Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Cost of Fuel

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.

3 comments:

David said...

John, I wrote pretty much the same response to Jasia's question today; Molly is great, it's not worth the time and cost of driving to Springfield, etc.

I've never been to the Mo. State Archives, though. I haven't come across enough to do in Jeff City to justify a trip.

John said...

On my last trip the St. Louis City courthouse to look up birth records of my grandparents and their siblings I was told all their records were in Jefferson City. If my mileage wasn't reimbursed by my employers, I'd probably look for someone similar to Molly in Jefferson City.

John said...

Actually, I think I was misled into believing I would have access. The DHSS might send a certified copy to my parents; I doubt to me.

Looking at the listing of what they have on microfilm they have the index to the birth register, but that is also available at the local library.

However, the Missouri Archive's offer to copy an entire roll of microfilm for $15 for anyone is pretty good. If you know the roll you want.