Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

FAQs and Problems

 

Making Lookup Requests     Listed Volunteers     The OBIT-LOOKUPS Mailing List


A.  Making Lookup Requests

  1. I would like to request a lookup. Where do I make my request?
  2. I'm new and I need help with my requests. Who can answer my questions?
  3. I sent a request to a volunteer listed on a web page and my e-mail was returned to me with an error message. What should I do?
  4. I sent a request to a volunteer listed on a web page and I never got a response. What should I do?
  5. I want to send a request to a volunteer listed on a web page, but there's no e-mail link. Why?
  6. What other resources are available on this web site?


B.  Listed Volunteers

  1. I'm going on vacation. What do I need to do?
  2. My e-mail address is changing. What do I need to do?
  3. Do I have to subscribe to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list if I want to volunteer my services as a listed volunteer?
  4. I signed up to be a listed volunteer but I'm getting more requests than I can handle. What should I do?
  5. I signed up to be a listed volunteer but I have to make too many trips to the library. What should I do?
  6. I'm a listed volunteer and I've received a request I don't know how to handle. What should I do?
  7. I'm a listed volunteer on sabbatical but I'm still receiving lookup requests. What should I do?
  8. What is the OBITUARY-LOOKUP-VOLUNTEERS administrative mailing list?


The OBIT-LOOKUPS Mailing List

  1. I'm going on vacation. What do I need to do?
  2. My e-mail address is changing. What do I need to do?
  3. I subscribed to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list but my mailbox is filling up. What can I do?
  4. I don't know how to unsubscribe from the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list. What should I do?
  5. Is there any way to search for something in the archives of the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list?
  6. I have some obituaries that might be of interest to other people. Can I send them to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list?


A. Making Lookup Requests

1.  I would like to request a lookup. Where do I make my request?

Check the web page for the state or country you need. If there is a volunteer listed for your area with the resources you need, click on the volunteer's e-mail link to send a request directly to the volunteer. If there isn't a volunteer listed for your area or the listed volunteer doesn't have the resources you need (e.g. you need an obituary for 1900 and the resources don't start until 1920), send the request to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list.

2.  I'm new and I need help with my lookup requests. Who can answer my questions?

Please read all of the information provided on the Making a Request page first. If you still have questions, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

3.  I sent a request to a volunteer listed on a web page and my e-mail was returned to me with an error message. What should I do?

When a request to a volunteer is returned is returned with an error message, forward the entire returned message to our Volunteer Coordinator. If the e-mail address has been typed incorrectly, it can be corrected. If the volunteer's e-mail address has changed, an attempt will be made to find him or her and update the address. If the volunteer cannot be found or has decided to stop volunteering, the listing will be removed from the web page.

4.  I sent a request to a volunteer listed on a web page and I never got a response. What should I do?

Volunteers are asked to reply to initial request messages within two weeks. Some volunteers don't check their e-mail more than a few times a week, and others travel often. If you don't receive a reply in two weeks, send the request again, in case there was an e-mail problem. If you still have not received a response after an additional two weeks, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator who will follow up.

5.  I want to send a request to a volunteer listed on a web page, but there's no e-mail link. Why?

When a volunteer goes on vacation, sabbatical, or medical leave, the listing is left on the web page to show that the volunteer will be returning, but the e-mail link is disabled. If the return date is definite, it will be included in the listing. If the return date is not yet determined, the listing will contain the word "Vacation," "Sabbatical," or similar.

6.  What other resources are available on this web site?

In addition to volunteer listings, our web site contains links to other obituary resources. Each state and country page contains listings for library, newspaper, cemetery, and death record web sites. At the bottom of each of those pages is a list of links to other web sites for the state or country. Our Other Obituary Links page also contains links to obituary, library, and newspaper web sites, and our Genealogy Links page contains cemetery web site links and other information.
To find obituaries in some of the resources may take some digging. For example, subscribers sometimes post obituaries to county mailing lists on RootsWeb. The obituaries can be found by searching the mailing list archives. There are state-specific obituary mailing lists for some states; the link is in the Miscellaneous section on the state's RootsWeb Mailing List index page. Many of the county USGenWeb sites contain obituaries and burial records. The links to the state's RootsWeb Mailing List index page and state USGenWeb site are at the bottom of each of our state pages.


B. Listed Volunteers

1.  I'm going on vacation. What do I need to do?

If you are a listed volunteer and you are going away for more than a week, contact the Web Page Coordinator, and "Vacation" will be placed next to your name on the web page.

2.  My e-mail address is changing. What do I need to do?

If you are a listed volunteer and your e-mail address is changing, please notify the Web Page Coordinator. We will change your e-mail address in your volunteer listing. We will also unsubscribe your old address from our administrative OBITUARY-LOOKUP-VOLUNTEERS mailing list and subscribe your new address. You will receive several automatic messages when this occurs.

3.  Do I have to subscribe to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list if I want to volunteer my services as a listed volunteer?

You do not have to subscribe to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list unless you want to. Many people are just too busy to read through all of the e-mail requests that go to the mailing list. Other people like to read these and help once in a while. If you sign up to be a listed volunteer, your e-mail address will be placed on a web page so people can contact you directly, and you won't have to look through the requests on the mailing list unless you want to.
As a listed volunteer, you will be subscribed to a different mailing list, OBITUARY-LOOKUP-VOLUNTEERS. This is an administrative mailing list which allows the volunteer coordinators to send occasional messages to the all listed volunteers at once.

4.  I signed up to be a listed volunteer but I'm getting more requests than I can handle. What should I do?

There are two things you can do if you are being overwhelmed with requests. First, remember that it's better to limit the number of requests than to burn out. Even one lookup benefits someone. We have volunteers who do only two lookups a month, but that helps two people who otherwise wouldn't get their information.
Second, make volunteering more manageable by doing one or more of the following:
  • Set a limit on the number of requests that you will do in a month
  • Limit the number of weekends you'll work on requests
  • Increase the amount of time you require to complete a lookup
  • Reduce the area you cover
Your listing will be updated with the limits and/or the change in the coverage area. We will also add "Waiting List" to your listing. Then if requests start to pile up, just tell the requesters that there is a waiting list and give them an estimate of when you might be able to get to their request. Some volunteers receive so many requests that it takes 1-2 months or more to do the lookups. That is perfectly ok as long as the volunteer says up front how long the lookup is likely to take.
If you're volunteering for a large area and you have more than 1-2 months of requests on your waiting list, consider asking us to put your listing on sabbatical to give you time to catch up. It's entirely up to you, but many of our volunteers for entire states and large cities go on sabbatical several times a year for this reason.
If you know what changes you'd like to make to your listing, or if you want to go on sabbatical, contact our Web Page Coordinator. If you're not sure what changes you need to make, or if you have another problem not covered here, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, who will help you figure out what is best for you and arrange for your listing to be changed as needed.

5.  I signed up to be a listed volunteer but I'm making too many trips to the library. What should I do?

One way to minimize the time and money overhead of lookup trips is to make a trip only when you have other errands in the same general area. If that means a delay in doing lookups, that fact can be added to your listing. Another way is to plan on making lookup trips at intervals, such as every two weeks or once a month.

6.  I'm a listed volunteer and I've received a request I don't know how to handle. What should I do?

If you receive a request that you don't know how to handle, first check Becoming an Obituary Lookup Volunteer. If the information there doesn't help, contact the Volunteer Coordinator who will help you.

7.  I'm a listed volunteer on sabbatical but I'm still receiving lookup requests. What should I do?

You should not be receiving any requests while you're on sabbatical, because your e-mail address does not appear on the web page, but sometimes requesters save volunteers' e-mail addresses for future use and bypass the web page. If you receive a request while you're on sabbatical, tell the requester you're on sabbatical or ask the Volunteer Coordinator to do so. Don't worry if you aren't able to check your e-mail during your sabbatical; if the requester complains to the Volunteer Coordinator, she will explain that you're on sabbatical.

8.  What is the OBITUARY-LOOKUP-VOLUNTEERS administrative mailing list?

The OBITUARY-LOOKUP-VOLUNTEERS administrative mailing list was created so our volunteer coordinators can send occasional messages (not lookup requests) to all the listed volunteers at once. Note that this is a different list from the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list.


C. The OBIT-LOOKUPS Mailing List

1.  I'm going on vacation. What do I need to do?

If you are a OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list subscriber and will be away for more than a few days, it's best to unsubscribe from the mailing list and then subscribe again when you get back to avoid filling up your mailbox. An alternative for some subscribers is to temporarily unsubscribe from the list mode (individual messages) and subscribe to the digest mode instead. Directions for unsubscribing and subscribing are on the Mailing List page.

2.  My e-mail address is changing. What do I need to do?

If you are subscribed to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list and your e-mail address is changing, you will need to unsubscribe yourself from your old address and subscribe yourself to your new address. Directions for unsubscribing and subscribing are on the Mailing List page.

3.  I subscribed to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list but my mailbox is filling up. What can I do?

If you don't understand what a mailing list is all about, please see the Mailing List page for an explanation. If you like being subscribed to the list but you don't like the volume of e-mail you get, you can subscribe in the digest mode. This way, you will get one or two e-mail messages per day containing all of the individual messages. You can scan the subject lines to see if there is anything of interest to you.

4.  I don't know how to unsubscribe from the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list. What should I do?

If you are subscribed in list mode, to unsubscribe, send the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message to: OBIT-LOOKUPS-L-request@rootsweb.com. If you subscribed in digest mode, to unsubscribe, send the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message to: OBIT-LOOKUPS-D-request@rootsweb.com.
When you unsubscribe, you are communicating with a computer. It understands only exactly spelled commands, in this case UNSUBSCRIBE. The command must be the only word on the first and only line in the body of the message. It's best to leave the subject line blank, but if your mailer requires a subject, just put UNSUBSCRIBE there, too.
PLEASE do not send unsubscribe commands to the mailing list itself (OBIT-LOOKUPS-L@rootsweb.com or OBIT-LOOKUPS-D@rootsweb.com).
If you have problems unsubscribing please contact our Mailing List Coordinator.

5.  Is there any way to search for something in the archives of the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list?

Yes, you can always search the archives of all of the messages that have been sent to the mailing list. Go to the Rootsweb Mailing Lists - Interactive Search and enter OBIT-LOOKUPS as the name of the list. You will be able to search for any text in the archived messages.

6.  I have some obituaries that might be of interest to other people. Can I send them to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list?

Please add any obituaries you have to the RootsWeb Message Boards or the USGenWeb Obituary Project instead. See Posting or Publishing Obituaries on the Web for details. This way they will be available for researchers in the future. After you've added the obituaries, send a message to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list to inform everyone that the obituaries are available. When you make a copy of a newspaper obituary, if there are other obituaries on the page, consider posting or publishing all of them. Another possibility is to send a list of names to the OBIT-LOOKUPS mailing list so that anyone interested can e-mail you for the text of the obituary.
 


WE NEED VOLUNTEERS - Please consider volunteering
for your area, even on a limited basis, because every lookup
helps someone. 
Becoming a Volunteer has more information.


To volunteer to do lookups in your area,
for questions about the mailing list,
for help with obit requests,
to report a broken link,
or for other comments or questions,
contact us.

Go to Top   Back to States   Back to Countries   Back to Main Page

Last update 22 Sep 2010