1. HOW AND WHY WAS THE FORUM CREATED ?
Joe Houghton published his email address in the Manchester Genealogist and the first list of members with email addresses who had submitted to join in these exchanges was published in Vol.31 No.2 in 1995. Phil Stringer set up an email list at his workplace to avoid having to keep passing the published list around. This originally used MAJORDOMO software but in March 2005 this was replaced with MAILMAN. In anticipation of Phil's retirement, the service was transferred in October 2011 to the commercial service provider EMWD.
Any paid up member of the Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society may join the Forum. It is an added benefit from society membership, which can be particularly helpful for those members who do not live near Manchester.
7. HOW DO I SEND A REPLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL?
The Forum is set up so that a simple reply to a message will just go to the originator. It will depend to some degree on which software you use to read mail and how it is configured but if you just reply it is unlikely to go to everybody else on the Forum. Please do not reply to individuals unless the answer is not appropriate to the other Forum members.
Again it depends on your email software. You may need to click 'Reply All' and delete all recipients other than the Forum address. If your reply goes to more than three addresses, it will be held by the forum server as suspected 'spam' until released by the Forum manager. This may lead to a 24 hour or longer delay in it appearing.
Help other Forum members! If you are replying to a message received as part of a digest mailing, please copy and paste the subject line for the item to which you are replying into the subject line for your reply.
If a copy of the message or reply comes back to you then it has gone to the Forum, as of course you are a member of the Forum.
If somebody sends a group reply to a message that you sent, so that everybody in the Forum sees the message, then you are likely to receive two copies. That is because you get the direct reply and, because you are on the Forum, you get the copy that goes to the Forum as well.
CLICK HERE for full instructions.
When you apply to join the Forum your application does not get processed immediately. It is passed to the Forum moderator who will confirm that you are eligible to join. So you have to wait for the Forum moderator to read and deal with their e-mail. In the worst case this may take 3-4 days.
This procedure is if you wish to permanently unsubscribe, if you are only wanting to stop receiving mail temporarily you simply change "Mail delivery" in Edit Options from Enabled to Disabled. CLICK HERE for full instructions on how to leave the Forum permanently.
CLICK HERE for full instructions
When you first subscribe your membership will be set to a number of default options. CLICK HERE for full information about how to change these to your preferred options..
No. As a measure to prevent the email addresses of Forum members being misused, this feature is not provided.
At any time, you can choose to temporarily suspend the delivery of Forum messages to your email address. CLICK HERE for full instructions.
If you receive no messages this could be due to a number of reasons e.g A full mailbox or other problems related to the member rather than MLFHS. The Forum may try to send but may suspend deliveries if messages are repeatedly bounced. Also another possibility could be due to the members subscription having lapsed, though we usually warn before a purge of this nature.
There are options to receive either individual messages or a batch of around 10-12 messages assembled into a single digest message. CLICK HERE for instructions on how to change the delivery format.
Yes, we have a full set of archived messages which date back to 1996. CLICK HERE to find out how to access them..
A common error is unwittingly sending messages to MLFHS in HTML format, which is often the default format that exists in many email programs. HTML is the mark up language for creating World Wide Web (WWW) internet pages. This default is set in many programs and results in two copies of the message being sent, one in HTML and another in PLAIN TEXT. HTML formatting allows different fonts etc. in your email but all it really does is double the size of each message, so potentially increasing telephone costs. The fact that this happens is transparent to the sender but not to a receiver who is operating in PLAIN TEXT mode. It will also cause problems for MAILMAN, which does not understand it and for those on the digest list. Each digest user has to deal with huge amounts of gobbledygook, which is how the HTML version appears to them.
Some ISPs give you software pre-configured to use HTML, especially the free ones.
The rule for MLFHS is NOT to send HTML messages. There will be an option in your mailer to switch it off, so check now and disable it. For Example in Outlook Express, Select TOOLS, OPTIONS, SEND, and select the Plain Text button. Choosing the plain text button automatically deselects the neighbouring HTML button, select APPLY before exiting. When the default is set to plain text individual messages can still be easily changed to HTML if desired, by left clicking on FORMAT on the menu bar when the individual message is being composed and selecting Rich Text (HTML) which applies for that specific message. After that message has been completed and SEND as been chosen the next message that is composed reverts to plain text without further action being necessary.
Failure to send in plain text causes annoyance to members of the Forum, so explore your mailer software and select Plain Text before sending messages to the MLFHS Forum.
No on both counts. Viruses are contained in attachments to messages and all attachments are removed by the Forum server software. Even so, you may contract a virus from other sources and so should follow some simple rules. If you are running a MAC or running the UNIX operating system then you are running a system that is less susceptible to these problems. The majority of you will be running a version of Windows and as such should always be running up to date anti-virus software. There is no problem at all in reading plain text emails but just be careful with programs or attachments. You are only susceptible if you run a program or open an email attachment without first checking it with a virus checker. You should follow this rule even if the email appears to be from somebody you know, as either they may have been inadvertently infected or the virus may have "spoofed" the sender address.
The Forum software will only allow mail onto the Forum which originates from the address of a registered member. If the member address is 'spoofed' by malware, spam mailings which are addressed to more than three addresses will be held for approval by the Forum manager, who will delete them to stop them being sent out. This will not guarantee that no spam is circulated, but as most spam is sent to very large numbers of addresses, it is very unlikely. No spam has appeared on the Forum for many years.
Always `sign` your messages with your name, brief address and your MLFHS membership number. Answers to your genealogical questions will vary considerably in Salford, San Fransisco or Samalaeulu.
Always 'sign' your messages with your name and your preferred email address. This is especially important because some email and newsreader software do not always convey the originator,s full email address. While you may certainly include your regular mail address in your postings, you may wish to give this out only in personal replies, when necessary.
Please DO NOT include a list of the surnames you are researching in your signature file. If the messages are archived (and most newsgroups are archived) and somebody is searching for your surname, they need to find it only once, hopefully it will have your address with it as well. If they are searching and get too many hits, then they may not request all the messages and therefore may miss seeing your message.
This is something which should not need to be mentioned, but members are expected to behave in a polite and courteous manner when emailing other society members. There are a large number of Forum members, all with different views on what should appear on the Forum and how they should interact with other members. A good guide is not to send a message which you would not like to receive yourself!
If you are unfortunate enough to have problems with another Forum member then do please discuss them with the Forum manager, who will help to resolve it. I do reserve the right to remove anybody from the Forum who does not behave in an appropriate manner!
26. I HAVE CHANGED MY EMAIL ADDRESS - HOW DO I REDIRECT MY MAIL?
Yes. You can subscribe to the Forum from two (or more) addresses. Messages to the Forum will be accepted from either address. If you only want to receive mail to one of the addresses, set the mail delivery option for the other address to Disabled.
[Last updated: 15 April 2021 - John Marsden]