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What your generosity is doing

The final numbers are out.

And they are mind-boggling.

An absolutely stunning tribute to what to genealogical community can do when it decides to do it.

Pensions1812cWhen The Legal Genealogist picked up the ball on the planned walk-to-raise-funds at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2014 Conference in San Antonio, all I was thinking, frankly, was making it possible for maybe 10 or 15 folks who couldn’t attend to add their voices by sponsoring someone who could participate in the Saturday morning walk to the Alamo.

The goal, of course, was to raise funds for the Preserve the Pensions campaign: the effort to raise funds to digitize and thus permanently preserve some of the most fragile and genealogically significant records that exist — the records of pension applications from the War of 1812.

The end result of the project will be to make full color reproductions of these documents available, free, forever, online.

Even when the plan changed to a Celebrity Walk (I got to walk along with the Genealogy Roadshow stars Josh Taylor and Kenyatta Berry and FGS conference co-chair Ed Donakey), I thought, perhaps, we might bring in a whopping big $5,000 — which, with matching funds first from FGS and then from Ancestry, would become $20,000.

I was so wrong.

The immediate response was overwhelming.

So I raised my sights. Could we possibly bring in $12,500 in contributions and, with matching, break $50,000 for the whole campaign?

It looked just barely possible.

I was so wrong.

We broke $50,000 just looking at the online contribution totals.

And now we have the final numbers.

Direct from yesterday’s Preserve the Pensions blog, here is what we — you and me and all of us — did:

FGS2014 Celebrity Fun Walk Donations

$20,374.12

Plus Federation of Genealogical Societies Match

$40,748.24

Plus Ancestry.com Match

$81,496.48

Equals Funding to Digitize

362,206 pages

I am so very grateful for everyone’s support. Preserving these fragile and genealogically invaluable records is such a good cause. And these final numbers are heartwarming.

Except that those aren’t the final numbers.

Even yesterday, The Legal Genealogist received another $50 via PayPal from a reader in South Africa. South Africa, for cryin’ out loud!

Keep it up. Keep it coming. Get your society to join in. Do something special at every event you organize.

We still have a ways to go to raise all the funds needed…

But I have no doubt we’ll make it.

Thank you.

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