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Newsgroups and Mailing Lists Useful to Cuban Genealogy



dingInternet / USENET News Groups

USENET news groups originated back in the days when the only widely networked computers were running the Unix operating system (USENET was, and still is, a network of Unix computer users). Now these newsgroups are widely available throught the Internet. There are currently tens of thousands of Internet/USENET news groups, which more properly should be described as discussion and sharing groups, with more being created daily.

The following are some of the established Internet news groups about Cuba and of interest to Cuban genealogy:

Newsgroups differ from mailing lists in that newsgroup messages are posted to a server, and you must actually retrieve the messages from that server. You subscribe to the lists that you want by selecting them in your newsreader.

In practice the contents of news servers are "mirrored" (copied) to multiple other news servers, including dedicated news servers at your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Some newsgroups messages are also distributed (gatewayed) to mailing lists and vice-versa. From the preceding list, the soc.genealogy.hispanic and soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroups are also available as mailing lists.

To access any newsgroup you must first configure your newsreader or web browser with the address of the news server of your Internet Service Provider. Please contact your Internet Service Provider for the specific configuration details.

We recommend the use of "news reader" software specifically designed for this purpose instead of your web browser. You can locate and download several shareware and freeware news readers for Windows® from the TuCows web site. I use and recommend the Forté Agent news reader.


dingInternet Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are remarkably simple: you send a piece of e-mail to the list's address, and the list retransmits that message to everyone who is subscribed. Some mailing lists are moderated - this means that all messages pass through the list moderator who decides whether the message gets posted or not. Most mailing lists are closed - this means that messages are only posted from subscribers. This is done to prevent persons or entities who are not subscribers from "spamming" the list with messages unrelated to the list subject.

The non-profit Rootsweb genealogy cooperative hosts thousands of mailing lists dedicated to various aspeccts of genealogy. There are lists dedicated to geographic regions, specific last names as well as special genealogy topics.

Most Rootsweb mailing lists are available in MAIL mode, where every post is sent to suscribers as a separate piece of e-mail, and DIGEST mode, where a group of messages are batched together and sent to the suscribers. The content of the digest is the same as for the mail mode, the digest just combines the messages together to reduce the number of separate e-mails that you will receive. The currently available modes for the listed mailing lists are shown in the table.

For the latest list of mailing lists hosted by Rootsweb, and more information, visit


Brief List of Internet Lists of Interest to Cuban Genealogy

Internet Mailing List Host Mode Address to Subscribe or Un-subscribe
CUBA Rootsweb MAIL or DIGEST click here for rules and instructions
BILINGUAL-SP (English & Spanish automatically translated) Rootsweb MAIL see below
PUERTORICO Rootsweb MAIL or DIGEST see below
CARIBBEAN Rootsweb DIGEST see below
SPAIN (in English) Rootsweb MAIL or DIGEST see below
soc.genealogy.hispanic newsgroup Internet servers (various) message archive click here for instructions
soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup Internet servers (various) message archive click here for instructions
FORO DE GENEALOGIA HISPANA (open list from Spain - in Spanish) RedIRIS MAIL visit web page for instructions
FORO SOBRE GENEALOGÍA (moderated list from Spain - in Spanish) RedIRIS MAIL visit web page for instructions
ROOTS (high traffic) Rootsweb MAIL or DIGEST see below
Rootsweb Review (weekly digest) Rootsweb MAIL see below


How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe to Rootsweb Lists

  • All Rootsweb mailing lists have two addresses, the list name, where postings are sent (example, and the list name followed by "-REQUEST" (example where only subscribe and unsubscribe commands to the listserver software should be sent. Messages sent to the "-REQUEST" address DO NOT get posted.

    • To subscribe: send a message to for MAIL mode or to for DIGEST mode, where XXXX is the name of the list. Note that Rootsweb has dropped the "L" after the list name so the CUBA-L list is now known ad simply as the CUBA list. The message should have ONLY the word "subscribe" (without the quotes) on the "Subject" and in the body of the message. The message should not contain any other words or signatures (the address to be subscribed is taken from the "From:" line, not from anywhere else in the message.

    • To unsubscribe: send a message to, where XXXX is the name of the list. The message should have ONLY the word "unsubscribe" (without the quotes) on the "Subject" and in the body of the message. The message should not contain any other words or signatures.


Please note the following:

  • You must be a subscriber before you can post messages to any Rootsweb list.

  • Turn off any fancy fonts, styles, or automatic signatures before sending the message. Don't send any additional words in your subscription message. Extra words just confuse the subscription computer. Subscription and unsubscrption is fully automatic.

  • If your e-mail account is on AOL, CompuServe, or similar service, make sure that your e-mail preferences are set to accept messages from the list BEFORE you subscribe. Otherwise messages sent to you will bounce and your name will be automatically removed from the list.

  • A few seconds after you subscribe you will receive a detailed message describing the mailing list and its policies, and giving you instructions on how to unsubscribe and how to post messages. READ AND KEEP THIS MESSAGE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE.

  • If at some future time you change Internet service provider, don't forget to unsubscribe to the list from your old provider and re-subscribe from your new provider. Addresses that bounce because of incorrect address, unknown recipient, mailbox full, refusal to accept the message by your mailbox or ISP, etc., are automatically deleted from the list.

  • Use plain text only when you send messages to the list. Not every reader can read your messages if you use fancy fonts or special characters. Messages not in plain text may be bounced by the list server and not forwarded to the list.

  • DO NOT send any virus warning messages to the list. These are specifically prohibited by Rootsweb due to the large number of false warnings and hoaxes in circulation.

  • DO NOT send any attachments to the list. The Rootsweb server will not distribute attachments so as not to propagate real viruses.

  • DO NOT send off-topic, jokes, insulting or irrelevant messages to the list. If you do, you risk being permanently barred from the list.

  • DO NOT send very large messages to the list. There is an automatic limit to the length of messages that are forwarded to the list.

  • DO NOT post any personal information such as your address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, etc. Messages are subject to becoming public and being archived permanently by unscrupulous entities not associated with Rootsweb.

  • Remember that messages are forwarded to the list immediately and cannot be retracted or changed.

  • Always be courteous. If you have a problem with another subscriber send a private message directly to the list administrator. Do not complain on the list.


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Newsgroups and Mailing Lists Useful to Cuban Genealogy - Updated 06-Jun-2007

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