Message Board Administrator Information


The Ancestry and RootsWeb message boards are a place where researchers can ask questions, collaborate with other researchers, and post information on specific genealogy topics. The boards support a diverse community of researchers with a common goal—discovering their family history.

As a board administrator, your overall objective is to maintain a message board that welcomes posts and creates a supportive environment for genealogical researchers of all skill levels. This can be done by performing the basic administrator duties and showing respect for the members of your board and their posts.

Board Administrator Basics

Basic Duties of a Board Administrator

The following duties are required for an administrator to remain in good standing:

Board Administration Guidelines

These guidelines are given to you both to protect the interest of the posters and to ensure that all of the message boards are being administered consistently.

You are responsible for performing each of these tasks as frequently as your board requires.

What happens if I fail to perform the basic administrator duties?

If you fail to perform the basic duties of an admin for your board, you may be removed as the administrator of that board. You will be sent notice and given an opportunity to correct the situation prior to removal. If you fail to respond, you will be removed as the board administrator.

What do I do if I am no longer able to care for my board or if I no longer want to be the administrator?

If you no longer wish to be an administrator, please e-mail the message board staff at and include your username and the name of the board(s) you would no longer wish to administer.

Useful Administrator Resources

Any long-time administrator will agree that administering a message board is more of an art than a science. Sometimes knowing what to do with a post is not black and white. In addition, learning the administrator tools can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, you have many resources available to you:

Community Guidelines:

Take some time to first review the Community Guidelines. A link to the Community Guideline is found at the bottom-center of any message board page.

Board Help and Board FAQ pages:

The Board Help and Board FAQ pages can help you (and your board members) learn to use the many tools on the message boards. Links to these pages can be found at the bottom-center of any message board page.

Boards Administrators Message Board:

The Boards Administrators message board is a great place to post any questions you might have on administering your board and using the administrator tools. The board can be found by following this path:

Message Boards > Topics > RootsWeb > Administrative > Boards Administrators

Boards Admins Mailing List:

The Boards Admins mailing list can put you in touch with hundreds of board admins like yourself. You can ask questions about using the admin tools and get input on what to do with difficult posts. You can subscribe to the Boards Admins mailing list by sending an e-mail with the word “subscribe” in the subject to

Contact the Message Board Staff:

If you are unable to find the answer to your questions at one of the above listed resources please contact the board staff at for help.

Optional Administrator Duties

The following activities that are not required to be an administrator in good standing, but they can make your board a more welcoming and effective research tool.