Message Board Help


Changing Your Name, E-mail Address and Password

Your message board contact e-mail address, username, and password are the same as your or board registration information. Changing your username, contact e-mail address and password are done differently on the Ancestry and RootsWeb:

On To change your contact information on, sign in in the upper-right corner of any RootsWeb page, if you aren't signed in already. Click on "My Account" and then on the "Update Account Information" in the "Personal Information" box and follow the instructions provided.

On the Ancestry sites: To change your contact information, please click the "My Account" link in the upper-right corner of the page. In the "My Account Information" box on the right side of the page you will find links to change your username, e-mail and password.

All message boards are contained within a nested category and sub-category hierarchy. Categories are indicated by yellow file folder icons. Message Boards are represented by an icon that looks like a little bulletin board. You can navigate or browse to a board by following category and sub-category folders, clicking on them until you reach your desired board.

Learn how to select the best board for your post by visiting the Board FAQ topic "How do I find the most appropriate board for my post?".

"Path" Navigation

You can always identify where you are in the board hierarchy by looking "path navigation" or line of links located at the top of the page on most pages. You can easily navigate to any category or board in the path by clicking on its linked name.

Find a Board Navigation

You can use the "Find a Board" search at the bottom of each page to navigate quickly to a board if you know its name. Enter the board name and select "Go." You will be shown a list of boards that closely match the board name you entered. Click on a board name to go directly to the board.

Perform a simple search by entering a surname (last name), keyword, or phrase in the search field at the top of most pages. You can adjust your search by choosing to search "all boards" or just within the board or category by selecting one of the buttons below the keyword entry box.

The "Advanced Search" fields allow you to perform a more targeted search for a word or phrase in specific parts of a post such as the subject line, surname field, post classification or author. You can use a combination of keywords and fields to narrow your search.

Posting and Replying to Messages

Beginning a New Thread

To post a new message click the "Begin New Thread" link when viewing a board or thread. Please visit the Board FAQ for tips on creating a great post.

Posting an attachment

You can attach most file types to any post. To add an attachment to your post, click the "Attach a File" link then click on the "browse" button to locate the file you wish to attach.

If you would like to post multiple attachments, click on the "Attach another file" link located below your first attachment. To remove an attachment before posting your message, click on the "remove" link next to it.

Previewing a Message

Click the "Preview" button to see how your message will look when it is posted. If you find that you would like to change the post, select "Edit" to return to the message posting page. If you like the way the post looks, click the "Post" button to post it to the board.

Replying to a Post

To reply to a post, click the "reply" link in the bottom right of the post you wish to reply to.

Printing a Message

To print a message, click on the "Print Message" link in the post. This will open a printer-friendly text version of that message. Click on your web browser's print icon or follow your usual print procedure to print the message. Click the "Return to Message" link to return to the message in the normal display.

My Alerts

Adding an Alert

To add a message board alert, go to the message board you wish to receive alerts about and click on the "Add Board to Alerts" link located in the "Page Tools" box.

Changing the Email Address Alerts are Delivered to

Alerts are delivered to the e-mail address associated with your account or account. To change this e-mail please follow the instructions in the "Changing Name, E-Mail Address, and Password" help topic.

Removing an Alert

To unsubscribe from an alert, click on the My Alerts link in the upper right of each message board page. On the My Alerts page, select "remove" icon (red "X") next to the alert you wish to unsubscribe from. The alert will be removed automatically from the list.

My Favorites

Adding a Favorite:

You can add a Category, Message Board, Thread, or Author to your My Favorites page.

Removing a Favorite

To remove an item from your My Favorites list, click on the "delete" icon (trash can) next to the favorite you would like to remove from the list.

Report Abuse

Reporting Abuse by another Member:

If you find a post that does not follow the Community Guidelines, click on the "Report Abuse" link at the bottom right of the post and select they type of abuse and enter any additional information in the "comments" area. This will alert the board administrator or staff to the post and they will deal appropriately with the message.

Reporting Abuse by an Admin

If you feel that an admin is abusing his or her privileges, or is not active in administering the board any more, please send an e-mail to Include the admins' username, the name of the board, and any other relevant details.

Requesting a New Board

Before you make a request for a new board, please check to see if the board already exists. You can do this by entering the proposed board name in the "Find a Board" field at the bottom of most pages.

Once you have confirmed that the board you would like to be created doesn’t exist, click on the "Request a Board" link at the bottom of most pages. Enter the proposed board name and any comments about the new board you would like to make. If you would like to become the administrator of the board you are requesting please ensure the box next to the words "I would like to be an administrator of this board" is checked. Your request will be reviewed by the board staff and you will receive e-mail confirmation of the board creation or notification that your request was rejected.

Volunteer to be an Admin

There can only be one administrator for each message board. You will know if the board you would like to administer is available, by looking in the "What can I do now?" box. If there is a link to "Volunteer to Admin" that means the board is available to "adopt." If the link is not visible, the "Board Information" link will tell you who the current admin is.

To volunteer, click on the "Volunteer to Admin" link. Please read carefully through the information and select "submit" to volunteer. Your request will be reviewed by the board staff and you will receive an e-mail confirmation that your request to volunteer was granted or rejected.

Where else can I get help?

If you need additional assistance, you can try one of these resources: