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The self-inflicted wound…

Okay, The Legal Genealogist has really done it this time.

There was this blog post last week, see, about a fun walk the Federation of Genealogical Societies was doing to support the Preserve the Pensions effort.

Pensions1812For those genealogists who have lived in a cave (or tied to a microfilm reader) for the last two years, that’s the truly wonderful initiative now underway to digitize millions of pages of fragile documents in grave danger of deterioration: records of War of 1812 pension records held by the National Archives.

These particular records — documenting more than 180,000 pension records for War of 1812 soldiers and their families — are among the most heavily requested documents at the National Archives and, because of their use, their age and their fragile nature, they really need to be digitized to protect them and keep them available forever.

The effort to get these wonderful records digitized is being led by the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with matching funds support from Ancestry.

It’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart, so when FGS said it was going to do a Fun Walk at the FGS Conference next week in San Antonio to help raise funds for the cause, I cast caution and good sense to the winds and said I’d do it if folks would sponsor me.


The original “the only time I see the sun rise is if I haven’t been to bed yet” night owl.

I agreed to be awake, out of bed and even dressed.

By six freakin’ thirty in the morning.

Also known as oh-dark-thirty.

To walk a mile or so to the Alamo. And, presumably, a mile or so back.

All in the name of raising money to Preserve the Pensions.

Well, a lot of people chimed in, and now I’m stuck. Really stuck.

You see, FGS decided to make this a contest on who could raise the most money. And, to comply with some pesky little legal requirements, they’re limiting this to four walkers.

Me, and three other people who are a lot — and I mean a lot — younger than I am: D. Joshua Taylor, Kenyatta Berry and Ed Donakey.

Now think about that for a minute. I could have lollygaggled around the back of the pack with a lot of walkers. There’s nothing in the rules that says I have to get there and back in any particular amount of time.

Except now there will only be three other walkers.

Who, given their ages compared to mine, will undoubtedly end up leaving me in the dust.

So to at least avoid embarrassing myself completely, I need to come in somewhere other than dead last in the fundraising department.

So sponsor me, willya?

Look, Josh Taylor has the whole FindMyPast organization behind him, Ed Donakey has all of FamilySearch, Kenyatta Berry has the Association of Professional Genealogists, and they’re all younger and cuter than I am. So I need all the help I can get here!

Besides, it’s for a good cause — and every dollar raised in support of the walkers goes directly to the Preserve The Pensions fund. Every dollar is matched first by FGS, then again by Ancestry. Every $25.00 sponsorship becomes a $100.00 contribution to the preservation of this incredibly important collection of War of 1812 pensions.

You can read more in the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ conference blog at as well as in the Preserve the Pensions web site at

And to sponsor me (or… sigh… one of the youngsters…), if you’re attending the FGS Conference, you can do it in person by stopping by the Preserve The Pensions booth (booth 506, 508) in the Exhibit Hall. And if you want to do it from home, visit the donate page at

You’ll see a section marked “Honor and Tribute” where you can select the walker you’d like to sponsor.

And thank you.

I think.

As long as I survive…

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