Posting a Query to the
Contra Costa County GenWeb Page

If good genealogy is about anything, it's the about the ability to read the fine print's some rules for submitting your query and some hints for getting it read.

If you want to post a query, READ THIS FIRST!

Don't ask ME to research for you:  It takes a fair amount of time to maintain these pages, and then there are the pesky little details of life-- food & shelter--that I deal with. I cannot handle each query, so please don't expect me to.

Genealogy only: The Contra Costa County GenWeb Query page is for genealogical inquiries only. It is not a venue for finding long-lost friends or deadbeat spouses. Nor can it be for adoptive children seeking birth families (there are a couple of links to better Adoption sites). Please do not submit queries seeking to find information on, or whereabouts of, specific living individuals. (An invitation for cousins to find you is fine).

The Rules: While there are no strict formats for your query, there are a couple of "musts"

  • Your query must have a Contra Costa County connection or it will not be posted.
    If you have a place name but are not sure if it is in the county, check the USGS mapping site.

  • Put the date, your name and email address on the first line -- The e-mail contact address must be the same as the e-mail address from which the query is originally sent

  • Enter your query information exactly as you want it to appear.

  • Put "CCCGenWeb Query" in the Subject Line or your message is apt to go unnoticed

  • Send only one inquiry per message. If you have an entire family tree, please break it up into individuals or a manageable "twig" of the tree. (You can send as many as you want!)

  • Turn off any HTML coding in your e-mail program. This is pretty much a "cut & paste" operation and I don't have time to clean up the posts to take out embedded HTML codes. If I receive queries with it, I'll either have to send them back or ignore them.

    A couple of useful hints if you actually want someone to read it:

  • Surnames in all caps - and at the beginning of the post will help people know who it is your query is about.

  • Along with birth-death dates, you might want to include dates (or approx. dates) of when your ancestors were in Contra Costa County

    Be as specific as you can be. If you're seeking a precise date of death, or asking for an obit lookup, say so. Queries seeking "any information" are too broad.

    Before you write your query, ask yourself:

  • what is it I want to know?: If you don't know what you want (or don't say so), nobody else is going to be able to figure it out and nobody else will be able to help you.

  • is there enough information to answer my question?: If your question is vague or you don't provide enough information, the most knowledgeable research volunteer in the county won't be able to help you. "My uncle Joe Smith died in 1957, please send an obit" is unlikely to get a response. On the other hand, "My great aunt Hermione Gremmelbacher (nee Smith) died sometime between 1945-1949, I would like to know the exact date" just might get a response.

    Normally, I will attempt to post your queries within 48 hours, but lately it's been taking upwards of a week.

    NOTE: I maintain this page so that researchers can post queries and, we hope, local genealogists with access to records will help out by doing lookups, research, etc. I often do this myself when I have the time, but I cannot take on each query submitted. Please do not write asking *me* to do your research. Simply submit the query, according to the guidelines above, with as much information as possible so that some kind volunteer can help you out.

    If you do get a response to your query, it would be helpful if you would write back to this page updating your request. It would also be just plain good manners if you would send a thank you note to the person who did the research for you.

    Please be aware that every few months or so, I will try to follow up on your query with an e-mail note asking if you want the listing to continue. This is to try to assure that the query is still current and hasn't become "stale." (After all, we all hope that our research will be a dynamic process). You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to keep the query up for as long as you want, just drop a note back that says "continue it."

    OK, Enough, Already!

    Enter A Query

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    This page was last modified on 25 March 2005.