Blog 2022 05 08 2022 Genealogical Acts of Kindness

If you are a regular researcher then there are probably times you need something but are unable to travel somewhere to get something or it is just not financially feasible.  What do I mean?

You want a picture of a grave marker that is not on Find-a-grave or a court record from a local courthouse.  Maybe you need someone to look for some index books on court or church records from a county on the other side of the United States because those records are not indexed online.

Find-a-grave has an option where you can request a photo of a grave that is not already photographed or has a bad photo.  If you are a registered member (it is free), then you can log in and if you going to a cemetery or at the cemetery, you can see if anyone has made such a request and you can help them by finding the grave and taking a picture of it.  You can also drop a GPS grid pin while standing by the grave to make it easier for others to find it.  If you do make the request, please enter all the information possible so the other person knows they have the right one.  I remember seeing a request for “Infant Thomas” in a cemetery with over two dozen such graves.  If you know or have an approximation of, the dates the individual lived, put it in the request.

Do you regularly go to a local genealogical library?  If you are also a part of a local genealogical society, then ask if they get requests for someone to do a simple look-up at the library or courthouse.  The society often gets such requests but too many societies ignore them because they do not have any members willing to help people.

Such requests do not take much time and do not require you to be an expert in the field of genealogy.  Just a simple Act of Kindness to fellow researchers.  It is what we call a ‘Record Pull’ and the more we are willing to help other researchers the more they might be able to help you.

Many of you have a full-time jobs and may not have a lot of time to help others but what I am suggesting is that when you are already planning a trip to a genealogical library, cemetery, or courthouse, see if someone has a need that you can do while you are already there.  It is built in for Find-a-grave but you will need to check with the local genealogical \ historical society to see if they have any requests.

If you are a user of Facebook and other social media that has genealogy groups, join them to follow what is being asked, learned, and requested.

It is always great to be kind to someone else.