Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New family-history folk

We computer-oriented genealogical researchers tend to imagine that the main action started and stopped with the Mormons, when these devoted investigators decided to record scrupulously for posterity (more precisely, in the perspective of posthumous baptisms) all the BDM details (births, deaths and marriages) concerning our forebears.

Recently, I was pleasantly astonished to receive an email from a representative member of a new organization named Mocavo, informing me that they were stepping into the genealogical business. For the moment, I'm greatly impressed by the way in which these professionals have targeted rapidly and effectively my personal stuff.


Mocavo is particularly active on Twitter. You might follow their UK community director Casey Hopkins at @caseyhopkins

I'll append information to my blog as I learn more about the approach and methods of this new organization.


  1. My concern with organisations picking up the data from all the hard work people have done on their family history. They then lock it into their own archives and when someone comes along in the future looking for info on a family, the organisation shows snippets of what they've got. Alas when you want to look at the details you have to pay. Is there a way to copyright the info you've spent years collecting so it can't be pilfered by these opportunists?

  2. No, the only way of ensuring the strict privacy of family-history stuff is to refrain from publishing it in any way whatsoever… and that would defeat the researcher's basic goals. First, we want to stimulate reactions from fellow-researchers. And second, we want friends and relatives to read the results of our research. As I've often said, the idea of having to pay for subscriptions to a small number of online genealogical companies has never worried me unduly. I myself have never done so, and I don't intend to do so. The people who pay to join such services would probably be incapable of carrying out genealogical research by themselves.

    By far the most obnoxious financial barriers I've encountered in the family-history domain have been purely Australian: for example, the outrageous price of official BDM certificates in New South Wales, the mercantile "donations" that are expected by certain historical societies in rural towns, or the fees to become a member of certain associations.