WELCOME to the

SORTORE Surname Mailing List

My name is Timothy Cook. I'm the "owner" of this list. That means I'm responsible for keeping it running as smoothly as possible and setting some rules for its operation. The following are a few simple guidelines that will help you on the list.

Your responsibilities.

That's right, you have some responsibilities, too. A mail list isn't like a movie, where you just buy a ticket, get entertained (sometimes) then walk away. This is a cooperative effort.

1. Bookmark this page. I recommend printing it and putting the paper where you can find it. Files on a hard disk get lost (as if paper doesn't, but...)

2. Read this page. Yes, it's a little long, but you don't have to  memorize it (that's why you're saving it). It's hard to make it short and tell you what you need to know.

3. Don't be afraid of all this. Using a computer is a little harder than just knowing where the power switch is, but anyone can do this with a little effort and by following instructions.

4. Follow instructions - to the letter. If you leave something out of a command or put something extra in, it probably won't work.

5. If you decide to leave the list, make sure your name is removed (more on this below). The server that sends you this list handles thousands of messages a day. If your address becomes "bad" (for instance, you quit AOL but we think you're still there) then we start getting bounced messages. We get thousands a day now. Please don't make it worse.

6. Remember three addresses:


8. Please stay on topic. Just below is a description about what this list is for. Please stay close to that subject. (Keep in mind that history is an important part of genealogy. Current topics usually are not.) Do not post virus warnings, test messages, chain letters, political announcements, current events, items for sale, personal messages, etc. For information on virus hoaxes and urban legends see http://www.kumite.com/myths/ among others.

9. RootsWeb accepts only plain text mail. That means that HTML mail, ``enriched text'', and a few other formats can't be sent to RootsWeb mailing lists. You can post your message if you send it in plain text; turn off the ``Post in HTML'' or ``Enriched Text'' features of your mail reader, or don't use any attachments. See


for instructions on turning off HTML in most of the popular mail programs, or ask your ISP's technical support line for help.

RootsWeb had to institute this policy because of the problems that accompany these fancy mail formats. Some people don't have mail programs that are capable of processing the special file formats. Even among those who do, different mail programs handle these special formats in very different and confusing ways. HTML messages pose special problems to our digested mailing lists. Most of all, HTML-ified mail and attachments place a considerable burden on RootsWeb's overworked machines. All in all, mail in this format produces a lot of problems for RootsWeb's servers and subscribers, so the fine folks at RootsWeb find it's best just to use plain text.

10. Most e-mail programs can send attachments (attached files). Don't send these to the list. (Some programs will send a small attachment with your signature or something like that and you can't shut that off; that's okay.) This can cause some subscribers' machines to lock up, make them lose all their mail, even crash their hard drive!

A GEDCOM file can be a huge attachment; so can an encoded graphics file (if you don't know what those are, you probably won't be sending them, but a lot of you will understand these terms). If you want people to have these, announce them via the list and have people send you a private e-mail requesting them.

What is this list?

This is a discussion area for anyone who has an interest in the SORTORE surname, including variant spellings such as SORTOR or SORTER . This could include discussing allied families. But please remember that this is first, and foremost, a place to discuss the SORTORE surname.

Please do not be embarrassed to ask any questions here. All of us at one time were new to both genealogy and computers. The only way you will ever learn is to ask.

Are there other lists like this?

If you can browse the Web, you can check these URLs for information on genealogy lists:



I don't like what some people say on the list!

The list is not moderated. Any message sent to it is automatically bounced back out to everyone on the list. While I in no way want to stifle free discussion, as list owner I reserve the right to step in if a flame war erupts, if some thread (a series of messages on the same subject) becomes tedious for other subscribers, or if someone becomes unseemly (excessive use of profanity, for instance).

The most important key on your keyboard is the DELETE key. If you don't like a message, delete it. Don't send a cutting or snide remark back to the list. The rest of us don't want to read it, and it just adds to the clutter of useless messages. If you feel there is a serious problem caused by someone, contact me.

If you have a personal message for someone, please send it to their address, not the list server address. Any mail sent to SORTORE-L  will automatically be sent to everyone on the list.


1. How to subscribe. Send a message to SORTORE-L-request@rootsweb.com that contains (in the body of the message) the command


and no additional text.

2. How to unsubscribe. Send a message to SORTORE-L-request@rootsweb.com. that contains (in the body of the message) the command


and no additional text.

3. How to change to digest mode (several postings are combined and sent to you together as a single large message). There are two steps. First, send the command "unsubscribe" to SORTORE-L-request@rootsweb.com  to discontinue mail mode. Second, send the command "subscribe" to SORTORE-D-request@rootsweb.com to start receiving digests.

4. How to change to NOMAIL mode. There is no formal NOMAIL mode. All you have to do is follow the directions above and unsubscribe when you want the messages to stop, and then when you want them to start again, simply subscribe again.

5. If you'd like to post a message so everyone on the mailing list receives it, just send it to SORTORE-L@rootsweb.com. It will then be sent on to everyone in both mail and digest mode. You don't need to send it explicitly to both.

Are the messages archived (saved) somewhere?

Yes there are archives of all messages posted to this list since it  was started. To access these archives go to this URL: http://searches.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/listsearch.pl. There you will find instructions on how to access the archives.

How soon should I get an answer?

When you send a message to the list, you will get a copy back (since you're a subscriber, too). The software used here can't be set differently. (listserv can be set to not send you a copy back.) Depending on a lot of factors, you may get an answer in 5 minutes or 5 hours, sometimes even longer. We may be very busy here. Sometimes **your** service rejects messages for awhile. GENERALLY, if you don't have an answer in 12 hours, suspect a problem and try again.

I'm having a problem

Send me a message, but be specific. I can't help if you just say, "I'm having a problem, help me." Tell me what it is. Tell me what you did or tried to do. If you received some kind of error message, send it to me. If you get an error message it will tell you what the error is.

You get a "list not known" or similar error. Check how you're spelling the list's name. Common errors include:

New York Roots (it is supposed to be NewYork-ROOTS)

VA-ROOTS (that's on another server)

KYROOTS (ditto)


Get the idea?

You get a "bad command" error. Check you spelling. I see  "unscribe", "un-scibe" and about every other variation  imaginable. You have to spell stuff right!

I need more help

Contact me with your request and I will do my best to get what help you need.

Have fun!!



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