County Coordinator Guide and Helpful Information

Questions regarding guidelines and helpful information please see:
State Coordinator
- Jeff Kemp

If you would like to adopt a MSGenWeb County please read County Coordinator Guide  and then please fill out the MSGenWeb CC Adoption Application form.

        Including Information for Volunteers, County/Special Sites, and Submitting Documents and Files 

Adopted by MSGenWeb December, 1999
Last Revision:  05 Dec. 2009 - Updated URL's, email addresses and Representatives names.

Welcome to the MSGenWeb County Volunteer Help page!  If you are considering adopting a MSGenWeb County, or if you are already a coordinator, this page is must-reading.

         Table Of Contents

        Ready to Help?

            Email the state coordinator with the following information:  

            Name Name
            County Of Interest
            Why You Are Interested in that County
            Experience with Web Page Design & Creation
            Other USGenWeb or other online genealogy project involvement (if applicable)

            We THANK YOU for your support of the MSGenWeb Project, and look forward to your joining us! 

            Please contact State Coordinator regarding questions,  suggestions, or comments about this website. 


        Basic Requirements 

To be a successful MSGenWeb County Coordinator, you will need: 

  • A knowledge of the county/area you will be coordinating.
  • A desire and willingness to assist researchers who visit your county website. 

  • NOTE:  MSGenWeb does not require or expect that its coordinators engage in personal research or lookups for visitors!  The best way to assist researchers is to provide as much fresh and appropriate online information and links as is possible. We help researchers, but we do not do the research for them.

  • A basic knowledge HTML page coding and design, OR access to and ability to use Webpage editing software such as Netscape Composer, Microsoft Front Page, Macromedia Dreamweaver, etc. 

  • Access to reliable server space.  There are many "free" servers available.  You may use the server of your choice as long as the server is not publicly affiliated with, or linked to, adult sites or other inappropriate material or links.  It is preferred that sites are hosted on servers which are free of pop-up advertising. MSGenWeb sites must be non-secular and "family friendly." Most sites are hosted at which is the official host for MSGenWeb.

  • Time to devote to your county page.  Researchers are looking for fresh and frequently updated information on your pages. The weekly time required can range from two to twenty hours, depending on the time you have available, and your degree of enthusiasm.

  • Ability to make initial new coordinator name changes to the county pages, to upload changed pages, and to officially take over the county within 30 days of acceptance. 
  • Willingness to grant minimum 30 days notice should you decide to give up your county.  (We hope you never do!)  Outgoing County Coordinators will be asked to assist with transferring the county to the replacement County Coordinators whenever possible. 

NOTE: You do NOT need to live in the county you are hosting.
You will be joining a fine team of County Coordinators dedicated to making the MSGenWeb Project the best resource for those seeking to research their Mississippi ancestors. 

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          MSGenWeb Structure 

  • State Index Page - 1 (one) State Coordinator, 1 (one) Primary Assistant State Coordinator, other Assistant State Coordinators as deemed appropriate and necessary by the State Coordinator.

  • County and Special Project Coordinators may be delinked only by the State Coordinator.

    Final approval of special projects, new Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators rests with the State Coordinator. Volunteers who apply using an alias name will not be considered.

    There is no limit on the length of time a State Coordinator may serve, or the number of times a former State Coordinator may run for re-election.  An election for a new State Coordinator will be held upon resignation of the current State Coordinator, or upon the call for an election by a minimum of 25% of the county and special project coordinators, and their assistants.

  • Special Projects, e.g. Confederate page, State History, etc. - Limit 1 (one) Coordinator, 1 (one) Assistant Coordinator if desired. 

  • County Sites - Limit 1 (one) County Coordinator, 1 (one) Assistant County Coordinator if desired. 

  • Limit of 4 (four) counties/special project sites, or combination, per individual.

  • NOTE:  A Local Special Project or County may utilize additional non-MSGenWeb member "helpers" if desired.  Helpers will not be subbed to the State mailing lists, and will not be included in the voter list.

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           MSGenWeb Mailing Lists for County Coordinators 

  • Email Mailing List Etiquette

    All MSGenWeb County Coordinators will be subscribed to the MSGEN-L mailing list, the official MSGenWeb List for announcements and pertinent information concerning the US and MSGenWeb Projects, and individual MS counties.  This is a non-chat list available only to current members of MSGenWeb.  You will automatically be subscribed when you assume your county coordinator position.
    This private list is available to MSGenWeb members who wish to participate in discussions of a political nature, relative to USGenWeb.  Subscription is not automatic, but may be obtained by sending a note to the State Coordinator.

    NOTE:  You may unsubscribe from MSCHAT-L and MSGW-Discuss at any time, by sending a note to the State Coordinator

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          MSGenWeb Requirements for County and Special Project Websites 

There are a few basic requirements that every county website must meet in order to be associated with The MSGenWeb Project 

NOTE:  The purpose of MSGenWeb is to provide material and assistance to researchers.  To accomplish our goal, all MSGenWeb sites must be properly maintained and updated on a regular basis, and the coordinator must provide a viable email ID to the researchers.  A project site that has remained unattended for 3 or more months, or which contains numerous broken links and graphics, or which does not comply with one or more of the basic requirements of MSGenWeb and/or USGenWeb, or a coordinator who is unresponsive to email is subject to removal from the project, by the State Coordinator.  Whenever possible, a minimum 30 days notice will be given in order to grant the Coordinator an opportunity to bring the site into compliance.

  • Logos

  • Your main index page must display the USGenWeb and MSGenWeb logos of your choice.

    MSGenWeb Logos

    To save the logos below  to your computer, place cursor on image, right click, and choose "Save Image As..." 

    Also for County Coordinator use are other backgrounds & graphics please click here

  • USGenWeb Logos may be acquired at: 

    NOTE:  For your protection, it is STRONGLY recommended that at least one of the above logos and a link back to your index page be placed on every page within your county.   (This is because of search engines or links from other sites that might take a visitor directly to a page within your county, aka Deep Linking, and even display your page within a frame on the hosting server.)

  • Mandatory Links 
  • The index (home) page must have a link to the following pages:
  • MSGenWeb State Page -

  • USGenWeb Project National Page - 

  • Name/ID of current State Coordinator

  • Name/ID of current County Coordinator

  • The Name/ID of Assistant County Coordinator, if you have an assistant, is desired, though not mandatory. 

  • Notice of Last Update [Date]
  • Either the Index Page or a What's New page (if one is used) must contain the date the site was last updated.

    Example:  " Last updated on Monday, 25-Nov-09 21:09:04 PDT" 

              HTML code: Modified: <!--#echo var="LAST_MODIFIED"--> 

              Or manually entered: "Last updated on Monday, 25 Nov, 2009" 

  • Query Page 
  • Every County must provide pages for submitted queries, or a link to a county appropriate message board, such as Rootsweb Message Board or GenForum. If queries are maintained manually, the query page should be updated within one to two weeks upon receipt of the query.  Each query should be dated.  In order to retain the integrity of the county queries, it is highly recommended that coordinators keep an eye on the submissions to be sure that the query is relative to your particular county, that it is intelligible, and that the E-Mail address of the submitter is functional.  We recommend you either accept the system that is in place when you take the county, if possible, or that you look around and carefully explore the options, before you make changes. NOTE: At no time are "old" queries to be discarded, unless they are found to be inappropriate for the county, or if the e-mail link is no longer current.  Submitted queries belong to the submitter, and may be removed/altered at any time at the request of the submitter.
  • USGenWeb Requirements 
  • In addition to MSGenWeb Requirements, the parent group USGenWeb Project has a set of minimum requirements and guidelines for each County page.  These requirements must be observed, and can be found at:
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    While not requirements, the following suggestions have proven to be especially helpful to County Coordinators, and to Researchers.  We hope you will consider each one.
  • Music
  • Midi or wav files on a page can be an attractive and appealing feature.  However, MSGenWeb recommends that the visitor be given the *option* of hearing the music, or not.  Some browsers will crash when music files are automatically played.

  • Recommended Links
  • Unknown County Page
  • This link may be placed on either the index page, or the query page.  Researchers who do not know the particular county should be directed to leave a query on this page.

  • MS City/Town List
  • This is a (growing) list of MS cities and towns, both past and current, and the county in which they reside(d).  It can be very helpful in determining the correct county.  It may be placed on the index page, or query page, or both. 

  • Links to Neighboring Counties and/or States

  • This courteous act will aid researchers in finding genealogical information which commonly spills over current county or state borders.  Check the links periodically, in case a county has been moved to a different server.
  • The USGenWeb Project Archives: 

  • The WorldGenWeb Project: 

  • RootsWeb, if your county is hosted by Rootsweb. 

  • Personal Web Pages
  • Add links to personal non-commercial genealogical websites with connections to your county. 
  • MSGenWeb State Online Archives
  •  Census Projects:
  • Copyright Notice 
  • It is highly recommended, for your protection, that all websites and html pages within the MSGenWeb Project carry the following copyright notice, or something similar:             "Copyright (Year) by (name of coordinator) - All Rights Reserved" 
  • Counters 
  • Check with your server for instructions on installing a counter to your index page.  Example:  "You are the 14th visitor since the counter was installed on July 15, 2002.
    [Change the date accordingly.]
  • Suggestions for Additional County Pages
  • Address Page

  • Provide a listing of postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and websites to genealogical or historical societies, county or municipal offices, and local libraries. 
  • Bibliography of Published Resources

  • A listing of local history and genealogical books and magazines of interest to the researcher.  A good alternative to a lookup page is a county bibliography page, which provides a list of books and material available for your county, and where they can be found.   If you use a Bibliography page, it is recommended that you place a notice on the page similar to the following: 

    "This county, MSGenWeb and/or the USGenWeb Project do not necessarily endorse or recommend the publications listed on this page.  The information is listed solely as a public service to researchers.  Neither XX Co, MSGenWeb, the USGenWeb Project, nor the Webmaster have any special interest or affiliation with any of the publishers or authors.  No guarantees are implied." 

  • Links Page
  • Links to off site pages that contain information/material relevant to the county.
  • Lookup Page
  • You may put up a Lookup Page only if you or your volunteers have received permission from the author or publisher of the material to do so, or if the book or material is in the public domain and permission is not needed.  It is strongly suggested that you put the following two USGenWeb Official Policy statements at the top of any lookup page you should decide to create:      "The USGenWeb Project will not tolerate any copyright violations.  Lookup requests should be limited to one name, or perhaps two if it is a married couple. Information given will be minimal; for example if it is a cemetery lookup, the information given will consist of the name of the cemetery and the dates on the headstone. Please do not ask for 'everybody with X surname' or an entire family group, or for hard copies to be mailed; the volunteers have been asked not to comply with such requests".        "Our lookups will extend to searching a book or other material to see if it would be helpful to you in your research.  Should the book prove useful, we can provide the author's address and ordering information". 
  • Surnames
  • A Surnames page can be helpful to researchers. It is recommended that the surnames be linked to the queries, when possible. 
  • What's New
  • A dated and conveniently located "What's New" section or page provides an appreciated timesaving service to visitors to your county.  Provide links directly to the new file, so the researcher doesn't have to look through your web site to find the new file. 
  • Search Engines
  • On site-search engines are convenient time-savers for researchers.  A few to look into, in alphabetical order:
  • FreeFind  -

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         About Rootsweb and the USGenWeb Project

    Because of the close association these two organizations have enjoyed over the years, the terms "USGenWeb" and "Rootsweb" have been incorrectly used interchangeably.  Both organizations are separate entities.  Rootsweb has now been merged with The MSGenWeb is the hosted by The as are the majority of the our county websites.

    NOTE: provides a mail list, message board and a reunion calendar free of charge. The Mail List, the Message Boards, and the Calendar are not USGenWeb perks. 

    They belong solely to the County Coordinator unless/until that Coordinator passes on the applications to a new coordinator, as part of the County. Since a close tie forms between the Mail List researchers and the County researchers, within the county, MSGenWeb encourages each Coordinator to pass on these "perks" to any succeeding coordinator, in the interest of continuity, and to help insure that posted data will remain close to the county.

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          Copyright Considerations 

    Be sure to read the USGenWeb Policy on Copyright.

    MSGenWeb will not tolerate copyright violations. 

    Anything placed on the Internet is considered published.  It belongs to the author or artist who created the material, unless it resides in the Public Domain (published before 1923), in which case it may be freely copied. 

    Non-public domain material may include notes posted to mailing lists, queries, graphics, transcriptions, photographs, books, articles, newsletters, etc.  In order for this material to be published on your county pages, written consent must be obtained from the author/publisher, except for queries.  Consent to publish queries is implied when the query is submitted to the county either directly, or via the coordinator. 

    Submitted material posted on the county pages, including queries, belongs to the submitter. The submitter retains copyright, and may withdraw the material at any time. 

    NOTE: On occasion, Coordinators have been contacted by a researcher re "incorrect" information found on a submitted file.  The CC is NOT to change or alter any submitted material.  It is recommended that the CC refer the researcher to the submitter, or add the information as a clear annotation to the original file.  Never make changes in a submitted file unless instructed to do so by the submitter. 

    Copyright laws can be complicated.  For more information, try these links: 

  • Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy

  • by Michael Patrick Goad
  • United States Copyright Office 


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          How to Link to Offsite Files

    Many researchers have great information on their own pages.  If you link to an off site file, be sure to properly identify the link to avoid the appearance that the file is on your county pages.

    Improper: XXXX County Marriage Records

    Proper: John Doe's XXXX County Marriage Records - Great Link!

    A separate "Links" page, identified as such, is a good idea.

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          When You Leave... 

    We don't want you to leave!  : )

    However, if you must, we ask the following: 
  • Minimum 30 days notice to the SC 
  • Willingness to help locate a replacement CC
  • Willingness to help make the transfer to the new CC quick and smooth
  • Willingness to help train the new CC
  • What Stays with the County: According to the USGenWeb By-Laws Article XI, Sec. 4: ..."those sections of the website submitted or donated by contributors other than the website coordinator, shall remain with the website." This includes queries, files, photographs, transcriptions, and documents submitted by researchers, other than yourself.  It also includes material/graphics already in place at the time you took the county.  What is Optional to Leave with the County: 
  • MSGenWeb account space on which the county resides*
  • County Mailing List* 
  • Rootsweb Message Boards* (with the exception of queries, which must stay
        with the county) 
  • Your individual contributions to the county, such as files, photographs, etc.* 
  • *We hope, in the interest of the researchers, that you will consider passing on any, or all, of the above, if they exist.  We hope that you will continue to allow MSGenWeb to display whatever material - transcriptions, documents, photographs, etc. - that you personally have placed online.   These items are optional, however, and it is up to you.  We won't twist your arm.  : )

    If you choose to remove your own material from the county, it is hoped that you will leave the material online somewhere, and provide the new CC with a link to that material.  NOTE: If the outgoing CC retains the account, all USGenWeb and MSGenweb logos, and all text references that identify the site as a USGW/MSGW site should be promptly removed from all pages. At time of transfer, if you have reached any type of a "special" agreement with your successor, please forward a copy of that agreement to the SC.  Return to Menu

          Submitted Files and Documents 

    MSGenWeb welcomes individual submissions of original material, or transcribed Public Domain material, relevant to Mississippi genealogical and historical research.  Examples:  Census, Bibles, Church, Wills, Cemetery, Military Rosters, Tax Lists, and old or original photographs of general interest to the county. 

    Due to space limitations, many servers are not able to accept GEDCOM submissions,  long family outlines, and in some cases photographs.  Check with the individual Coordinator  for space availability, and to see what is available for submitting individual family information.  Each county coordinator has the final determination as to what will be accepted for placement within a county.  Please trust their good judgment! 

    To submit material to any MSGenWeb site, contact the appropriate County Coordinator, or click HERE.

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    SEMA Elected CC and SC Representatives

    MSGenWeb is in the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic Region (SE/MA).  The current Advisory Board Representatives for our region are:

  • State Coordinator Representative
  • Les Shockey, August 31, 2010
  • County Coordinator Representatives
  • To Subscribe to the SE/MA Regional Mail List to meet and discuss issues with your representative, send a message to the address below, leaving the subject line blank and typing only the word "subscribe" (without the quotation marks) into the body of the message. Turn off your sig lines, if you use them. 
  • Mail Mode 

  • Digest Mode 


    This list is for USGenWeb Members only.

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    Please contact the MSGenWeb State Coordinator regarding questions, suggestions, or comments about this website.

    Jeff Kemp - State Coordinator, Ann Allen Geoghegan - Assistant State Coordinator, Denise Wells - Assistant State Coordinator

    Ann Geoghegan - Special Projects Manager 
    Content copyright 1997-2017 MSGenWeb Team, where noted. All rights reserved.

    Last updated Tuesday, 10-Feb-2015 15:56:19 EST