ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2001-06 > 148704
From: "Karima" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Who ever said that Genealogical Research was "free"?
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 07:55:33 -0500
I am constantly amazed at the "free" concept. I have never considered
genealogical research to be a "free" thing. Everything has a value: time,
I started doing research in 1976, long before we had the convenience of
cyber space. I didn't have the slightest idea where to start and was
delighted when I found that I could purchase a book to guide me. You have
no idea how much searching I did just to find that book, and my local book
store had to order it for me. Genealogy was a relatively new hobby at the
time. I think I paid about $35.00 for the book, which was (at least to me)
a lot of money at that time. But I felt that it was worth every penny,
because it contained information that was not available to me any place else
. . . what kinds of records were available, where to look for them, how to
organize my research, actual forms on which to record my findings . . . and
all between the covers of this treasured "book".
I was also fortunate enough to live in the capitol city of the state in
which I began my research. However, since I worked during the hours the
archives, historical library, etc. were open, I had to use my lunch hours
and early Saturday mornings to visit these places and then had to dig
through the information myself.
There were no "computer software programs" such as Family Tree Maker, etc.,
so I had to keep everything in written form. If I wanted an actual record
of something, I had find out where to write for the record, then write the
letter, enclose a check for the copy of the record, take it to the post
office, purchase the stamp, and then wait . . . and wait . . . and wait
. . .
Because there is so much available to us today . . . just the click of a
mouse button away . . . many people think they are getting "scammed" because
there are costs involved in getting to some of these records. I still don't
consider a source documented until I have a copy of the record . . . which I
still have to write away to get . . . as my research has taken me a long way
away from the state in which I began . . .
In life in general, it seems that the more things people get for "free", the
more we expect to get for "free".
Count your blessings and just be thankful that we have the resources
available to us that we do, and remember that absolutely nothing in this
world is free . . . somewhere along the line actual money was spent by
someone to gather this information . . . whether it was paying a researcher,
or just the cost of the gasoline to drive to the original court house.
Just a thought . . .