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Monday, May 25, 2009

A little rant

I have been interested in tracing my family roots for the past six months or so. My goal was to collect all of these interesting information and put it together in a book for other members of my family. Well, it's a lot harder than I thought, and it's all because of the internet.

The internet is a great way to research family history -- if you have money. This is what I think may be the silliest thing I have ever hear of. While it's true it does take a lot of time and effort to put historical documents online, why should I have to pay for something I can get for free? (as long as I know where it is located, of course). I have signed up for all the free trials I could get with these sites, but those only last so long and I don't have two weeks to take off for the best use of that trial period.

I was thinking about changing my attitude about all of this. That is until I saw that sites that make good money on yearly memberships have volunteers working on everything. So if you have a staff of volunteers, where's the money going? I'm bitter, I know. I'm sure there are plenty of paid staff.

The money isn't even the biggest issue. It's the fact that in order to see if I need to pay for a historical document, I have to buy it first. Well, I'm not going to get sucked into that. I think I found the newspaper that announced the graduating class of my mom (with senior pics) but the preview of the doc is so small that I can't tell whether I have the right page or not. That's really what started this outrage.I shouldn't complain though. When I have used web sources directly related to the county or state of my ancestors, I have found them very helpful and very free.

So I guess this little family project will have to go on the back burner again. Someday I hope more than just the Social Security Death index will be available for free.

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