I composed the last part of my reply from the library on the "Express" computer as time was running out.
The line "If you have the time and ability, pay it forward by looking up an obit for someone in your county. I do this to pay others back." wasn't as clear as it could have been. I don't work well under pressure. I don't work well when I have been drinking, either. All in all, I'm kind of slow and awkward a lot of the time.
About 300 people have done me genealogical favors, ranging from simple obit lookups through scanning county history biographies to a lady who wrote "It was a nice day, so I drove down to the cemetery . . ." She transcribed three family's worth of tombstones for me, then drove home to start dinner.
I used to ask them if they had a favor I could do for them in Stanislaus County. They never did. So, I started looking up obits here. If I could not repay their favors directly, I could at least do something nice for someone else.
My grandmother did me an enormous favor when I was in Borneo with the Peace Corps in 1971 - 1972. (She sent me a cheery letter and the week’s “Peanuts” cartoons, ever week.) I told her I could never re-pay her. She was honest and gracious. She said, "I know, but you might be able do something nice for someone else." That was my first exposure to “Paying it forward”, although the concept wasn’t original with my grandmother; indeed, “Do unto others . . .” is close to the concept, and it is 2,000 years old.
I have a subscription to Ancestry too. If you are still inclined, after wading through all of this, go to the GenForum page for your county, search or scan for “Obit”, and look up one for someone else. I won’t know if you do it or not, but you will.
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