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Message boards have been an integral part of the genealogy community since the 1990s. These forums serve as online meeting places where family history enthusiasts can discuss their queries and seek help from fellow researchers. However, maintaining a high-quality genealogy forum requires dedicated moderators and knowledgeable volunteers to ensure the forum’s success. In this article, we will explore the best UK family history society forums where you can engage with like-minded individuals and benefit from their expertise.
RootsChat is the largest and busiest UK-focused genealogy forum, with over 6.5 million posts from more than 200,000 members. If you’re new to genealogy, the beginners’ section is a great place to start, offering guidance, tips, and cautionary tales to help you navigate common pitfalls. The forum is organised into various threads based on subjects like conflicts, occupations, record types, time periods, and areas. You’ll find discussions on surnames, one-name studies, glossaries of archaic terms, and compilations of useful websites. Additionally, if you need help deciphering a handwritten document, you can upload it and await responses from the community.
The Great War Forum
Originally created to complement Chris Baker’s website, The Long, Long Trail, the Great War Forum has become a thriving community of its own. The forum focusses on genealogy related to the First World War and encourages members to provide citable evidence to support their replies. Moderators ensure a friendly environment for members, and the forum is divided into various subject and theme subdivisions. The Gallery section offers a collection of old photographs, maps, and documents, and there are specialist blogs and ‘long reads’ available. The forum plans to launch a mobile app to enhance the user experience for smartphone and tablet users.
Reddit Genealogy Forum
Reddit is a popular platform where members can submit content and have it voted up or down by other users. The genealogy forum on Reddit is an ideal place for family historians to share and discuss their research. The forum is organised into communities called “subreddits.” In addition to the all-encompassing genealogy forum, there are numerous subreddits dedicated to specific topics. For example, if you’re navigating the world of DNA tests, you can join the AncestryDNA thread (r/AncestryDNA) to connect with others who may have similar experiences or questions.
Family Tree Forum
Family Tree Forum is a thriving genealogy forum with a strong focus on the UK. With over 61,000 topics, 820,000 posts, and nearly 19,000 members, this forum offers a wealth of information and resources. Registration is free, and the forum features a vast reference library with thousands of pages of information and recommended links. The forum also has a spin-off digital magazine created by its members. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced researcher, Family Tree Forum provides a friendly and helpful environment to discuss all aspects of genealogy.
Who When Where Genealogy Forum
The Who When Where Genealogy Forum was launched to fill the void left by the closure of the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine forum in 2020. This forum has quickly gained popularity amongst experienced and new researchers alike. It caters to various areas of expertise, including military questions, photo identification, useful resources, certificates, and DNA. The forum is divided into sub-forums to ensure that users can target their questions to the appropriate section. Members of the forum are experienced researchers who enjoy helping others overcome genealogical challenges. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes it an invaluable resource for novice researchers.
More UK Genealogy Forums
In addition to the forums mentioned above, there are several other UK genealogy forums worth exploring. These include:
- The British Medal Forum: A buzzing forum dedicated to discussing medals, monuments, uniforms, insignia, badges, and equipment related to the Boer War.
- Forces War Records Forum: A popular UK-centric genealogy forum with subdivisions for overseas options.
- Ancestry DNA Community: Hosted by the commercial DNA testing company Ancestry, this forum includes success stories and advice for researchers.
- Army Rumour Service (ARRSE): Originally created for former military personnel, this forum covers a wide range of topics related to military history and reunions.
- Genealogy Specialists: This active UK genealogy forum has regular contributors who help members overcome brick walls in their research.
- Genes Reunited: The “General Chat” section of this genealogy message board is particularly popular amongst members.
- Scotland’s People Forum: A Scottish genealogy forum with interesting discussions and threads.
- Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Facebook Group: This lively Facebook group has over 9,000 members who are eager to help with genealogical queries.
In conclusion, UK family history society forums provide a valuable platform for genealogists to connect, share knowledge, and seek assistance from fellow researchers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced family historian, these forums offer a supportive and collaborative environment to further your genealogical journey. Joining these forums can expand your network, provide access to valuable resources, and offer fresh perspectives on your research challenges.