often hear about all the other people who lived during the time. What about the guy selling George Washington his eggs?”
But why would people need professional assistance when they have access to the internet? According to Mary Mannix, who will lecture on researching the War of 1812 and World War I, there are large chunks of records that exist solely in print form.
“Only a small percentage of stuff is online,” Mannix said.
At the same time, she noted the ad-
vent of internet resources as extremely beneficial to genealogy research, especially for interested non-professionals. Now people can casually look into their ancestry without sacrificing their current jobs. Mannix is just there to show people where to look.
“It’s almost as if the technology boom has been the perfect breeding ground for genealogy,” she said. “It’s a phenomenon.”
It may also be a unifying force. Hait told a story about how he and a much older friend from another state discovered that they both descended from the same colonial Massachusetts settler. Suddenly, he said, they seemed more like kin to each other.
“It’s a lot harder to judge people harshly when they might be your family, or when you start to think of them as family,” Hait said. “There comes a sense of being part of a larger community, a larger family.”