Sharing the Knowledge: Genealogy Discussion Groups Online

Sharing the Knowledge: Genealogy Discussion Groups Online

The internet has made genealogical research a lot easier, but in some ways more lonely. You don’t have to be teamed up with a local genealogy society, meeting regularly to discuss your findings. You can search for records, but you can’t call on the archivist to give you a hand. For some, the support group might seem to have gone away.

Thankfully, there is a solution at hand, in the form of online genealogy discussion groups. If you need to bounce ideas off others, or simply let people know what you’ve found, these places can be a huge help. We’ve listed a few of the most useful ones here. Genealogy

As if it didn’t already offer every service imaginable, leaps into the fray with its very own genealogy discussion forum. It features some handy sections – such as ‘Surname Queries’, or ‘Brick Wall Brainstorming’ – and benefits from the large user base you’d expect from the brand. Well worth checking out.

Link Forum

There are quite a few British message boards in the geneasphere, and BritGen is one of the best. As well as a large user base, it features an incredibly wide range of sub-forums and sections. BritGen offers specialist discussion on (among other topics) Jewish ancestry, relatives in the medical professions, and ancestors who fought in the Crimean War. These advanced, specialisist discussions are complemented by a very active forum for beginners.



GenForum has in many ways a quite traditional format, where posts are made and responded to in a continuous list on the page. It’s been running for some time, however, and has the benefit of an extremely large and active user base. There’s considerable expertise on the forum, and it’s often helpful to post something and pop back a couple of days later just to see what ideas have come up.


Irish Genealogy

Finally, another localized site is the Irish Genealogy boards. There aren’t too many posters here compared to the others, but those that are regulars naturally have very focused expertise in this area. Discussion focuses around various Irish surnames, counties, and documents. Given the Irish diaspora in the US and the UK, this can be quite a helpful resource.


So those are a few sites you might find helpful. As always, it’s important to remember to contribute as well as to learn from others. Only through the sharing of knowledge between everyone can we reach our family history goals!

Also, look around the net yourself. There are countless discussion groups out there, and perhaps one for the country or topic you’re interested in. If anyone has any other forum recommendations for others, be sure to put them in the comments below!


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  • coret

    May 14, 2010

    For those interested in Dutch ancestry the appropriate discussion group is called Stamboom Forum (Dutch for Family tree forum). With about 30 thousand members is the biggest community for Dutch genealogists.

  • Robert

    May 14, 2010

    Thanks, Coret, that looks like a great site!

  • Wayne Roberts

    May 16, 2010

    Are you aware of any Forums on British Army and/or Navy Forces heritage? I’m trying to find ot information on a Irish member of the family that fought in the Crimean War, then was stationed at Fulford Barracks in York (1871 & 1881 census) and later it seems was on an British Army pension before he died in Australia in 1908. I have other English family members who were in the Royal Navy also. Wayne in Brisbane, Queensland

  • Pruthiraj Nayak

    April 6, 2011


    This is really such a nice blog.