Jasia asks whether the cost of fuel is affecting genealogy research
I don't have much to judge against since I've only been obsessing for about a year now, and while fuel costs continue to rise, it was already rising when I started.
Recently I did pay someone in Springfield, IL to send me a copy of a death certificate. She only charged me $5, though, which is 1/3 of the price the Cook County Clerk would have charged me for the same certificate, and even at old prices, that was better than what it would have cost me to drive round trip (200 miles) to Sringfield.
At current prices it will cost me $27 ((200 miles / 30mpg) X $4/g) I could conceivably come up with enough Springfield research to do to make the trip worthwhile, since I have several Chicago relatives, but I would have to take a day off from work, which suddenly changes the math. By the way, if anyone has any Illinois research that can't be done online, you should check out Mollx's website The death certificate I had her look up was in the mail within 48 hours of my initial contact.
I do want to make a trip to Jefferson City, MO, which is a little further (260 miles round trip.) However, I usually have a morning meeting I have to attend once or twice a year for work there. I'm not expected back in St. Louis in the afternoon, so it would give me a few hours research with my fuel costs reimbursed. I just have to wait for the opportunity, and of course, now that I have something to do in Jefferson City the opportunity hasn't arisen yet this year.