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Why do some people appear ungrateful ?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Libby22 Report 7 Mar 2009 17:29

Thanks everyone for adding your opinions to my rant. The majority seem to agree - that sometimes, some requestees answers are abrupt and ungracious. Most requestees of course show gratitude, and appreciate the time people give willingly to their requests for look-ups etc. I would like to say this thread wasn't started to 'get at' newbies, rather to express my disillusionment of some members, new and old, who appear to take peoples time for granted, as though it's their (requestees) right.

I hope this thread has at the very least made some people aware that the forums are run by volunteer helpers who are kind enough to give their time and expertise to novices and others who have struggled to find say .... a mistranscribed name. Please, in future spare a thought for those helping you, and offer a friendly thank you - which will no doubt encourage volunteers to go one step further, and search for as much info as they can find on your ancestry. The more one puts in, the more one will be able to take out.


Cynthia Report 7 Mar 2009 17:58

Threads similar to this appear quite frequently. Each time I respond with the same thing - that many new folks post a query and then go off and wait for an email to tell them that someone has responded to their question.

I quite agree about good manners but I feel heartily sorry for those who have posted a question which is important to them and are disappointed because they think no one has helped them.

Many. also , do not know how to find their threads again. GR were supposed to be looking into this one but......................?

I know this is true because it's happened to me at the beginning.


AnnCardiff Report 7 Mar 2009 18:03

you are so right about people not knowing how to find their posting - this should be down to GR


nameslessone Report 7 Mar 2009 19:25

Frank - I'm sorry, I should have said 'any thankyou' not 'any reply', and not having Scottish rellies I wasn't aware just how cheap their costs are.
But some of the 'guides' do read really badly whilst others are much more user friendly and welcoming. And yes, I know that there are lots of you out there beavering away, but then, I have been around here for quite a while. Others have been here for a much shorter time and time is what it takes to get used to these boards and how they and the volunteers work.

Much sympathy with your having to re enter your tree - a nightmare that keeps one awake. So along with 'google google' lets add 'backup backup'. Good luck with it.


Libby22 Report 7 Mar 2009 21:22

Hi Lynda,

You wrote ' I do wonder if some people are put off asking a question, because of threads that seem to tell them what to do, or how to act, like they're naughty children.'

My intention was not to put people off, or to appear to be 'telling them what to do', I was merely asking that - after given the info they requested, they say a polite thank you, not give a brusque response. My answer to your quote above is - the one's who are impolite won't be put off as they obviously have no regard for others, and it saddens me that some people can be put off requesting info, as they would clearly be the requestees who would show courtesy.


LizRees Report 7 Mar 2009 21:50

Hi all,

Here is a really basic (and probably silly) question.

I've read the whole of this fascinating thread. I'd be mortified if I thought I had forgotten to thank someone for their hard work. But someone's comment on here made me wonder ... They said that new people might not know how to use these boards properly, and I think that includes me.

The comment referred to pressing the 'Add' button before replying, otherwise your reply might disappear into oblivion.

Please could someone clarify what the 'Add' button is for, and the correct procedure for replying to a thread?

I'm sure I've replied to threads before without using the 'Add' button.

There, I told you it was a silly question.
Thanks, Sue


Cynthia Report 7 Mar 2009 22:12

In most cases the Add button simply takes you to the top of the thread for some reason. Don't know what it's adding though!


Ricochet Report 7 Mar 2009 22:46

The button to use to post any sort of response is the purple 'REPLY' button, just below the thread title.

Can I add that it's not really even thanks that we look for - although a word of appreciation doesn't go amiss - it's just to see some indication that the person who asked for help has actually looked at what has been found for them.

Much of the problem could be avoided, if only GR would advise new members how to use the thread system, and give them a little reminder that politeness will reap its own reward in terms of the help they get.

I only joined a few weeks ago, so I know that no guidance is given by GR -all they are interested in is trying to get me to spend more money with them.....................and they've got no hope of that!!


PME Report 7 Mar 2009 23:33

I think GR themselves cause a lot of problems,

Firstly by not providing basic how to guides or even having a form for requests for help for people to fill in, forcing them to state if they have information or not, I've seen so many threads where people have put up the bare minium, got lots of responces only to say 'thanks but I knew that already'.

Secondly, no email notification, this is the only forum I have encountered that doesn't email you when you get a reply.

Thirdly by not having the good grace to pin the 'how to/beginners guides' that have been created by members to help people.

Fourthly by not monitoring the boards properly and moving threads that are started in the wrong board or deleting duplicate threads.

I genrally don't help people, still up to my neck in my own tree, when I have I've been lucky enough to be thanked.

I so far have only once had a query, I thanked people for their input, the only reason I haven't asked for more help is I want to do it myself, might as well put my history degree to some use.

I think it is a shame some people don't mind their P's and Q's but also that sometimes people who need to mind their P's and Q's contiune to be helped so contiune their bad behaviour.


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Mar 2009 00:50

How about this thread posted by Alan at 15:59 on March 5

Title was Origin of Name

Posted by Last Reply Alert
Alan 5th March 2009 15:59 Request review
where it come from

Ann of Green Gables 5th March 2009 17:02 Request review
well give us a clue - what is the name!!!!!!

Susan 5th March 2009 22:36 Request review
is there a punchline to this?????
You know like Constantinople is a very long word spell "it"

Ann of Green Gables 5th March 2009 23:45 Request review
crystal ball anyone?

Davo 6th March 2009 00:18 Request review

Ann of Green Gables 6th March 2009 00:32 Request review
yes what?

Sylvia (in Canada) 6th March 2009 06:05 Request review
if only we knew!

Edit | Delete | Add
Ann of Green Gables 6th March 2009 08:51 Request review
if only!!

Sylvia (in Canada) 6th March 2009 18:27 Request review
still missing?

Edit | Delete | Add
Ann of Green Gables 6th March 2009 18:35 Request review
oh yes indeed!!! along with the poster whom I messaged, so best forgotten

Davo Yesterday at 14:52 Request review
Yes, What is what I meant.




David Report 8 Mar 2009 04:08

Hello to all of you on GRU tips board...I am new to the GRU site just two weeks now. I can't thank the site volunteers and extended and 'tangented' (or is that just extended by distant marriage) for all the information. One previously unknown extended family member has Via a hot match taken me back two hundred years on an English line and added 40+ people (direct ancestors to 1590's / 1600),,,,,,, Two other inquaries added ten direct ancestors on Irish (2) and Scot (8) lines.

The time and expense years ago writing back and forth for UK and Scotland Records.....It will take years to request the documents to confirm just this weeks info. Which leads me to my question..... do all "credits" expire or is their another level of membership with unlimited access for the six months...?

Am I old fashion, going one generation / confiming with / and obtaining copies of the actual Birth/Marriage/Death a time.....

I'm open to advice,

Does anyone know about Scotspeople site..?

Again in advance ...thank you for your, help, time and assistance.

Dave (in the USA)


SylviaInCanada Report 8 Mar 2009 04:26

Hi David ........................ from Canada!

You should always get as many certificates as you can afford to prove relationships etc. £7 is not a lot to pay for such proof.

I don't have anything more than standard membership in GR ................ they only direct you to other sites to see the censuses, bmds etc. And some of those other sites are free!

I would not be without a subscription in Expensive yes, but invaluable for the 24/7 access to all kinds of information, way above what you get on here.

for all births marriages etc in England and Wales after Jul 1 1837, go to

Volunteers are adding the information from the GRO (General Record Office) records, and are currently upto about 1935 for many of them Freebmd is a free site. The Complete Index to bmds 1837 to about 2007 can be accessed on ancestry.

before July 1 1837, you have to access parish records ........... some counties are better than others in this. Try, or your county bmd, or your county Family History Society.

Or you can go to another free site, the Intenrnational Genealogical Index on, the Mormon Site. Go to the home page, click on Advanced Search, then click on International ........

Just be very careful about the difference between Submitted and Extracted records. Extracted records have been taken from the actual parish records and other documents. Submitted records have been sent in by members of the church, and may not be accurate, they almost never have any backing documentation for what they say!, while affiliated with the Mormons, is another free site that carries family trees and you may find information there

Also google, google, google.

This site is excellent for hot matches .... although the only information actually carried on the site is that which has been entered by the members ..... and I for example have only a very small fraction of my ancestors in the tree on here.

GR is great for these community boards ..... there are many members like myself who help others in any way that we can, using our own memberships in other places to find information.

I know nothing about the Scottish site, but I'm sure someone else will tell you about it.

The last thing I would say to you is ............... do not believe everything that you get from a hot match. Double check what you get before adding it to your tree. Other members on here will tell you horror stories about wrong information that has sent them way off track. Do check carefully.

sylvia (in Vancouver)


nameslessone Report 8 Mar 2009 09:23

yesterday evening you put into words exactly what I have been thinking - well said to you and following posts.


AuntySherlock Report 8 Mar 2009 10:57

The trials, tribulations and experiences of a Newbie Or why "thank you: sometimes just isn't enough.

Nowadays, common courtesy is the least common and most forgotten of all traits of good behaviour. Remember the etiquette rules we once learned. Yes, that word "etiquette" is still in the dictionary. With the communication revolution we are now able to talk to people across the globe in a way that has never before been possible. Life moves very quickly.

The researchers who frequent these boards are skilled at retrieving information from web pages and databases using technology our ancestors would not believe.

You have no idea how much I envy you your expertise. You communicate in a strange language of trees and boards and brick walls and threads and posts and BDMs and GROs. You have very clever and sometimes quirky nicknames. And you know how to find the answers.

I am learning to research my family history. Notice I do not say "I am researching", although I probably have been guilty of saying just that. You know how it goes, you find one link and then you assume the next link will be there on the next screen, and it isn't.

Help needed. Tentatively you stick the proverbial big toe into the hot water and ask the first question. You receive a reply. Thank goodness. It might just be a simple direction where information can be discovered. Or a wonderful set of several answers giving all the information you had struggled to find. Thank you.

Have you experienced the disheartening feeling of asking a question and watching that little "0" remain in the replies column. Oh! Strewth. Have I asked the wrong question? Is it not my turn again. There's over a million posts on that board , what's one more!! Do they think I"m really dumb because I don't know how to do this? Are my questions taking up valuable time and space? Is everyone in UK asleep??

Two days later your question has slipped waaaaaay down the lists and you go in and very quietly delete it, hoping no one wil notice it's gone.

You vow to do it yourself. Every night in front of the computer for hours, searching. Going around in circles. Looking at the same info over again, willing the screen to say something different this time. Sending off requests for certificates, searches, information. Waiting, very impatiently for the information to arrive. Then starting again.

You ask another question and someone replies. Oh thank you, thank heavens. Someone who is willing to have a go at finding a piece of YOUR puzzle. Oh you wonderful person, please accept this virtual chocolate frog for your offer. You tentatively offer some of your information that fits into someone else's tree. It unlocks a whole wealth of reciprocal information. Whoo hooo! I'm making progress. Someone responds to a message regarding an event in their family which dovetails into your research. Thank you, I see where that fits in. You receive advice as to how you can save a few dollars. My credit card thanks you. I didn't realize that web page was available.

You also manage to make really dumb discoveries for yourself. (Can a discovery be dumb??) Which you keep quiet about. I know, you'd like an example. Well today I managed to work out it doesn't matter a rat's bottom which family history web tree thingy you join all the birth's deaths and marriages are in the same beat up old book with squiggly tiny typing. Have you lot any idea how many credits I have purchased to find this out.. And when you have looked at several of the same pages of the squiggly typing and the penny drops...... Duh!

Curently I have five streams of family research happening. Each of them at a certain point where I either, can't find the information, I'm waiting for information, I 'm too "jolly well' lazy to enter the information or the information just doesn't make sense. I berate myself for not being consistent in sorting, collating and entering my data. I spend hours of my time reinventing the wheel, re-searching over old ground. Tomorrow I will get organised.
Does all this sound just a little familiar. Were you not once in the same leaky boat as I find myself. Look at the knowledge base you have created over the last decade. Have you any idea how valued is your collective expertise. Can you not understand how welcome and appreciated it is to have someone provide that elusive answer.

I hope that the simple courtsey of a thank you is a sufficient impetus to convince you to continue with your advice and assistance. Because heaven knows I"m going to need it again, very soon. Just in case, I offer you some additional thank yous x a million. Some on behalf of anyone who has been too stupid, tired, busy or just plain disremembered to do so.

I defy you to continue thinking that your knowledge, expertise and freely given assistance is not appreciated by all or any of us who has ever posted a plea for help.

°o.OOº°‘¨Claire in Wales¨‘°ºOO.o°

°o.OOº°‘¨Claire in Wales¨‘°ºOO.o° Report 8 Mar 2009 11:12

Examples of just how rude people can be-

Example 1
I picked up a message on TTF; it was a strange sounding name. I managed to decode the surname, found & posted the birth & census detail but a week later deleted the info as no one had returned to the thread.

2 weeks later I had a pm from the original poster asking what I'd deleted so I found this stuff again & sent it pm. To date I've not heard another word from this person.

Example 2
I spent an hour or more searching & sending info for someone who lives abroad (note the info was sent email). The next I heard was many months later when I got a change of email address from the same person.

i don't think I'm wrong in expecting a simple thanks you from either of these people.


Emma Report 8 Mar 2009 12:22

I don't go into huge detail the majority of the times I thank people for helping me, as I'm pretty sure everyone on this site doesn't want to know how long I've been searching etc. Just that they were able to help me hunt down the people I have been looking for, and I appreciate the information.

I think you are letting peoples phrases get to you too much, if someone says 'Thank You', what is the problem? I would be annoyed if someone didn't remark on any appreciation, so you don't know whether they needed the information or it proved useful.

There is a remark that I thought was completely inaccurate by another member, stating that these days (as they commented they were the older generation) it is all take and no give, no manners etc. I am eighteen, I have manners and use manners. Nothing to do with age. Most people that post on the 'trying to find' board are new to the site and unfamiliar with the workings. They might not realise that the help they are getting is 'off the back' of someone else, not people that work for GR. Alot of people don't give enough information as they don't realise what information is needed, not because they are arrogant.

I think that if you are going to volunteer to look for records for people, be prepared if they don't write you a whole essay of thanks. Be satisfied that you have helped them either find their relatives, or narrow their search down by eliminating different possibilities. Be sufficed with a 'Thank You' alone, it should be as welcome as a full story of their search and exactly what parts of your information helped what part of their search. If they don't say 'Thank You', maybe send them an inbox message asking them if it helped and if its letting them make progress with their tree, no doubt you will then get your thanks.

I wouldn't be searching information for others at a cost to yourself, not for people you don't know on this site. I would stick to subs personally.


Joy Report 8 Mar 2009 13:32

A simple thank you is always nice to see.

However, all I really need, after having posted some help, is an acknowledgement so that I know the person has seen it.


AnnCardiff Report 8 Mar 2009 13:36

simple thank you suits me fine!!! don't do it for glory or accollades, just enjoy doing it - and you're right, age has nothing to do with it - the older generaton can be quite rude too!! I speak as an OAP


FRANK06 Report 8 Mar 2009 14:54

Hi Emma.

As metioned in a previous post "thank you is fine"

With regard to finding relatives or narrowing the search, I give you the following.

This post was added and four replies failed to bring any more details to a request which I think you will agree was extremely vague.

" i am trying to find any information on the stewarts from scotlnd my mother in laws name was jessie "

Now if four people could be bothered to reply with offers of help, why couldn`t the original poster be bothered to send back married / maiden name/ d.o.b or any identifying detail..........I mean you must know something about your mother-in-law, however scary she may be!
Appologies to all you lovely mother-in laws out there. xxxxxx
If you don`t ,then come back and tell us since as a novice there is always some detail you may have overlooked.

In this case there was no further contact and having French relations who used to believe Scotland was a small community in the north of England, I could not resist the following reply...........................

Just a wee note from us Scots in this insignificant little conglomeration of hills, mountains and haggis where everyone knows his neighbour, kilts are all the rage and cousins six times removed just live up the road.

Scotland's People 1920 to 1940 births throws up a mere 239 Janet Stewarts and 222 Jessie Stewarts right across our tiny collection of hamlets so you will have to pinpoint some small area north of Hadrian's Wall along with a date..

"C.U. Jimmy" is waiting at the wall with the semaphore flags to pass the message north of the border.

Ochh aye the noo,

Obviously tongue in cheek but it was also meant to show in a light hearted way , how wrong someone`s perception of the task in hand could be
So don`t be worried about requests.
Just try to help the good people here to help you....................

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 8 Mar 2009 15:02

Can I say that I enjoy doing look ups and helping to find elusive relations .or even relations that the enquirer didnt know where to look for. Gives ME the same Buzz and "YESSSS got yer"" when I find them as if they were my tree !!.
I dont want ,or need ,effusive thanks ,indeed it would embarrass me if someone went overboard BUT I still would like some acknowledgment of the info I found and if it helped.Doesn't always happen I'm afraid and is disappointing for the time and effort put in