Get Help and Advice from SoG Members

Have you got a question about your family history research? Need some fresh ideas or places to look? Help from the Society of Genealogists is just at the end of the phone, in the Library and on your computer. Non-members can seek genealogy advice from the Society via the telephone help line or through face to face consultations in the Library. Details can by found by clicking on the panels on the right of this page

This online mailing list is open to all members of the Society. The aim of this list is to provide a forum for members to exchange opinions on genealogical matters and to help each other by sharing information and experience. SOG-UK-L
This list is open to all members of the Society. The aim of this list is to provide a forum for members to exchange opinions on genealogical matters, to help each other by sharing information and experience, advising on the use of Society resources, or the discussion of Society issues. Hopefully, those with expert or technical knowledge will join in to assist others.

However, this list is not an official line of communication to the Society, simply a method for members to contact each other. For queries or problems with Society administration then please use the appropriate address in the back of Genealogists' Magazine or use the Contacting the Society web page.

By default, subscribers to the list will receive each message posted to the list a few minutes after it is posted. However, if you do not wish to receive a large number of individual messages, or if your Internet Service Provider limits the number of messages you can receive per day, then you may wish to receive postings to the list as a "digest", i.e. a single daily mail message containing all the day's postings. The digest list is called SOG-UK-D, but all messages must be posted to the main, non-digest list.

Please note that, whilst professional genealogists, indexers, and record agents who are members, are most welcome to join the list, they must on no account use the list as a means of touting for business or obtaining information from other subscribers to further their commercial activities. Likewise, authors or distributors of books or software are not expected to use the list for direct promotion of their publications.
To join the list for the first time, send an e-mail message to with the following information:

• your name
• your membership number
• whether you wish to join the normal mail list [default], or the digest list.
You will receive an email from the list manager containing details of how to send and receive messages.

Please read the rules and guidelines for getting the most from this list.

DOs and DON'Ts

We wish to keep this mailing list as free for members use as we can and free from rules. However, the list administrator will remove members who use the list to advertise services or products, for abusive behaviour and for persistently posting messages outside the scope of the list.

  • Remember to notify the list administrator if you change your e-mail address.
  • All messages should be sent to Don't try to send mail to
  • Do remember to check your e-mail options and select Plain Text. E-mail containing colour, underlining, special fonts, Rich Text, or HTML may be rejected by Rootsweb (to ensure that people with older software are able to read the messages).
  • If you are going on holiday and don't want e-mail to pile up, then unsubscribe from the list just before you go away (unsubscribe instructions are given on the end of every list message) and subscribe on your return, quoting your membership number in the subject heading.
  • If your Internet Service Provider has problems or your mail box fills up to the limit (if there is one), messages may 'bounce'. After four such bounces Rootsweb may automatically unsubscribe you, in which case use the subscribe process described above.
  • Please don't try to send mail to the list from any other e-mail address other than the one that you subscribed from - it won't be posted to the list. The same applies to requests to unsubscribe. If you have a need to post from more than one of your e-mail accounts e-mail the list administrator at
  • Don't use the list as a medium for asking for help from officers or staff of the Society although such members may independently respond to general queries. Please contact the relevant Society staff via the published e-mail addresses for such matters.
  • If you receive a virus warning from another party, please don't forward it to the list under any circumstances. The majority of these warnings are hoaxes (even if they do appear to come from a reliable source) and can cause a lot of unnecessary alarm. Normal e-mail without attachments, as on this list, cannot carry a computer virus.
  • If you receive unsolicited offers of help from any professional genealogist resulting from this list, please notify the list administrator, including copies of the mail and any other evidence.


Guidelines: for those not familiar with Mailing Lists 

  • Reply to queries directly to the list so that others my benefit from and join in the discussion, unless your reply is only relevant to the originator of the query.
  • It is beneficial to give your proper name in the message.
  • It is helpful to say where you are from, especially if outside the UK.
  • Be brief, but also ensure that you give enough details to allow others to identify with your query.
  • Quote sources for information given in replies if applicable; if you are making an informed guess then say so.
  • Reply to messages using the same subject line. Informative subject headings are more likely to bring informative replies.
  • Don't quote the whole original message in a reply, even if your e-mail program does this automatically for you. (Especially if you subscribe to the digest list, when replying to an individual message contained in it.) Edit the quote to the relevant sentence, or a couple of lines.
  • Don't use long signatures or sign-offs, spread over several lines, at the end of your message. This can irritate other members who have to download it, and it can become boring through repetition.
  • Wherever possible, use CAPITAL LETTERS for surnames.
  • Please don't use the list for personal e-mail.
  • Don't send attachments with list mail. These can cause technical problems for some subscribers!
  • Don't ask totally vague questions such as "seeking John Smith in London", identify the period and area as precisely as possible.
  • Don't expect every request for help to be answered, especially if you are seeking particular names. If nobody has the answer, then there may not be a response.
  • Don't make multiple postings across several lists and friends. That is a form of 'spamming'. It means that those who reply from the other lists will have their messages 'bounced' and this in turn causes more work for the list administrators.
  • Never use 'Reply to All' when replying to list messages, this aggravates the problem noted above.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions - we all have to learn.
  • Please be polite and considerate to other members.



Technical queries regarding the use of the list or with problems connecting etc. may be sent to the List Administrator at  The List Administrator cannot answer general questions about the operation of your software.



The List Administrator cannot answer general questions about the operation of your software.

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