We did it!!

Thank you!!!!

First, the proof.

clock(a) The Legal Genealogist was up — awake, moving, okay, maybe also whining and whimpering — at oh-dark-thirty.

(You may not accept that I was actually out of bed at 5:36 a.m., but think about it: you have to be at least semi-awake to take a photograph of the clock at that hour.)

(b) It was in fact oh-dark-thirty. San Antonio is pitch black at 6:30 in the morning.

The sun didn’t come up this morning until after 7 a.m. You don’t have to believe me. You can look it up on the internet:


(c) Josh Taylor, Kenyatta Berry, Ed Donakey and I made it to the Alamo:


And what did this accomplish?

Thanks to the sponsorship of the genealogical community, we raised thousands and thousands of dollars for the Preserve the Pensions program.

These genealogically valuable fragile records of pension applications from the War of 1812 are being digitized through the generosity of folks like you, and they will be online, free, forever as a result.

And how much is “thousands and thousands”?

Every penny you contributed to sponsor me and the other walkers was matched by the Federation of Genealogical Societies, which is spearheading the Preserve the Pensions effort. Then that amount was matched by Ancestry. So every dollar contributed resulted in four dollars being available for the digitization effort.

As of 7 a.m. today, adding together the totals of all four walkers just from the online contributions, and not even counting the cash and checks contributed by attendees here at the 2014 FGS Conference in San Antonio, your support brought in $56,384.48 — enough to pay to digitize more than 120,000 pages of these records.

This community — this group of genealogists working together — rocks.

And yes, by the way, you can still contribute. Just pop on over to the Preserve the Pensions website and the donate page there and you can join the team in preserving the War of 1812 pensions.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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22 Responses to We did it!!

  1. Patricia Moore says:

    So – how was the walk?
    I woke up thinking about you, but since I’m on Pacific Time and I didn’t get up at oh-dark-thirty, you were close to the finish line.

  2. Ginny says:

    Congratulations on doing such a fantastic job of fundraising, Judy.

  3. GR Gordone says:

    Big Congratulations! Now, put your feet up and get a good rest. Is there a picture of the four of you crossing the finish line?

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      There is! It’s on Facebook posted by user Preserving War of 1812 Pensions. If you’re not on Facebook, let me know and I’ll … um … borrow one…

  4. Congrats and well done!

    Our people were at the Alamo and they also fought in the War of 1812.

    Were it not for their courage, where would we have come from or made our way.

    Let’s get all those records digitised!


  5. Kim Elizabeth says:

    Hooray! I knew you’d do it. I’m not a morning person either but can rally myself if the occasion warrants it, and this one certainly did! Even though I have no known ancestors who fought in the war (many were Quakers), I’m excited that so much money has been raised for this worthwhile cause!!

  6. John says:

    Whining and whimpering aside, I knew it was challenge you would not miss (by a mile). We can add what happened today at the Alamo to its legendary history and come out a winner!

  7. With a War of 1812 veteran ancestor, my 3X great grandfather, I support this effort each time there is a new fund raising gimmick. I am fortunate, in that his name began with “C”. And, I certainly voted for you at the FGS conference, as you’ll be the Austin Genealogical Society seminar speaker in May, 2015. Thank you Judy, for coming up with the idea of a sponsorship walk so I didn’t have to get out of bed at “oh dark thirty”!

  8. Jan Tripp says:

    Good for you! Good for Save the Pensions. My money was on you all the way. I’d like to think I’ll see my Tripp, Trucks, and Woodworth pensioners online soon.

  9. Diane Hall says:

    We are so proud of you Judy. Way to go!! Hey, you never know, you could begin to like this early morning walking thing. LOL!

  10. Barbara Schenck says:

    Judy, So proud of you and Josh and other walkers — as well as all the contributors. Great news that you raised so much money for the pension preservation. Having an 1812 soldier of my own who didn’t live long enough to get a pension (nor did his wife), I can only wish … but maybe someday I’ll uncover another one. In the meantime I’m thrilled for everyone who finds family among those records.

    ps: I looked at the clock, rolled over and went back to sleep on your behalf Saturday morning!

  11. Ginger Smith says:

    Hi Judy,

    Congrats on your successful wake up and walk! So glad to hear that so much $$$ was collected!

    I was also up at oh-dark-thirty (5:30am) that morning catching a flight to Atlanta to make a family history milestone with my grandfather’s 80th birthday.

    So I felt for you…the whole time…

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      I’m sure you did, Ginger! That is sooooo early! (But being at that family birthday party must have been wonderful.)

  12. Dana Leeds says:

    That photo of the Alamo is gorgeous. I hope maybe you gained a new appreciation for those early morning hours… some of my favorite! :)

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