One of my co-workers, whose family tree I am currently researching, asked me today how much my "hobby" costs me on an annual basis.
I hadn't really thought about it. So I ticked off the subscription services...
Thirty bucks a month for Ancestry (I have the international membership, so I can track my German ancestors, my son's Canadian ancestors, and now, my co-worker's Serbian ancestors - and I pay monthly just in case I need to stop...).
Eighty bucks a year for Footnote.
Fifty-six bucks a year for Genealogy Bank.
So, what? Five hundred dollars a year for subscription services.
Throw in the cemetery transcription books now and then, usually between twenty and fifty dollars a piece. But you only buy them once, and then you list yourself on Books We Own
and do look-ups for other folks.
Add in some gasoline for the inevitable road trips. The cost of CDs on which I burn all sorts of stuff to send to cousins, known and just discovered.
What if all of that came up to $1,000 a year?
You gotta look at the pay-off...
I was "discovered" by three new cousins last week.
One I've already blogged about, here.
Another has been emailing me about her Gotts. Her Gotts (female) married into my Williamses (male) back in 1774 in Maryland. Then my Williamses went to Kentucky and the rest of her Gotts trekked on over to Tennessee.
I found some of her Tennessee Gotts for her on Find a Grave - she had never heard of it.
And I told her I had subscriptions where I could do some searching for her.
While I was searching tonight for any of her Tennessee Gotts who might have served in the Civil War, I found something on Footnote I have never seen before.
An amnesty document. Apparently, her direct ancestral Gotts were "all loyal to the Government of the United States, and have been so during the late rebellion..."
And their signatures are on the document.
I may never find one of those again. My own Southern direct ancestral families were often divided in their loyalties during that "rebellion," and brother sometimes fought against brother.
And I would never have gone looking for it, much less found it, if she hadn't emailed me one day last week, and said, hey, I think we may be related...
My newly-found Chapin cousin sent me an email this past weekend that had eleventy million exclamation points in the subject line, so I knew the attachment was gonna be a good one.
And it was...three pages of genealogical treasure, handwritten by his grandfather, who was born in 1891. As a result of that, we have busted down a brick wall on the woman who is my cousin's second great grandmother, and my third.
How do you put a price on that?
Hobby? I guess you could call it that...
Obsession? Most likely.
What about a calling?
I don't really care what anyone labels it.
They *all* have stories.
And I am a storyteller.