Do you remember back in the day when there was a television advertisement (I think it was from AT&T) that said something to the effect of, “Have you ever read a book in a library, from another country? Well, you will.” We were then just on the cusp of the exploding world of internet and it sounded crazy. I remember thinking as a genealogist, “Heck yeah, there are books I want to read in remote locations!”
I just recently found out one of my children’s ancestors lived in an asylum for nearly 40 years. Using Google ebooks, I got some great information from official record books about the institution where he was located. One book was digitized from the University of Michigan, which is a ways away from me. Another book was digitized from the University of California, even further. But thanks to technology, I incurred no travel expenses at all. Sweet!
I remember an elderly distant cousin wrote in reply to a request for family information saying, “I have never been too keen on family trees. If you go back far enough you usually find a horse thief or worse.” Now that I’ve finally found a genuine family secret, my kids’ reaction to it was: “Cool! Finally something interesting after all these years of hearing about genealogy.” I’m on a quest to find out more. Stay tuned!