Little more than a decade ago, most of my genealogical research was focused on the Bahamas and Dominica. I was searching for information on a planter who had very common first and last names. His records had quite a bit of information on my ancestors.

To avoid spending months or years moving along an inefficient research path, I checked the Internet for a Web site where I could post a query for information on him. At least, I hoped to acquire suggestions for researching people like him, who lived in the time and place that he had.

In searching the Internet, I found a site called candoo.com, which no longer exists in that format. (Check out www.kindredtrails.com/caribbean_islands.html for the new Web site.) I posted his name and a few details there.

Within a couple of days, a woman from New Zealand responded. She was researching someone with that name in that area who had lived at that time.

Wow!

That experience came to mind recently as I read about a new Web site called GenQueries.com, a free online site where both amateur and professional genealogists can post queries about ancestors or living descendants.

The site was developed by Dick Eastman, whose genealogy newsletter is well-known and respected among family historians. He noted advantages GenQueries.com has over genealogical magazines and newsletters. The advantages are more than reason enough to give the site a try.

Allow me to paraphrase.

Genealogical queries in magazines or newsletters are limited to subscribers, and can be forgotten when the new issue arrives and the old is tossed. GenQueries.com postings stay on the site, where people around the globe can read them for 365 days.

Paper publications typically limit the length of queries to a few lines and may charge to run them. The new Web site lets genealogists to write several pages, allowing them to explain precisely what they are seeking at no charge.

Making contact with a genealogist who posts a query in a genealogical publication is often done by letter, a slow process. If someone thinks he can answer a query on the new site, he can request clarification of the question quickly or submit a response immediately.

In the printed query, the family historian reveals contact information, such as a home or e-mail address. But, genealogists who post on GenQueries.com can opt not to reveal such personal information. Eastman promises not to share it with anyone.

The site is a great place to request information to help in your genealogical research. Answers to questions may be leads, but not substitutes for doing your own research.

With the new site, posting queries is quicker and information providing a breakthrough, confirmation or bright idea can arrive any minute.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705 or wminis@postandcourier.com.