Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday's Tip --- QUERIES

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward & Glenda Gardner-Lloyd


What the heck is a QUERY?
Queries are an important part of genealogical research. It is a well written, well thought out short paragraph (or couple of sentences) asking for help with a specific item. The better the query is written the more success you will have getting replies back  and hopefully getting the right replies back. .

Do you belong to a genealogical or historical society who puts out a monthly/quarterly publication? If so, it may have a section in the publication to print any queries they receive from members or non-members-  it maybe free or a nominal fee.

Glenda Gardner-Lloyd, member of Root Cellar SGS, several years ago put together a pretty detailed page of do's and don'ts for Queries. I would like to share them with you. These tips do not seem to change over the years............. pretty standard stuff.

1. Use a name, date and a place in every query.
       ex: Seek all info on Joseph GARDNER, living in Green Co., PA 1815-1855

2. Put the surname in all caps

3. Start your query with what you want to know:
         Need parents of..........
         Need birth date and birthplace of.............
         Searching for the maiden name of .....
         Need death and burial information on .......
         Looking for information on ........
         EX: Need date and place of birth of Henry GARDNER, son of Andrew GARDNER and Hope                           ROBINS/ROBBINS.  Andrew GARDNER names sons Henry and James and daughter Elinor in                 his will probated 1749 in Salem Co., NJ

          EX: Need birth date and birthplace of Elizabeth DIETZ daughter of George A and Caroline (NOEL)                    DIETZ. I have been told Elizabeth was born 10 Jul 1864 in Baltimore, Maryland but I have not                    been able to confirm.
          EX: Need death and burial information of George DIETZ Jr., son of George A and Caroline (NOEL)                  DIETZ. Parents are buried at St Paul’s Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA but not George Jr.  George Jr                      was born in Allegheny PA about 1865-1866.

4. Use circa (ca) or about if you don't know the exact date.

5. Limit each query to one family, plus related names. Several short, specific queries are preferred over on long, involved inquiry.

6. When writing an electronic query, put the surname in all caps in the subject line and include the date and place.

7. Do not use the shotgun approach!
          EX: Researching GRIMES, ZILE, WARFIELD, CLARKE, SMITH, COCHRAN, and                                      CRAWFORD. Any assistance  appreciated.

8. Sign your name to your query. Many people object to responding to a 'handle'

9. Be courteous and offer to share.

10. Type or print your queries if possible to eliminate reading errors.

This really sounds like a great plan......... try writing a query or two for the area you are researching OR for a brickwall you have- can't hurt. Send it in AND Be patient, it usually does not happen overnight. Give it some time. AND in the meantime, send out several others.

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