Making Connections: Impossible Surnames, Copy Right Issues and Canada Confusion

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Fellow time travelers

I just received my current issue and read your editorial (August 2002). I had to write and tell you how very much it touched me.

You are so very right: We are in a remarkable instant in time. I feel my ancestors are yearning for me to find the stories of their lives, adventures, trials and tribulations and pass this on to their descendants. My husband and I have researched both our families back to the 1600s and beyond. We have eight “working” trees and are eager to continue our search.

Again, thank you for your article and especially the last paragraph. There is no wonder to us why you keep looking for more!


via e-mail

Close only counts in horseshoes…

In your article “Lake Fever” by Peter D. A. Warwick (June 2002), you have the city of Oswego in Ontario, Canada. It’s not. Oswego is in the state of New York, located at the mouth of the Oswego River and almost directly across Lake Ontario from the City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. My fourth-great-uncle was the first settler in Oswego in 1796.


Oswego, NY

Lookup or larceny? continued

I took great insult from Roy Collins’ letter (“Lookup or larceny?,” June 2002) calling me a thief for giving information out. It is companies like his that are in the wrong. I have found many people unwilling to give information because of Heritage Quest’s frame of mind. You know what I mean: “Send us your file and we will sell it back to you for $20.” Give me a break! You expect me to believe it cost you to have a collection made from free information? I have been compiling information for 15 years and charge nothing but the expense of a disk, which usually is sent to me, or the time to send an email.

Collins said that lookups would “destroy the ability of companies to produce these helpful resources” and called these records “enhanced, original compilations.” The information he sells is neither original nor enhanced from the census microfilm, which, may I point out, under his definition would be a copyrighted item itself. The only thing being destroyed here is the money his company can make and my right to use this information to promote education in my field.


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Abbreviating confusion

As I’ve been researching my family name, Mos <>, one of the most difficult things I’ve come across is the constant use of mos to represent months, as in months old. For me, this makes searching for family members impossible. Why or how did months become mos? It doesn’t appear logical to me — mths would seem more suitable.

Isn’t it time to stop this practice and use the full word, or at least a word that doesn’t represent a family name? I’d like to make others aware of the effect of taking shortcuts. How many other people have their surname used to indicate something else?


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From the December 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine