Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
The term e-mail is an abbreviation for electronic mail, mail generated and sent over a computer network, as opposed to regular or snail mail, as it is sometimes called, sent through a country's postal service. How long it takes an e-mail to reach its destination is dependent on a number of factors, but can be almost instantaneous. The benefit of e-mail is its speed and convenience. Users can communicate with others, near or far, without ever leaving their homes or places of work. An exchange of communication can occur, almost in real time. A bounced e-mail is received when an e-mail message is undeliverable.
It is well-known that the Internet has revolutionized the field of genealogy, and e -mail is just one function of that technology. E-mail allows correspondents in remote places to communicate and share information quickly, at relatively low cost. Today, many e-mail programs are available for free and allow users to access their e-mail anyplace that has an Internet connection. Even those who are not computer savvy can typically send and receive e-mail messages.