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The Ups, Downs and Disabling of the INMONROE Rootsweb Mailing List

Blog post by Randi Richardson

Many Monroe County genealogists are quite familiar with the INMONROE Rootsweb mailing list.  The list became active in 1980 and was a place where members could share tidbits and trivia about Monroe County.  In 2000, it was a list in need of an administrator.  At that time I took responsibility for it.  With the help of Connie Shotts and Angel Gebhard for the next 15 plus years ten items went to the list every single day.

RootswebPeriodically, Rootsweb ran into troubles, regrouped and went on.  Then about two years ago it seemed to drop off the face of the earth which was unfortunate, because by then more than 60,000 items were archived in the INMONROE.  Mostly the items were from newspaper clippings, however, a real cross section of materials at the Monroe County History Center were also included.  Information about nearly everybody who had been anybody in Monroe County pre-1950 could be found among the materials.

Eventually the list was again made functional again.  All the archived items seemed intact, but the list was different.  That was for sure.  I was no longer responsible and no one seemed to know who was.  Additionally, I wasn’t able to be a list member so items shared with the list never came to me and I couldn’t contribute to the list.  On the other hand, I continued to use the INMONROE archives.

To keep the news from historic Monroe County flowing, I began concentrating my energy on the Monroe County History Center blog at where a new blog can be found weekly.  Many of the blogs at that website are written by me.

Just this week I have learned that Rootsweb, owned by Ancestry, is discontinuing the ALL the mailing lists that number more than 32,000.  Dick Eastman shared the sad information on his genealogy blog January 7, 2020.  According to his information, all Rootsweb lists by Ancestry will be discontinued on March 2, 2020.  After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on Rootsweb. But who knows for how long!

What a disappointment.