Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The cost of doing research

Don't get me wrong, everyone doing Hendricks research has been wonderful in sharing information. There is only so much one can do on the computer when it comes to family research. Most of what is out here that has no cost has been found or uncovered by someone else. That is wonderful. The cost for one individual to be a member of each site that has a large database of names, dates and facts not associated with someone's research is prohibitive. On top of that once the information is found the researcher needs to spend additional monies to get copies of all the source material for that information. I don't know about you; but I don't have the resources to be able to foot all those costs and then I also don't have the necessary vacation time and gas money to travel to the locations to obtain that information first hand, let alone to have the money to pay for the documentation once the information is found. We are in a Catch-22.

Getting this documentation is vital to the serious Family Researcher! I personally don't care if I have a photocopy, fax copy or a computer generated JPG file as long as I know who and where the original is. Everyone has been so generous with their files and time of what they have been able to document to date. However, the pickings are getting slim for those "Lone Wolf" ancestors with no descendant families and no indication where they went when they left the fold.

Since we are already collaborating on our information, etc., I would like to make a suggestion and see where the cards fall. I live in the far Southeastern corner of the sparsely populated State of South Dakota in her largest city, Sioux Falls. If any of you have research needs in this neck of the woods, I would be happy to gas up my horse and go see what I can find, as I am sure you would do the same for me. I would like to see a list of who lives where and where they could go to look something up for another of our intrepid troupe of researchers.

In addition, who would be willing to support a single membership in one of the on-line database sites (such as: Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, MyFamily and many others) and be the researcher for all of us at those sites? The cost would be about $16 - $18 per month so one could access all areas of the site. I've been thinking about becoming a member at Genealogy.com but cannot do it for at least another 90 days.

I'll share my frustration with you. I have a relative who has done a lot of research and has gotten many relative friends on-line who she has shared information with. She has a lot of information, but it is like pulling teeth to get her to be forth coming with that information. As an example, I found out the date and place of my Irish great-great-grandparents marriage and her maiden name (Finally after 15 years of looking). I mentioned that to this cousin-in-law and was told "Oh, I've known that for years. Yet, every time I ask about that family I get nothing. Whenever I find or uncover something the first people I share it with is my sisters and first cousins.

I want to say a special thanks to Carol, Martin, Judy and Kathy Ann for helping me join the Massachusetts line of Hendricks. Each in their own way has been more than forth coming. I was just thinking we could all help each other out and make this a fun pursuit of genealogic truth. What I like to find in my family is that skeleton noboby claims or that rogue that has some shady history. That makes everything we do more colorful. It is so much fun to share those stories with others and to have them shared with me.

What do you think of my idea of volunteering for one another and getting a list going as to who can do what and where? We can share documents, names, locations, leads, etc. When I got a copy of the Kalamazoo. MI paper from around 1901 or 1902 and found that my very prim and very proper banker grandfather who was a 32nd degree Mason had gotten a girl pregnant while in high school and ran off to Kentucky to marry her, I laughed for a week. I laughed even harder when I found out his father chased him all the way there and brought the two back un-mmarried. I recieved that from someone in Kalamazoo who was helping me on another angle of that family.

This is what makes this whole genealogy thing fun. Again this is just an idea - sort of a shot in the dark to get others opinions.



AndreaAdrianHealy said...

Scott, I have membership at ancestry.com. I would be willing to help anyone who might need it at this site. My subscription is for
Annual U.S. Records Collection
Annual U.S. Census Images and Indexes

carol wilson said...

Members: Sorry, to be slow responding...I haven't checked this site in a while. I have have current membership in the Godfrey Memorial Library which has a big data base. I'd be glad to do searches.

I also have a library card for the SW Washington regional library (Timberland) which has a modest collection, but membership allows me to get books from other libraries via inter-library loan. Also, through that system, I can access Heritage Quest census records online from home.

I live in Olympia, WA if anybody needs an old cemetery checked out here. Carol

carol wilson said...

Scott: I have to chuckle at your comments about sharing your genealogy data with others who don't reciprocate. Our Hendricks cousins have been most generous, but know other families who have have complained of the same problems. Early on in my family history pursuits, I was sharing information on another family branch with a savey old researcher, "Helen" who gave me some good advice. She told the tale of inviting a long lost cousin for lunch, rolling out the red carpet, and sharing all she had, which was a lot. The cousin brought nothing to share but promised to copy and send her collection soon. You guessed it...Helen never heard from the long lost cousin...much later she heard the cousin was writing a book on the family and including all of Helen's material. Helen's advice was this..."NEVER GIVE 'EM ALL YA GOT TILL YOU GET SOMETHING BACK..." :D Sounds like something Maxine would say.

A couple other tidbits....
Our 3rd Hendricks reunion is planned for early October this year at the Breakers in Long Beach, WA. I think we had 40+ people show up last year, including some from California.

Also, I'm having some luck poking around at the KY Historical Society online. There is a Hendricks Cemetery in Harrison County near Connorsville. (one gravestone identified, Mattie, 1862-1863...baby dau of J.H. and S.E.Hendricks). It's on a farm where Absalom's son, Cambridge Hendricks lived in 1877. This baby would have been his granddaughter. The farm may have previously belonged to Absalom, I'm still looking into it. Carol