Long ago and far away, I began investigating the strange and fascinating online world of Bulletin Boards and ListServs. I had access to the network as an employee of the Maricopa Community College System and took the opportunity to sit in the libraries of the community colleges where there were terminals open for students and staff. I soon saw the value of the universe of information that opened up to me as I literally crawled around the world online for the first time.
Fast forward to today. Startlingly, there are still vestiges of the old BBS online in the form of forums and blogs. For genealogists whose ancestry comes from the British Isles, there is the British-Genealogy.com Forums and Blogs. The idea of a Forum is to provide a place where interested people can gather online and share questions, inquiries, and answers. The analogy is to a physical bulletin board where people post notices and communicate back and forth. An inquiry or question may start a new "thread" or series of related discussion items. You will likely have to register with the Forum before you are allowed to post an inquiry or a response. Some of the topics on the British-Genealogy.com Forum include the following:
- Acronyms and Abbreviations
- British Census
- Certificates - Birth, Marriages, and Deaths in the UK
- DNA Research
- Family History Societies
- Genealogy Beginners
- General Family History Queries
The list of topics goes on and on. Some of the threads have posts in the thousands, for example, the thread "Jewish Roots" currently has 5,280 posts. In addition, each of the counties in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have sub-forums and this also includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. There are also forums for Australia, Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, West Indies and the Rest of the World.
The list of forums also includes private forums for Family History Societies and forums on software and computing. There are presently 72,710 threads with 499,036 posts and 62,843 members.