I and a small group of cousins founded the Zachariah Dutton genealogy mailing list in June 1998 as a way to correspond as a group with other genealogists researching the family of Zachariah Dutton. There were increasingly a lot of us, about fifteen cousins in the beginning, and we had a lot to talk about, and I felt like we would dominate the existing DUTTON mailing list on RootsWeb and make ourselves unwelcome. So, I decided to start a start our own. At first, it was a manual list we copied and pasted to the “to” line, without membership management; as you might expect, this quickly became a problem. We moved to our own listserve at RootsWeb in July 1999.

We’ve had a lot of useful and productive discussion over the years on DUTTON-ZACHARIAH. Sadly, mailing lists are not what they used to be. Traffic on DUTTON-ZACHARIAH, as well as on other lists I have managed and been a member of, has fallen to almost nothing. Listserves may be the tools of a bygone era (though I observe they are still in use in the software development community). Listserves have been largely replaced by online forums, especially on megasites like I will continue to post announcements on DUTTON-ZACHARIAH, but I think the future lies in forums.

Still, there is a lot of useful information archived in the DUTTON-ZACHARIAH postings of the past. RootsWeb (and now Ancestry, who bought it) have thankfully archived the list and it continues to be accessible and searchable.

3 thoughts on “The DUTTON-ZACHARIAH Mailing List”

  1. Hi Cousin Joseph,
    So now what is the best way to communicate with Dutton Cousins, through the old Roots Web site or through your Blog on
    Cousin Marelle

    1. Hi Cousin Marelle! I’m so, so glad to hear from you. It’s been so long, I was afraid something had happened to you. I think the RootsWeb mailing list is completely dead now (as in, no longer even functional). I set up a Zachariah Dutton genealogy group on Facebook in which I’ve managed to get some interaction, but interaction and collaboration are not what they used to be. I’ve thought about setting up a forum here on the Z. Dutton website, but the Internet has changed so much and I’m not sure anybody hangs out on forums anymore. 🤷‍♂️ You’re welcome to comment on the blog here but I’ve been very bad about posting here myself. For the past year, I’ve been up to my neck in finally writing my first Dutton book, primarily on my ancestor William Dutton and his descendants but with significant chapters on the Maryland Duttons and on Zachariah Dutton. I plan to do a volume for each of Zachariah’s children. But I’m in the final stages of this one. I aim to have it out by Christmas. I’ll drop you in an email in just a moment.

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