ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2006-10 > 1161196076
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Advertising Gen. Soc. Resources
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 14:27:56 EDT
Margaret absolutely has touched on the attitude of a lot of researchers.
Why not get someone else to do the research for you rather you doing it
yourself. A lot of newer researchers have not had to go through the process of
actual research like a lot of us who were going it BC (before computers) and the
Internet! They never experienced letter writing, waiting, responding,
corresponding and all the anticipations of waiting to get the facts. Most new
genealogists wants to information now, immediately, yesterday if I could get it!
They think the only way to research is via computer. They've never gone to
a library, to a historical society, a genealogical society meeting, tramped
through cemeteries, written to churches who don't respond, to an archive,
ordered films, picked up a book, compared facts between books, etc. They
believe that what's on the Internet is accurate and the only way to fly.
While I realize that a lot of researchers are elderly, or handicapped, or
have no transportation and this is the only way they can do research. I have
no qualms about computer research if you are in this situation. So I don't
want those who only use computers these days to start a hate mail campaign.
That's not my purpose or intent. But those of us who are able, have the
capacity, have the means and modus operandi to do the physical labor of research
should get out and learn where records are kept, what census years are
available, learn a bit of history, write letters and wait for responses, check out
locating records in the courthouse and that sort of thing once in a while.
I've been there, done that, and still do it. I would prefer reading the
books myself than having to use the computer to flip through pages - it is
slower than molasses when you are on one page and need to go back to another to
find something you missed. (I don't have DSL!)Opening a book and flipping
pages is much faster. BUT I don't always have these books at my finger tips and
I would need a library the size of the Library of Congress if I did! I
don't. So I will have to live with the opportunities the computer provides me to
find out information quickly and easily and I certainly do appreciate all
those wonderful people out there who will spend the time to take an interest in
any look up request I post. I thank you all for being there when I need it
and I'm sure the rest of us do as well.
More to the point, posting messages on lists only reaches those who are on
the list and read it that day. It needs to be an ongoing message, repeated
over a long period so that more people see it and read it rather than the select
few who happen to be on the subscribed list at that point in time when you
send the message. Not many people research into the archives of previous
messages, myself included. You must remember too, Butte county is a very small
county. Not many people in this world are from or were from Butte county.
Not many people know that your county also produced some California vitals
that were filmed or microfiched by the LDS. I discovered them at one of the FHL
I go to for researching. How many people know that? Not many I can
Suggestion: Are you sending out this information in your local newsletter
to other members in your society? How about sending out the same information
to ALL of California's genealogical societies asking them to post the message
in their newsletters.
A lot of people save their newsletters and many libraries also receive
newsletters and have them available for researchers to review for information. I
know that the Oakland CA FHL at the Oakland Temple has some newsletters from
a society in Vermont (Branches and Twigs), so I would imagine that they may
have others. Most of the time these libraries get copies of old newsletters
that people have saved and collected and when they get tired of having them
collecting dust they donate them to their FHL or to a local library. Sometimes
people actually sit there and go through these old newsletters to see what
information has been posted, even if it was way back in the dark ages! It
just might be the clue they need to take off in a new direction of research.
Have you been sending your newsletters to Sutro Lilbrary in San Francisco?
The public libraries?
How about to other mail lists besides Butte county? Such as Roots-L.
That's a much bigger audience. I don't recall seeing any postings on this list
about what you have available. Until today.
Have you contacted a reporter in your area and made a big deal about your
society and the library and its holdings? Sometimes as a local group, a
reporter will write a story and get it published for you - sort of like a PSA - but
its also free advertising rather than paid. Check it out.
For what its worth, keep up the extraction of the obituaries. Some day,
someone is going to need a copy of those old obits and you are going to be the
only local source to get one. As a point, the California Mayflower Society,
through the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society is doing the same thing.
Putting obituaries on cards for posterity. So you are not the only one
doing this. There are probably hundreds of societies and historical groups doing
the same thing. So you are not alone in this project!
From: "MScheffler" <>
Subject: Re: [ROOTS-L] Advertising Gen. Soc. resources
To: "Joan Bancroft"
I don't know why serious researchers would not contact libraries and
historical societies for information on their ancestors whether it be obituaries or
cemetery transcriptions. The topic is certainly discussed regularly on this
and other rootsweb lists....[snip]
My theory is that many people searching online simply want someone to type
back the information in a return email and make little effort to learn the ins
and outs of trying to learn to find things for themselves. The reason
probably goes to their thinking that why write that letter or make that phone call
if I can get someone living in that community to go to the
library and contact me in return.....[snip]
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joan Bancroft" <>
To: "Roots" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 9:34 AM
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Advertising Gen. Soc. resources
>I belong to a Genealogical Society/Library in Paradise, California. It's
in Butte Co.,and is about 10 miles from Oroville, the county seat. It is also
about the same distance from Chico, the location of California State Univ.,
Chico. Needless to say, in addition to our Library's holdings, we have
access to the Library at the University and to the records at the court house in
> My question is this:
> On the Butte Co., Mail list, I have posted messages several times
suggesting that people contact the Library about records they say they are searching
for. They don't seem to pay any attention to these posts. I have answered
people personally and suggested they contact the library and they don't
> I have seen messages from others suggesting our Library and people don't
> react to them either
> Can anyone suggest SOMETHING that might get the attention of researchers?
We are listed on the BUTTE COUNTY GENWEB page and I've also posted on ROOTS,
and several Message Boards.
> We recently began indexing about 50,000 obits that are housed in card
files at OUR Library and it seems almost ridiculous to continue if they're not
going to be used.