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Berkshire Family Historian
Main Page, March 2003

Berkshire Family Historian
March 2003

A word from the Editor

Since I began researching my family more than forty years ago technology has had a truly awesome impact on searching for our ancestors and placing them in an historical perspective. We have seen the growth from the Computer File Index, produced by the Mormon Church, to the IGI, the Vital Records index and Census material on the Internet. Much of this has been encouraged by the increase in the number of personal computers. The latest figures suggest that 40% of homes now have access to a PC. Although that growth is slowing down, within another ten years more than half of households will have one.

For most of us this has been a great benefit. We can now order our shopping online — no more queues at the supermarket. And buying clothes, plants for the garden and toys for the children at Christmas has never been easier. But there are drawbacks, particularly with emails.

When I look at my emails I’m never quite sure what’s likely to arrive. I was told recently that ‘our prize notification department has informed us that you have been awarded a valuable Jelly Belly® gift, but as of (Give Date) it remains unclaimed’. As I haven’t a sweet tooth I think I can resist that one. But I seem to get an email at least once a day from Mrs. Roseline Coleman, wife to the late Chife (sic) Coleman from Sierra Leon (sic). She wishes to give me thirty million dollars in the custody of a private security trust firm in Europe held in trunk boxes and declared as precious stones. Does anyone fall for this? If I want to earn more money I can play live poker action for real money, or make my PC earn me thousands of pounds.

I don’t always get messages promising me money. I could ‘date someone’s wife’ or eat pizza and lose weight. Dieting seems to be one of the most popular scams. I could buy diet pills, lose 20 stone by March, never take exercise again, or take part in a miracle discovery. My wife might like me to take part in a guaranteed quit snoring campaign, but I’m not so sure what that would involve. All I want is information about family history, but all I get are advertisements from And those, like the other emails, I can do without.

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created 30th May 2003