Women, Property, Inheritance and Genealogy– Part Three: Dower

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/QuFvc/~3/9XzkJ-2uIQ8/women-property-inheritance-and_30.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another awesome “Tutorial” that I thought you would like!

James Tissot – Without a Dowry aka Sunday in the Luxembourg GardensDower is the wife’s interest in her husband’s real property upon his death. This is legal concept that dates back into antiquity. Commonly, the widow was legally entitled to use one third of the real property to support herself and her children during her lifetime. Vestiges of this dower interest are still common in many states of the United States and variations on the concept of dower are common around the world. The basis for this interest is the now less commonly accepted concept of coverture holding that a married woman did not have a separate legal existence from her husband. Dower was one of the very few exceptions to this harsh legal concept.

For genealogists, dower rights provide a narrow window of opportunity to identify the separate identity of married women. Quoting from Wikipedia: Dower:
The dower grew out of the Germanic practice of bride price (Old English weotuma), which was given over to a bride’s family well in advance for arranging the marriage, but during the early Middle Ages, was given directly to the bride instead. However, in popular parlance, the term may be used for a life interest in property settled by a husband on his wife at any time, not just at the wedding. The verb to dower is sometimes used.This concept of dower is sometimes reflected in the use of the term, “dowager,” for a woman who was a widow and entitled to assert her dower interest. Dower rights were formally recognized by English courts as early as the 1300s.

One important fact for genealogists is that the widow’s dower interest had to be waived or relinquished in conjunction with the sale of any real property. As a result, deeds commonly contain a consent by the wife to the transfer of real property by the husband. In some cases, these provisions are witnessed and the witnesses are members of the wife’s family thus identifying the wife’s maiden name. In other instances, failure to include a waiver of the wife’s dower interest resulted in the widow being able to assert her dower interest in the real property either in a probate of the property or even long after the death of the husband. Because of these types of interest, research into land and property records can and should be rather extensive as to the time frame of transactions affecting a particular family’s interest in real property.

There are a few states in the Unites States that still recognize a dower interest as such. But many states still base their division of property upon the death of the husband or a dissolution due to divorce on the concept that the wife and children share a percentage of the property interest. The exceptions in the United States are the nine community property states that hold both parties to the marital community to have an equal share in all the property acquired during coverture with some exceptions.

Issues such as dower can be very helpful to genealogists who take the time and make the effort to learn about both history and law.

How to Express Sympathy and Offer Condolences

Source: https://funeral.com/blog/how-to-express-sympathy-and-offer-condolences/

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another cool “Tip” that I thought you would like!

Saying and doing the right thing can be difficult when you try to express sympathy of offer condolences to the bereaved. It is important to acknowledge the loss and give support whenever possible. Here are some ways you can express condolences next time and avoid coming off as unsupportive and uncaring.

The post How to Express Sympathy and Offer Condolences appeared first on Funeral.com.

Caregiving’s Global Idea Exchange

Source: http://blog.aarp.org/2017/09/29/caregivings-global-idea-exchange/

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another cool “HowTo” that I thought you would enjoy!

As I put the finishing touches on this post, I’m making final preparations to travel to Adelaide, the capital city of the Australian state of South Australia. There I’ll present at the 7th annual International Carers Conference.

This year the theme of the conference is “Caring into the Future: the new world?” That theme is appropriate for a number of reasons, but as for the world reference, the event serves as a reminder that caregiving is a global topic of growing importance everywhere. Not only is the U.S. aging, so is the world. By 2050, the number of people over age 60 will have more than doubled to over 2 billion, representing 22 percent of the population. While today Japan is the only country with more than 30 percent of its population age 60 and over, that number of countries will climb to 64 by 2050.

As I often say, it’s all about idea and information exchange; with this conference, the exchange is on a global scale. I’m excited to hear the perspectives of policymakers, community and business leaders, researchers, advocates and, of course, caregivers on how to foster new opportunities through both innovation and partnerships. This is something we aim to do every day at AARP’s Public Policy Institute, and so in Adelaide I’ll share with an international gathering some of what we’ve learned and put into practice.

I’ll be giving two presentations during the three-day conference. In one session, “Family Caregiving and Public Policy: How Research and Policy Can Create New Opportunities to Support Family Caregivers,” C. Grace Whiting, Chief Operating Officer of the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), and I will discuss family caregiver-related policy at the state and national levels as well as findings from several studies our organizations have conducted, both jointly and independently.

One such study, “Caregiving In the United States,” highlights the estimated 43.5 million adults who provide unpaid care in the U.S. The research digs deep into that large number, revealing the diversity of the caregiver and care recipient populations. Approximately 40 percent of family caregivers are men, for example, while some 8.4 million caregivers support people with mental health diagnoses. Among other things, our session will highlight opportunities for better supporting these groups.

In another session, “The Home Alone AllianceSM:  Translating Research into Practice through Partnerships,” I will co-present with Heather Young, Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, Dean and Professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at University of California, Davis. We’ll discuss how the Home Alone AllianceSM (HAA) is working to create solutions for stressed, overtaxed caregivers.

One effort of which we’re particularly proud is the series of instructional videos for family caregivers, which I blogged about earlier this year. AARP has worked with its HAA partners to conduct formative research, generate topics for the videos, and disseminate them via channels with direct access to caregivers.

Certainly the U.S. has made headway on the caregiving front in recent years. Notably, AARP translated the Home Alone research into policy—the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, state-level legislation that ensures hospitals identify and offer instruction to family caregivers who perform medical/nursing tasks. However, as we learned from this year’s Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports, states still need to pick up the pace now in the areas of caregiving and other LTSS areas, focusing their energies on meeting the needs and preferences of the rapidly aging population.

A primary purpose of the Scorecard is to allow states to communicate with one another on solutions. Again, it’s about knowledge exchange—the very reason the global caregiving movement is gathering in Adelaide. Australia is an appropriate location for this event. It has taken a leadership role on many caregiving fronts, and in fact the U.S. has something to learn from the host nation’s attention to the issue. I’m excited that the event will illuminate Australia’s caregiving promising practices as well as those of the U.S. and other nations.

I’ll be sure to report back on my takeaways from the conference in a future post.


Be sure to follow the conference on Twitter at #IntCarersConference and @CarersAus. If you’re planning to attend the International Carers Conference from October 4-6, or you have recently attended another local, national or international conference focused on caregiving practices, I’d love to hear what topics/ideas stood out. The only way to move the needle on policy in this country is to share these ideas—no matter how insignificant or far-fetched they may seem.







Why Kids Are So Vulnerable to Identity Theft, and How to Protect Yours

Source: http://blog.aarp.org/2017/09/29/why-kids-are-so-vulnerable-to-identity-theft-and-how-to-protect-yours/

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another great “Tutorial” that I thought you would enjoy!

Photo Credit: iStock/RichVintage

Kids will be kids: Blabbing on social media. Eagerly completing prize-promising online surveys that ask for birthdates and other personal information. Downloading “free” online games and videos that may harbor malware. And through it all, using weak passwords such as pet names, school mascots and using names of best friends that could double as security questions.

Meanwhile, the system remains the system: Requesting, but not legally required, to have a child’s Social Security number on forms for doctor’s appointments, weekend soccer leagues and extra-curricular activities. Publishing school directories with addresses, phone numbers and birth dates. Careless oversharing and weak protection of sensitive data by institutions while proud parents and grandparents think nothing of posting photos and ID theft-worthy details when blabbing on social media about their half-pint offspring.

So it may come as no surprise that the children in your life are among the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in the recently announced Equifax data breach. (To check, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, click the “Am I Impacted?” button and enter the child’s last name and the last six digits of SSN.) And if not this time, perhaps in a past or future breach.

That’s because children are especially prized by identity thieves – and from birth to age 18, are targeted and victimized at much higher rates than adults (anywhere from 35 to 51 percent higher, depending on the study). College students are also at greater risk. For crooks, their value comes with virgin credit histories, making it easier to use a child’s SSN to open credit card accounts and apply for loans, utility service or government benefits. “As long as identity thief has a SSN with a clean history, the thief can attach any name and date of birth to it,” Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab researchers note in their highly cited 2011 report on Child Identity Theft.

What’s worse, child identity theft could continue undetected for years or decades – discovered only when victims eventually apply for credit cards, student loans or a job to learn that their credit is already ruined. Here’s how to protect the young’uns:

Know the warning signs: Assume that identity theft has already occurred, or is in progress, if your child has no existing credit but:

Is being mailed credit card and loan offers
Denied a bank account, driver’s license or government, health insurance benefits because the SSN is already being used
Unable to apply for student aid, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The IRS or state tax agencies send notices that the child didn’t pay income taxes or was claimed as a dependent on a tax return other than yours
Getting phone calls or bills from debt collection agencies.

Check the child’s credit report. Unless there are existing credit accounts in the child’s name, you want to hear that there’s no credit report on file under his/her SSN; if a file exists but the child never applied for or was granted credit, assume the worst – and file a police report and complaint with the FTC.

Consider a credit freeze. A smart proactive move – and definite measure if child identity theft has already occurred – a freeze restricts access to a credit file, and unable to review it, creditors are unlikely to issue new accounts. (A freeze, however, does nothing to prevent fraud of existing accounts.) Currently, 29 states allow parents, legal guardians or other representatives of minors to place a security freeze on the minor’s credit report: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

But it can be done, no matter where you live – at least with Equifax, Experian and Innovis, a fourth and lesser known credit reporting bureau. TransUnion only allows credit freezes for minors in states that explicitly allow it by law. These freezes may cost – usually under $20 – and can be unthawed for credit checks if the child needs to apply for credit, insurance or a job.

Tell them well – and practice what you preach. Guide children and college-aged adults to keep personal information private, especially online, and adjust privacy settings to make it difficult for strangers to view accounts or post material on their page. Warn them about the dangers of malware from clicking on links (celebrity gossip, free games, music and apps are especially enticing and proven lures by scammers). And you, also, shouldn’t overshare personal information by not sharing their SSN and shredding unneeded documents that display it.

For information about other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network. You’ll receive free email alerts with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud, and keep tabs of scams and law enforcement alerts in your area at our Scam-Tracking Map.


 Also of Interest

New rules for password protection
Get wise to these common and costly student aid scams
Get help: Find out if you’re eligible for public benefits with Benefits QuickLINK
Join AARP: Savings, resources and news for your well-being

See the AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.


3 Essential Websites for German Family History Research

Source: http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/09/3-essential-websites-for-german-family.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another informative article that I thought you would enjoy!

 Following is a guest post from Legacy Tree. Be sure to read to the end and then claim your exclusive offer as an Olive Tree Genealogy reader – Receive $100 off a 20-hour research project using code SAVE100, valid through Oct. 31st, 2017.

3 Essential Websites for German Family History Research

#1 – www.MeyersGaz.org

For years, novice genealogists who found themselves embarking on the road of German genealogy were discouraged when needing to decipher an entry for their town in Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-lexikon des deutschen Reichs (commonly known simply as Meyers or Meyer’s Gazetteer of the German Empire) due to the old German font in which the book was printed and the plethora of abbreviations that were used. To address this obstacle, the website www.MeyersGaz.org was created.

This online database not only explains the text and various abbreviations in the town entry that are found in the original printed version of Meyers, but also pin-points the location of the town on both historic and modern maps, indicates the Catholic and Protestant parishes to which residents of the town would have belonged, and notes the distance from the town to all parishes within a 20-miles radius.

The database also allows users to search for a town using wildcards. This is especially useful when the exact spelling of a town is not known. For example, if the record on which you found the new town name indicated that the person came from Gross Gard…. where the second part of the word was smudged or illegible, you could simply put “Gross Gard*” into the database. In this case, the only two options would be Gross Garde in Pommern and Gross Gardienen in East Prussia. If you have a common town name such as Mülheim, you can filter the search results by province.

 Excerpt for Gross Gardienen entry on MeyersGaz.org.

#2 – www.Kartenmeister.com

Kartenmeister is a database for towns which are found east of the Oder and Neisse rivers in the former German Empire provinces of East Prussia, West Prussia, Brandenburg, Posen, Pomerania, and Silesia. This area is now part of modern Poland. The database allows users to search for towns using either their German or Polish name.

Again, using Gross Gardienen as our example town, we learn that the Polish name for the town is now Gardyny and is located in the Warminsko-Mazurskie province. Like MeyersGaz.org, collaboration between users is encouraged. Individuals can enter their email address into a mailing list according to the town they are interested in and specify surnames they are researching in that town.

Entry for Gross Gardienen on Kartenmeister.com
#3 – www.LostShoeBox.com

This website is an index to seventeen websites focused on research in Poland. The list of websites corresponds with a map of Poland divided into its various modern provinces. Each number (representing a website) is listed on the map in each province for which it has records. Some websites are listed for nearly every province, while others show up for only one or two. The seventeen websites featured on lostshoebox.com include either direct access to digital images, indexes to vital records, or lists of microfilms or other archival holdings. 

Map of Poland from www.lostshoebox.com.

If we were searching for records for Gross Gardienen or other nearby towns, we know from Kartenmeister that we would need to look in the Warminsko-Mazurskie province. The map shows the number 3, 10, and 14. On the website, a list below the map shows that those numbers bring us to the following websites: http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/, https://www.genealogiawarchiwach.pl/, http://olsztyn.ap.gov.pl/baza/szukaj.php.

The third website on the list for the province brings us to the website for the Polish State Archive in Olsztyn. There are a plethora of digital images for both Evangelical church records and civil registration records available on this website.

Camille Andrus is a Project Manager for Legacy Tree Genealogists, a worldwide genealogy research firm with extensive expertise in breaking through genealogy brick walls. To learn more about Legacy Tree services and its research team, visit Legacy Tree. Exclusive Offer for Olive Tree Genealogy readers: Receive $100 off a 20-hour research project using code SAVE100, valid through Oct. 31st, 2017.


An Illusion of Progress

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/QuFvc/~3/Jub1OWAGI1Y/an-illusion-of-progress.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another informative “Tutorial” that I thought you would like!

By LG전자 – LG전자, 무선충전 기술 국제표준화 주도, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21170789
A “wireless” charger that has a wire! Sometimes, so-called, advancements in technology appear to be illusions. Shown above is one of the newly introduced wireless chargers. The new Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus are being touted to support this “new” wireless charging. But as you can see from the image, the wireless charger itself has a wire to plug in. In effect, in order to take advantage of this new technology, I would have to purchase a device I do not presently own, i.e. the wireless charger, and then the only device I could use with that new technology would be a new iPhone 8 or 8 plus. In a related topic, you might also notice that computer device and TV ads do not show cables. Here is an example for an almost $20,000 TV

Now, what in the world does this have to do with genealogy? Plenty. Genealogy is a hair on the tail that is being wagged by the dog. The dog, in this case, being “advancing” technology. One of those tail wags includes the rush to DNA testing. Beyond that, genealogical computer users are now in the midst of another major hardware and software upgrade whether they realize it or not. Incidentally, we just went through the abandonment of microfilm shipments by FamilySearch. Genealogy is hardly immune to the changes imposed by advancing technology.
But how much of what is going on in technology is really an advancement and how much is actually window dressing? This is a pertinent question, especially for that huge group of genealogists who, for a variety of reasons, are either unaware of the technological changes or do not care to participate. 
In the genealogical context, the easiest of these technological advances to criticize is the fad of DNA testing. Yes, DNA tests can be used to “find” close relatives. But here is one example of why simply having a DNA test does not magically find your relatives and their connection to you in the form of a common ancestor. I currently have 187 DNA matches from a popular testing company (I am not picking on any one company so I will refrain from naming names). Out of the first ten of those 187 matches, seven of the ten have only rudimentary family trees and the program indicates that I can contact these people for more information. Without a family tree in the main online hosting program, their DNA tests are essentially worthless. In addition, the closest relative show by the tests has a percentage of shared DNA of only 2.4%. Whereas, in those few cases where there these people have a family tree, it takes only a glance at their family tree to see the common ancestor who, in every case, is my well-known great-grandparent. No new information here. 
Yes, I know. I could spend my time and my money to expand my DNA testing results and compile charts and such to show more remote relationships, but what is the point when I have already done the work showing those same relationships? Oh, you say. “You are the exception.” Most people can find unknown connections with DNA testing. Yes, that may be the case with some, but those people who do not have enough interest in genealogy to have a family tree online are not part of those who might benefit. 
I realize that I am picking on DNA testing, but there are several other current topics that involve technology that are not really an advance. One more example. In this case, I am forced to name names. FamilySearch is digitizing their microfilm collection. This is an inevitable development and no question that there are some advantages to the digital format. But here is what is happening in many cases to make this advancement an illusion. In the past, I could order a roll of microfilm and view the microfilm with a viewer in a designated Family History Center. I had to pay for the rental of the microfilm and wait until it arrived at the Family History Center. Now, today, that same microfilm roll has been digitized. But because of the limitations imposed by legal or political issues, I cannot view the digitized roll anywhere but in an authorized Family History Center or Library. Hmm. Isn’t this sort of a wired wireless advancement? I have a new device, but I still have to do something to take advantage of the benefits. Mind you, I am not criticizing FamilySearch, they are not the problem. They are doing what they can. Here is a screenshot from FamilySearch showing that this list of former microfilms has been digitized, but at the same time, showing a key icon that the film can only be viewed in a Family History Center or Library.

Yes, I still have to plug in my “wireless” charger. 

Developing Your Legacy: Ways to be Remembered

Source: https://www.talkofalifetime.org/developing-your-legacy-ways-to-be-remembered/

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another great “Tutorial” that I thought you would like!


Though everyone has different dreams and aspirations, most want to know they’ve made an impact on the world in some way. Whether you want to be remembered for your leadership at work or for your commitment to family, it’s important to think about your legacy. We’ve compiled a list of the top ways to be remembered, so you can live your best possible life in the present and build your legacy for the future in one fell swoop!

Relationship to Self

It’s not selfish to think about what you really want to get out of life. In fact, it’s vital. Take some time to really think about your passions so you can create goals that truly motivate you.

Figure out what makes you excited. Do you get a rush from your job? Are you more passionate about philanthropy? Do you thrive off interactions with others? Find out what makes you passionate and pursue it!

Create both short term and long term goals to continue your progress. Maybe that means putting aside some money from each paycheck to travel the world, or maybe you want to start junior’s college fund as soon as possible.

Think about your values and whether your life is in line with those standards. You can enrich your life with humanitarian pursuits like volunteering and donating to important causes.


Relationships to Others

While it’s crucial to think of your own needs and wants when living your life, it’s also important to connect with others. Here are some ways to connect with others in your community:

Create strong relationships with your family. The memories and connections that you develop in the present will be remembered for generations in the future.

Consider having The Talk of a Lifetime with those you love to reflect on your lives. Find out how others want to be remembered, so you can develop your own meaningful legacy.

Try to build others up with kindness. Whether speaking to coworkers or your kids, a little compassion can go a long way.

Think about how you are giving back to the world. Though your money and time are your own to spend as you wish, you may be surprised by how great it feels to give back to causes that you believe in.

Celebrate the achievements of others, no matter how big or small. Treat your kids to something special for the first day of school, send your grandmother flowers on her birthday, send your sibling a housewarming gift – Life’s too short not to celebrate as much as possible!

Sharing your Legacy

Whatever you hope your legacy to be, the most important thing is to ensure that you share your wishes with those you love most. Having the Talk of a Lifetime is a great way to share all the things you care about, and all the pieces of your legacy that made you unique. Having the Talk with your loved one’s now can help them celebrate you better when you die. You build your legacy everyday though your life and your actions! Take the time to talk to the ones you care about most, and let them know how you want to be remembered.

The post Developing Your Legacy: Ways to be Remembered appeared first on Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

Primary Source Sets on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/QuFvc/~3/i55hDpb4FVs/primary-source-sets-on-digital-public.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another cool “Tip” that I thought you would enjoy!

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is rapidly becoming a go-to place for freely accessible information much of which has valuable genealogical content. One of the most interesting developments from the DPLA is their use of Primary Source Sets. Here is a brief explanation of this particular project:
Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture through primary sources. Drawing online materials from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, the sets use letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA’s Education Advisory Committee. Read about our education projects, suggest a new topic for a primary source set, and contact us with feedback at education@dp.la.Here is a screenshot of the Primary Source Sets links:

The DPLA has grown to include over 17 million items from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.


Mary Facey Elgie Photo Album p 12

Source: http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/2017/09/mary-facey-elgie-photo-album-p-12.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another informative “Tip” that I thought you would like!

Grace Burrel and Warren Haves. This photo looks like it was taken in the 1920s.

I believe Warren was the son of Robert Haves and Redigon Facey. Redigon was the daughter of Samuel Facey and Margaret Wilford.

A Cautionary Tale from Reclaim the Records

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/QuFvc/~3/y4iDJB9f0U0/a-cautionary-tale-from-reclaim-records.html

When someone you love becomes a Memory, the memory becomes a Treasure…

Ceramic Outdoor Memorial Plaques with Online Virtual Family Legacy Memoir!

Here’s another awesome “Tutorial” that I thought you would enjoy!

Some time ago, the organization Reclaim the Records filed a Freedom of Information Act initiative with the state of New York to obtain a huge database of the New York State Death Index.

I’m certain that very few genealogist recognize the incompetence and political barriers that governments raise to prevent genealogists from having access to public records. On a very small scale, I have personally experienced the same problems. Reclaim the Records 16th newsletter should be mandatory reading for all genealogists. Here is the link to the newsletter:

How do you fight the Empire State, and win?
What I thought was most interesting was the part that Ancestry.com played in this entire saga. Sadly, the scenario has been played out in Arizona, Georgia, and many other states across the United States.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Actions brought under the Freedom of Information Act usually have nothing to do with genealogy. What is tragic, as explained in the article from Reclaim the Records is that the information obtained has little or no value to the government unless it is monetized. In this case, if you have personally suffered the death of a close relative, you probably realize that there are a number of “fees” and taxes associated with producing death records. For example, in Arizona, if your relative dies you may need as many as eight or more copies of a certified death certificate to satisfy banks, creditors, and other agencies. Each copy of the death certificate in the county where Phoenix is located cost $20. If they make a mistake in the death certificate it cost $30 to correct the certificate.
If you investigate the cost of obtaining a death certificate of one of your ancestors from the state where the ancestor died, you can begin to see that this is a major moneymaking proposition for the states. They pass laws requiring us to provide them with the information and then they charge us to obtain copies of that same information. Subsequently, such as in this case, a large genealogical company comes along and benefits again from the information that we have been required to provide to the state. Think about it.