Yesterday’s announcement of the unveiling of the Research Assistance Request (RAR) program of the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP) brought an emailed letter today from Georg Palmüller. He says that the group of German genealogists in Unna has chosen not to take their share of the $30 fee collected from request submitters. Here are some excerpts:
“We will do it like we always did since 2001: free and without any kind of fee! We love to help from our hearts to the hearts of the genealogists who need help. We never took any money from help seeking genealogists except when there were fees to pay for needed documents.
“So we ask the IGGP to keep the complete fee of $30 when the Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna is asked for help via RAR submissions….
“We always tried to help in an easy kind of way. Just by eMail, quick, modern, fast and uncomplicated without any kind of forms at all to fill out. But we can live with the decision of the IGGP board who is believing that forms are really needed.
“We can’t wait to receive RAR submissions to help our genealogist friends in the US and elsewhere in the world and we will enjoy to help them.”
It should be added that from their webpage it is stated that the genealogical interests and research areas of participants in this monthly “Stammtisch” meeting are quite broad. So even if your research problem is not associated with their home area, these kind-hearted individuals will help if they can.
As theirs is not a society with expenses to meet, they feel they can make this offer, as Georg says, from their hearts. We should all make special efforts to return the favor, if asked!!
On a trial basis, the International German Genealogical Partnership (IGGP) has introduced its Research Assistance Request (RAR) program. Participation in this program is optional for member societies, and Australia and Brazil have not opted in at this time. Four German societies are joining in: Ahnenforscher Stammtisch Unna und Umgebung (an informal group in Unna, Germany), Roland zu Dortmund (an organized society nearby), the Oldenburgische Gesellschaft für Familienkunde and the Verein für Computergenealogie. U.S. societies and groups will be coordinated according to three regions: Western, Central, and Eastern States. There are also Coordinators for Canada and the U.K.
The RAR process, as currently established, may have some flaws. But the IGGP Executive Committee is introducing it now because of its great potential to provide member societies and their membership an invaluable service. Your IGS will soon begin to pay annual dues to the IGGP in order for our members to have access to this developing network of researchers. It is an additional benefit of belonging to our society. Not a member of IGS? Please consider joining us!!
Participation in this RAR program is, however, not free to requestors. There will be a $30 fee for submitting an RAR. Half of this fee goes to IGGP and half to the society assigned to respond to the RAR by the Coordinator(s). The assigned researcher(s) will put forth a “reasonable effort” to find answers to the RAR question. However, requestors need to be aware that there is no guarantee that a solution will be found.
Please find attached the English-language version of the instructions and forms, and a list (with map) of the RAR regions for the United States. The Submission Form should be filled out as completely as possible, but it is not required that all questions be completed. Just provide what information you have (and as much as you know) and submit it according to the directions. There will be a tracking process utilized to ensure that RAR Team Leaders are aware of the status and results of a request, and to assist in improving the process. Your feedback on the strength/weakness of the RAR program is welcomed, and may be directed to Mr. Delbert Ritchart at: dritchh37 [at] gmail.com.
RAR Instructions and Form
USA RAR Region Assignments
Molly Rogers, Digital Database Coordinator for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, has requested our help. She writes:
“The New England Historic Genealogical Society has partnered with the
Archdiocese of Boston to digitize and create a searchable database of
sacramental records. We have many volunteers helping us scan and index
volumes for this project. We are currently trying to transcribe
volumes from Holy Trinity Church which was a community center for
German immigrants in Boston. Many of these records are written in
German including old-fashioned script. We are looking for more
volunteers who could read German and help us index these volumes!
“I was hoping perhaps you could help me pass on this message to the
members of your society to see if anyone is interested in helping out.
We have many remote volunteers—we handle remote work through
Microsoft Excel and Dropbox. Thank you for your consideration! Please
contact me if you would like further information about this project.”
If you would like to assist, please contact Molly directly at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thanks!