message board. “The country’s busiest, largest free family history site. 223,682 members are ready to help you with your questions.” There’s no fee or subscription but you do need register in order to post or private message on the site. An easy way to search this site is to scroll down to the country you’re interested in (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, etc) then select the locale within that country, then scroll through the boards, posts, and especially look at the highlighted links listed for that locality.
- Katherine Willson serves on the Membership Committee for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, teaches Genealogy classes, does private genealogy research, and has compiled this list of over 5,700 Facebook genealogy links. Joining a Facebook community for the locale or subject you’re researching is a great way to connect with other researchers. Each group will have its own rules for posting so read the “description” of the group in the right-hand column (beneath the members names). If you haven’t already joined the Facebook community, genealogy research is a great reason to take the plunge!
- CousinConnect is a free genealogy message board developed by genealogists for genealogists. Their site allows you to post queries and sign up for notifications when new queries match your surname and region (a free service). CousinConnect boasts over 300,000 queries which can be searched by Surname or Region and they claim their forum is a more effective way to connect with distant relatives because they deliver more relevant results to queries.
- MyHeritage.com has free message boards. If you want to reply or post you’ll need to create a membership. They have free membership offerings and if you decide you want extra services they provide you can choose a subscription membership. Searches can be made by Locale, Surname, Topic, Keyword, or you can select one of the Message Boards for Beginners.
- UlsterAncestry is a site that charges for genealogical records in Northern Ireland but they have message boards you can look through at no charge. They’re not accepting members at this time so there’s no posting available if you’re not already a member.
- CuriousFox.com is a free and fee genealogy forum site for the UK and Ireland. It’s free to read postings and to post entries and to contact paid members. Only paid members can contact free members. You can search by Village, Town or County, Surname, and Surname within a distance of any locale.