Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Responding to Queries

I have three trees posted online (links on sidebar). Two of the trees only have about 1000 entries each. Westward Migration has 36,000+. I have put these trees up for two reasons; hopefully my information will help someone else and hopefully someone will contact me with information I need. In many cases I added information to the tree simply because I ran across it while searching for something else and recorded it hoping that it would help someone else. I have no relationship or real interest in these entries.

I get a lot of queries and some of these have led to a valuable exchange of information. Most however simply take up a lot of my time. They usually contain a name or two, with no dates and no reference to which tree they found the information in. Many come with no punctuation or are worded so poorly that I have have to read them several times to figure out what information they want. I've even had a couple that demanded I send a copy of my file.

I generally send a polite reply stating that all the information that I have is already posted and wish them luck in heir search. The few very rude, demanding emails I have simply deleted.

How do you handle queries? Should I make polite suggestions as to how to write a query? I was new at this once and many people helped me out. I don't want to discourage anyone but I find myself very frustrated sometimes. Should I simply remove my trees and pursue other avenues to make new contacts? Your opinions would be most welcome.

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