A few of the blogs I read, including The Genealogue and Genea-Musings, today have posted the fact that Ancestry.com is “caching” free genealogy website information and charging its subscribers to access that data! Among those sites that are finding their data in Ancestry’s subscription-only database is USGenNet:
Dateline: 26 August 2007
Copycats on the Loose! Sites on the USGenNet server have been copied and cached versions of pages are being shown in Ancestry'Com's subscription only site. USGenNet President, Ginger Cisewski, sent a notice to all account holders and has assured everyone that USGenNet will be dealing with this promptly. A viewable sample of a copied page is now available at http://www.usgennet.org/usgnhome/business/ancestry.html for those who don't have a subscription to Ancestry.Com.
This wrong on so many levels! Most of the free sites affected haven’t given permission to have this caching done, and may not even be aware that it is occuring.
I had a subscription to Ancestry.com a few years ago and did get a lot of valuable data from it. This was when I first started looking at my family history. But as my knowledge of genealogy and my research experience increased, I became aware of both the many “free” and low-cost sites that are available. I also came to realize that I’m not sure I like Ancestry.com. They are too commercial and it just doesn’t seem right to me that they charge so much for their databases. Now I realize that it is a business, but I’m just not comfortable with them.
I also realize that “free” websites are not free to manage and maintain. But I would much rather be able to visit an open site, and then make a donation to that site in return for any useful data I might find there. I have done this in the past and will continue to do so.
I am also a volunteer for RAOGK because I like to help others with their research if I can. I feel this is also a way that I can “return the favor”!
After I found my great-great grandfather Crist H Carrico in the Online New Mexico Death Index, I then sent an email through the organization Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) to a researcher in Lea County, New Mexico. This very nice gentleman, David, immediately wrote me back with the name of the cemetery where my gggrandfather rests, as well as the exact location of the grave and the fact that it is unmarked. He then asked me if my gggrandfather was a veteran. It seems that David does a lot of research on Spanish-American War vets in New Mexico. He told me that if we could prove that my gggrandfather was a Vet, then the Veterans Administration would provide a headstone free of charge!
I don’t have a lot of info on Crist Carrico, but his 1930 US Federal Census enumeration does list him as a veteran of the Spanish-American War! How exciting! I have sent off for a copy of his death certificate: possibly with that I can contact the National Archives and maybe get his war record.
No one should be buried in an unmarked grave, to be forgotten about for all time! Perhaps we can rectify that situation with my gggrandfather.
Well, David has already broken down this long-standing brickwall for me. However, the next day I received another email from David, this one containing 3 NEWSPAPER ARTICLES dealing with the tragic death of Crist Hays Carrico!!!
As a read these articles, I was absolutely dumbfounded! My gggrandfather died a horrible, grisly death that was quite well documented and no one in my family seems to know anything about it! My great-grandmother is even mentioned in one of the articles (“… awaiting the arrival of a daughter Mrs. John Stanley…”).
I am on vacation this week, so one thing I plan to do is visit my grandmother and show her these articles. She has always denied knowing much of anything about Crist Carrico. I don’t think she’s been fibbing to me all this time. I think probably my great-grandmother never told anyone, more of that “black sheep” stigma again.
I just wonder what could have happened in the life of my great-great grandfather that changed him from that handsome and distiguished-looking gentleman, once a railroad engineer, in the photo to a drunk man wandering down the road in the middle of the night in search of the next bar, only to be run over and killed…
Many, many thanks to David from RAOGK for all his kind assistance. I am also a RAOGK volunteer, and people like David make me very proud to be one!
All the scraps are officially gone! I have 1 batch of notes from my research trip to the Fort Worth Public Library Genealogy Dept and 1 from the Hill County courthouse that will remain intact for now. Everything else is filed away and my desk is clean and clear!
I also went through some saved email that had genealogy dealings and put each in the appropriate surname folder. There were 3 sets or correspondence from my volunteering with Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) that I printed out and placed in the ROAGK folder.