OHPIKE-L ArchivesArchiver > OHPIKE > 2008-02 > 1202708886
From: "Vicki Ward" <>
Subject: Re: [OHPIKE] rant& rave and local societies
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 00:48:06 -0500
I totally appreciate your "other side" point of view. I understand that having free genealogy information available would make finances more difficult for the Genealogy Society. But isn't that really what things are coming to? I used to go to the public library a lot more than I do now. I'd check books out, bring them home and read them, and then take them back. Now, more and more information is available on the internet. If my grandchild comes down with some strange new disease, I just look it up on one of the various medical sites. And no, we can't believe everything that is posted on the internet. But then we can't believe everything that is written in a book, either.
As far as I know, the Genealogy Society does not make copies of actual birth records, marriage records, etc., and publish them in book form. The Society does not own the records, and has no more control over them than any other resident of Pike County, or anyone else for that matter. They have simply transcribed the information into a readable format and made books of that information. Someone can correct me if I am wrong here, but I have several of their books, myself, though I don't claim to own all of them, and have never seen copies of actual records. So, if we want to see actual records, we're going to have to go to the public library, or down in that damp dirty basement somewhere, (that Susan mentions) and look for them. The Genealogy Society can make mistakes, too, and although I admire the great work they have done, I have found several of those mistakes over the years---because they are only human, as we all are.
As for the Society doing all the work to create a web site to give information away, I don't know why it has to be done by them and them alone. Why can't volunteers send in information and have it posted? Why can't a volunteer manage the site? That's how Alan Richmond's site was managed. And it was a wonderful site. But just as with the Genealogy Society's information, one should have used such information only as a starting place, and not take every word as fact.
I live here in Pike County. (Susan made reference to where I might live, in her post.) And without funds, I'd have to use web space from Geocities or someplace free like that. I couldn't possibly afford to buy up all that space myself. And yes, the ads on free web sites do tend to drive a person up a wall. But, hey, maybe it's better than nothing, eh?
My biggest concern is that not everyone in the world has enough money to buy a lot of books. After paying for groceries, the kids' school expenses, gas to get to work, etc., etc., there's not much left. Should Genealogical information be available only to those who have a little bit more money than others?? Well, I guess if one stopped paying their internet bill, there might be enough left over to buy about half a book. But look at all the other things we'd miss out on.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 6:32 PM
Subject: Re: [OHPIKE] rant& rave and local societies
Sounds great and there are lots of folks who would like to sit at home, click
a mouse and find all the documents and everything they need. But if the
societies are supposed to donate all this stuff for free, then how are they
supposed to raise any funds to operate as a society? The chapters/libraries/etc
that offer Heritage Quest have to pay for their members to have access. Most
genealogical societies operate some type of library--where will they get funds to
buy books and who will come to use the libraries anyway if everything is
online? Many small chapters are lucky to have a dozen local people show up for
meetings, and of course they depend on volunteers to handle membership lists,
put out a newsletter, work in the genealogy library and all the other things
that go along with having a society. Publishing books and newsletters--and
charging membership fees--are about the only way local chapters/societies can make
any money. It's great when the websites have lots of goodies, such as
cemetery inscriptions or whatever, and I use them just like everyone else. But
realistically, what purpose would there be to join a genealogy society if
everything you are searching for in that county is online for free? And, without
actually looking at the records, how will you know that "everything" is online?
And spelled correctly so that you can recognize your names--such as Simms being
indexed as Gimms online? It's great for people who live far away, but not so
great for the people in the area who are expected to do all the work. Just
some thoughts from "the other side".
In a message dated 2/10/2008 10:29:31 AM Mountain Standard Time,
> Personal issues aside, I think that the local Genealogical Societies could
> do a great service by hosting the kind of site suggested by Susan. All they
> need is someone willing to oversee the site, and allow others to post their
> documented research. Imagine the possibilites!! A site for each county that
> would provide FREE website links, offer subscriptions to free sites, such as
> HeritageQuest, hold photos &images of documents of birth, marriage, death,
> family group sheets, newspaper obits, the list is endless! Free, easy, and
> accessible to genealogists who object to paying for public records, or who
> cannot travel to obtain these items themselves. I'll bet sites like these would
> become comparable to any paid site on the web!