Pick the PRIMARY surname (last name) of your query.
Note that this is your "main" surname and should have the highest priority
"Shotgun" versus "Laser Beam" Genealogy Queries:
The Shotgun method: Is the WRONG way to organize your query
This is like you might imagine - BOOM! Anything and everything is listed. Every last surname that you are interested in is mentioned.
You can find this on personal genealogy home pages (which is great) but it is not advisable for a successful genealogy query. If you use the shotgun method and give too much information you are spreading yourself too thin.
The Laser Beam Method: Is the BEST way to organize your query.
Keep your information in a tight group or in a "laser beam" of solid information and your query will be the most productive.
Here is an example:
Looking for information on information about the descendants of Thomas SUGGS Sr. who was born
1700 in Norfolk Co., Virginia. He was the oldest
son of George SUGGS and Sarah IVES. He married
Mary HARBERT in 1725. They lived in Anson Co.,
North Carolina and were likely the parents of four
sons and three daughters. Descendants lived in
North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas
Also researching the Cooter, Kerr, Ragan, Stamps and Teel families.
Note: see how well this reads? Even with a mention of all the children's names, this would still work well. This query covers a lot of ground and is very easy for others to read.
The "also researching" line -The RIGHT way: See the five families mentioned in the "also researching" sentence? These are families that are close knit with this particular group or cluster of (SUGGS) people.
The "also researching" line -The WRONG way: If you are only trying to save a few dollars and say: Also researching the (family #) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 etc. families, and list everyone under the sun who is NOT close knit with your query - you will get TONS OF FALSE LEADS.