Friday, May 25, 2007

Hurray! Hurray! Genealogists Cheer!

The front page of my local San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper has the headline: "90 million US war records go online; genealogists cheer." The article, by AP writer Donna Borak, describes the Military collection of US records from Jamestown through the Vietnam War. It was a great, long article. A link to an open version of this article is

I found the article in 197 newspapers in a Google News search. It's nice to see genealogy research get some recognition. There are quotes from Tim Sullivan, Curt Witcher and Megan Smolenyak. Megan said "The Internet has created this massive democratization in the whole family-history world. It's like a global game of tag."

The articles don't say that many of these records were already online at and other web sites. Nor does it note that some of the really useful records - like the Revolutionary War and Civil War Pension Files - are not online in their entirety.

Sullivan is quoted as saying has 900,000 subscribers, and the Military records were part of a $100 million investment.

Every time an article is published like this, many people who have an interest in genealogy and family history think to themselves - "I wonder how I can find out about my ancestors who ..." and some of those people decide to find out if there is a local genealogy society that might help them.

Is your local genealogy society ready to welcome them? Does your local genealogy society have a presence in the local newspaper? Does your local genealogy society have a presence on the Internet? Does your local library have the name and contact information for your local society? Can someone Google "chula vista genealogy" (substitute your city name) and find the local genealogy society? Being available for questions like these is a focus for my local society.

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