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
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
ancestry.com. And those, like the other emails, I can do without.