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CAMBRIA COUNTY MAILING LIST

RULES, COURTESIES, & FAQ’S

What’s the difference between “list” and “digest”?
Both modes provide the same information. “List” mode sends each email to you immediately. “Digest” mode compiles several emails together as one and sends it to you once or twice a day (depending on how heavy the email is that day). It is NOT necessary to subscribe in both modes, although some people prefer to do it that way.

Why aren’t my replies showing up on the mailing list?
This list is set up for responses to go ONLY to the person who sent the email. If you want your reply to show up on the list, use your “reply to all” function.

I’m going on vacation. Can you hold my mail?
No. You will need to unsubscribe from the list when you leave and subscribe again when you return. To view any mail that you missed, you can look in the list archives.

I sent an attachment to the list. Why didn’t it show up?
All Rootsweb mailing lists are set up to delete attachments before they are sent. This cuts down on lengthy download times and the possibility of transmitting a virus. If you have a photograph/scanned document you feel would be of interest to the people on the mailing list you can: (1) Send it to us (Lynne or Diann) and we will try and find a place for it on the webpages; or, (2) Send an announcement to the mailing list that you have a copy of this document and offer to mail it (off list) to anyone interested.

I changed my email address. Now what do I do?
The servers do not respond to emails that say things like “change my email address from ______ to _____”. Nor will they respond if you send an email that says “our new email address is ________” if it’s sent from your old email address. It does not recognize effective dates. Changing your email address is a two-step process: (1) You must use your old address to unsubscribe your old address, and, (2) you must use your new address to subscribe your new address. Your old address will receive a notice that it has been unsubscibed; your new email address will receive a notice that it has been subscribed. If you have a problem with this, please contact Lynne or Diann and we will do it for you.

I tried to unsubscribe and received a notice that my email address can’t be found. I have to be subscribed -- I’m receiving email.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, some ISP’s will tack on a little extra to your email address. An email address that is normally Smith@Jones.com will appear as Smith@Jones.net.com. Although they are technically the same email address, because they don’t match, letter for letter, the Rootsweb server does not view them as the same address. Try again. If this fails, contact Lynne or Diann.

I’m not receiving my email. Did you or someone unsubscribe me?
Sometimes the list is really quiet and there is no mail. If you were away a few days, or busy and not very diligent about downloading your mail, it’s possible that you bounced off the list (and the notice that you bounced off probably would have bounced, too). Sometimes an ISP will suddenly decide it doesn’t want to talk to Rootsweb anymore and will start bouncing your email for a few days (AOL and Netscape do this quite often). Sometimes your ISP will upgrade its spam protection and not let Rootsweb mail through. Check the mailing list archives to see if you really are missing mail. If so, try to subscribe again. If that doesn’t work, contact Lynne or Diann. Check the Rootsweb Help web page for messages with a yellow background. Periodically, there might be a posting on that page of specific ISPs that are having problems.

I keep getting all of these emails that don’t pertain to my family!
Generally, there are three types of mailing lists -- those that deal with specific surnames, those that deal with locations, and those that deal with specific events (Civil War, passenger lists, etc.). This is a “location” list, which means we’re going to discuss all of the people, events, and places within Cambria County. You’re going to get lots and lots of mail that will not pertain to anything you’re interested in. You are not required to read each and every email that comes through. If you can tell from the subject that an email does not apply to your family tree, don’t bother to open it. Just delete it. If you want to see some emails that apply to your family tree, post a question.

Someone is giving me a hard time about an email I posted.
We do NOT take kindly to people who don’t know how to “play nicely". Do NOT respond to their emails! Instead, send them to us. We’ll do our best to negotiate a truce. If the problem persists, the worst we can do is ban the offender from the mailing list. This still may not solve the problem for you. You may need to set up a filter on your email to automatically delete any email from this person, or even change your email address. Please know that we will do everything we can to help you with problems like this, but that solutions don’t always happen overnight. Email wars can be ugly. We want you to be part of the solution and not become part of the problem (such as, returning rude remarks, bad-mouthing the person to the email list, etc.).

That link Joe Doe sent to the list went to a pornographic site! The link sent by Jane Doe has nothing to do with genealogy! How could you let this happen?
This is a universal internet problem. Although Rootsweb has safeguards in place, spammers get more creative every day. Things like this can and will happen, despite our best efforts. If you see an email you consider offensive or inappropriate, please let us know. We will check out your complaint. If it’s valid, we will ban the sender from the mailing list and remove their email from the archives. The very worst thing you can do is forward a copy of the offending email to the mailing list with your complaint! That just sends it to the list twice and puts it in the archives twice!!

What can I post to the mailing list?
(1) Specific questions on the people, places, and events within Cambria County. Include any pertinent information, but be concise. If you’re looking for a marriage date, include the parties’ names with a timeframe and possible location (and maybe their parents’ names). You don’t need to include the names of all their siblings, children, death dates, all census entries, etc.

Some samples of specific, acceptable questions are:
(a) My GGGgrandparents came to Cambria County from Scotland. I’m trying to trace them back to their homeland. Can anyone provide any links that might help me?
(b) My grandparents lived on Spring Street in Dale. Can someone tell me where Dale is? Does Spring Street still exist?
(c) My brickwall is Jane Smith who married John Doe in 1850. Can anyone tell me who her parents were? Did she have any siblings?
(d) Rumor has it that GGGgrandpa William Doe, of Johnstown, served in the Civil War. How can I confirm this?
(e) Does anyone have a copy of the obituary for Jane Smith who died 1 Jan 1850 in Summerhill? If not, how can I get a copy?
(f) Does anyone live near Grandview Cemetery? If so, would you be willing to take photos of a few tombstones for me? I live out of state.

A non-specific question is:
I’m researching the Smith Family. Send me everything you have on Smith.

An inappropriate question is:
John Jones and his family stopped for lunch one day at Ebensburg on their way from New York to California. Please send me all the information you have on this family.

(2) Responses to specific questions. PLEASE keep in mind that not all responses to specific questions need to be sent to the entire mailing list (which is the reason why this list is set up to automatically respond to the original sender only). Requests for obituaries, tombstone photos, etc., are probably only going to interest the sender, and your responses should only be sent to them. Responses to a “how do I” or “where is” will probably have more appeal to the list in general.

(3) Freebies. If you have extra copies of books, found some old photos at a garage sale, etc., and are willing to give them to someone at no cost, you can announce it on the list. However, all replies to you and from you to the interested parties must be kept private (off-list).

What can’t be posted to the list?
(1) Your entire family tree, back to Adam and Eve, complete with transcripts of every will, obituary, marriage license, newspaper article, birth announcement, etc. Besides the fact that it will be far too lengthy for anyone to read, you’ll probably blow up a few email systems. People will not be happy with you.

(2) Items for sale, including the price. Money is not discussed on the mailing list. You can say, in the right context, that your great-grandfather bought his farm for $1/acre in 1880. You can’t say that you currently have the family farm up for sale for $25,000/acre. Rootsweb will yank the entire list off faster than you can put a “for sale” sign in the front yard! You can announce to the list that you have a copy of “Cambria County History” for sale (although we’d really rather you do this on the Heritage list) as long as you don’t list a sale price (you can list a sale price on the Heritage list). Ask anyone interested to contact you privately for details. Be sure you respond to them PRIVATELY.

(3) Advertisements. Especially for services that involve money. This, too, is a big Rootsweb “no-no”. If you have products or services for hire or sale, you can include a link to your webpage as part of your signature block. If you live in Cambria County, have some spare time, and wouldn’t mind doing some research for other people, tell us. We have a “local researchers” page on the website and will be more than happy to include your name and a link to your website.

(4) Items for sale on Ebay. This is a slippery slope. If the item for sale is yours, you can’t post it under any circumstances. If you just stumbled across an item for sale, you can post it, but with a lot of restrictions. You can say, “If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of the “History of Cambria County”, a copy is available at the following link . . . ”. If you follow the guideline, we won’t rap your knuckles, but we’d really prefer that any items such as this be announced on the Heritage list instead of the mailing list.

(5) Roll calls. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s where someone suggests that everyone on the mailing post a listing of every surname they are researching. In about an hour (or less), the entire mailing list becomes absolute chaos. Although roll calls are not forbidden by Rootsweb, they will make your List Ladies EXTREMELY irate and not make you any friends of the other subscribers. Use the Surname Register on the webpage instead.

(6) Private messages. If you posted a question and received a private response, DO NOT turn around and post the response to the mailing list, unless you have the written permission of the person who sent the email to you.

(7) Copyrighted material. You can paraphrase it and you can quote it, as long as you give credit where credit is due.

(8) Personal Attacks. Under no condition will we tolerate anyone on the list being rude to anyone else on the list. If you have a complaint about someone on the list, take it up with us NOT them. If you have a complaint about one of your List Ladies, tell the other one. If you have a complaint about both of us, tell both of us and give us the opportunity to redeem ourselves.

WHAT WOULD YOU PREFER I NOT POST TO THE MAILING LIST?
(1) Transcripts of all the documents in your files. Posting a transcript (or a partial transcript) and asking questions about specific people, places, or events mentioned in the transcript is fine. However, if you aren’t asking a question, there are better ways of posting this information. We highly recommend using the message boards and/or the archives, both of which have a link located on the main webpage.

By using the message boards and the search engines associated with the boards, your information will be available to far more people than just the mailing list. If more people can access your information, the better your chances are to connect with that long-long relative. Any item you post to the boards will appear instantly.

The Cambria County Archives is also available for this kind of information. (Posting to the Boards does not mean that you can’t post the same information to the Archives.) If there is something you would like to have posted to the Archives, send it to us. With the Archives, you won’t get that “instant gratification” you get with the Boards, but we will get it added as soon as we can.

If you have a document that doesn’t seem to have a category on the Boards or Archives, send it to us. We don’t mind creating new categories if there’s a need for it, or expanding an existing one.

(2) Private family research. If you have asked a question and received answers from a few people who appear to be related to you, please keep your future emails private (off-list). Remember that there are about 800 people on the mailing list at any given time. At best, only a handful of that 800 people are interested in every detail of your family. Please be courteous and keep your emails private to that handful. Most email programs contain features that allow you to set up "distribution list", whereby you can send an email to several people at once. You may want to set up lists for each of your surnames, for example, named "Smith Researchers" and "Jones Researchers". When you've added the email addresses of those people who are researching that surname to those distribution lists, then, you could send your email to your "Smith Researchers", instead of the entire email list. If you need help setting up your email program to do this, you are welcome to contact us to see if we could help you (or point you in the right direction for help).

(3) Your home address and/or phone number. This is for your own safety. There are just too many crazies out there and you never know who’s prowling around the mailing list archives.

ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS? RECOMMENDATIONS?
(1) Make sure the subject line of your email pertains to the information in the email you’re sending.

(2) When responding to an email, delete any information that doesn’t pertain to your response. If someone has asked a few questions, delete the questions you aren’t answering. Leave just enough information from the previous email for readers to understand your response. Be especially careful of this if you are responding to a digest.

(3) If you are new to genealogy research or starting research on a new surname, we recommend that you do a little “homework” before you start asking questions on the mailing list. Use the search engines available on the webpages, the Boards, the Archives, and the mailing list archives to see if someone has already asked the question or posted the information you need.

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please feel free to contact us.

Some Related Links

Cambria Mailing List
SEARCH the Cambria List archives
BROWSE the Cambria List archives
Subscribe & Unsubscribe Info.
Mailing List Netiquette
Brian Edmond's Etiquette FAQ
Rootsweb Mailing List Info.
Web Page Created: 01 Dec 2005

Page Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors