Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 13 - Gas and Genealogy

A couple of weeks ago, Jasia posted an article on how gas prices were affecting genealogy research, and I thought I would post my thoughts on this topic.

Are gas prices affecting genealogists' genealogy research? I think so. With gas now at $4 dollars a gallon (in the U.S.), I think genealogists are making some changes, whether it was to travel to an ancestral location or cutting down on the number of trips they are taking to repositories. Of course, I could be wrong about making a generalization about all genealogists, but I think genealogist who are on fixed budgets are making or have made changes in their research plans. Of course, that could mean that some genealogists will not be traveling as much or might not be renewing their subscriptions to genealogy websites (if they have not already cancelled their subscriptions).

As for me, I am seriously wondering how much more genealogy research I should try to do for the rest of this summer. I had wanted to travel to an ancestral location this summer, but I dropped that idea as gas prices went up. Of course, I can still order microfilms from the LDS, but I still have to go by car to get there. I don''t know how many more times I will be able to go there if gas prices keep rising. And I don't believe my grandparents will be able to help me with research as gas is too expensive. I am starting to come to the conclusion that I might not be able to do as much research this summer as I had hoped.

Well, what can genealogists do? We probably can't do very much. (We can't change gas prices.) The only possible solution that I can think of is that genealogists offer to do more look-ups for each other. I realize that most genealogists already do look-ups for others, but I can't think of anything else at the moment that would help. So, what do you think? As always, you can leave a comment.

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