Making Connections: August 2003

By Family Tree Editors Premium

A New Appreciation

I am a very new subscriber to Family Tree Magazine, having just received my first issue (April 2003). 1 thoroughly enjoy the content and style of the publication, as it appears to be addressed to various aspects of the genealogical world. Keep up the good work — especially for all of us ancestor-search neophytes.

Duane V. Ackerman
via e-mail

The Price Isn’t Right

Today, I bought your magazine for the first time. I was attracted by the cover, which advertised the top 100 Web sites for US and Canadian genealogical research as being inside (February 2003).

I’m curious, though — it’s been my experience that not a lot of genealogical Web sites out there allow you free access to their databases, or provide free information just because it’s a nice thing to do. And in your 100 Website picks, you failed to mention whether these sites require fees for access and use or not. So I was hoping you might shed some light on this issue for me. It gets a bit frustrating and costly when every darn Web site you try out wants $15 dollars here for membership, or $25 dollars there to use its database.

Gary Curtis
Eugene, Ore.

Editor’s note: With the economy declining, governments cutting funding and commercial genealogy services gaining momentum, family historians are finding fewer free Internet research options. But the Web still holds plenty of great resources that you can tap gratis — including many standout sources in our “101 Best Web Sites” list. In describing this year’s honorees, we’ve pointed out which sites feature primarily paid content.

Claiming Victory

After hitting the famous “brick wall,” we came across an invaluable resource that, to my knowledge, has not been mentioned anywhere: the unclaimed-property list that each state has on file. We located a lost relative by a bank account in a small town we never would have known about if the list hadn’t noted the last-known address. The amount of research sources this list offered was far more valuable than just the unclaimed property. Why has this resource been overlooked?

Your magazine has been a great help to me, and I can hardly wait for each issue to arrive in the mail! I keep every issue and refer to back issues over and over.

Carolynne Bursh

via e-mail

Capital Cue

The article “In the Middle of History” (December 2002) by Maureen A. Taylor is interesting. But there’s an omission that happens frequently in articles about the mid-Atlantic region. It has no information on researching ancestors from Washington, DC. There are many necessary pieces of information for DC researchers, but we are usually left out. Since my ancestors and my husband’s ancestors have been in DC since 1827 and 1834, it is frustrating not to receive some help in where to find information.

Charlotte Mattern

via e-mail

Editor’s note: You’ll find tips on DC research in our Family Tree Guide Book (Betterway Books).

Another Star of the Stacks

Thank you for Rick Crume’s article “Leaders of the Stacks” (October 2002). It’s going to be a valuable reference. I am sorry he did not refer to the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library at the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library in Moultrie, Ga. It holds the records of many Scottish clan organizations, and issues a wonderful newspaper with news about genealogy activities and Scottish groups. The library is at 204 Fifth St. SE, or write Box 2828, Moultrie, GA 31776, telephone (229) 985-6540.

Andrew A. Hunter

Panama City, Fla.
From the August 2003 Family Tree Magazine