Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Wiki

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Note from the RAOGK wiki creator: The RAOGK wiki is a workaround for the official RAOGK site being down. Bridgett and Doc Schneider were the founders of the RAOGK website and like other genealogists, I am deeply indebted to their efforts as I benefited immensely from the work of their volunteers. When I created the wiki, it was out of my utmost respect for Bridgett and Doc's work. The wiki was my way to give back – my personal RAOGK for the RAOGK community – by providing a workaround for FB posts like Amy Mueller Stiles (and similar ones on the USA groups) on April 27: "...wall requests are ok on FB but it's like pulling teeth to get the info of what they are looking for sometimes. Direct email contact is best." My hope and intent with the wiki is that it fills a gap for genealogists while the official site is down ... a place for researchers and volunteers to connect (with the familiar ease of use) until the official site is operational again. (I wrote Doc on Mar 7 about the wiki, etc. and again on April 27. On April 17, the [lead] RAOGK admin gave "conditional approval" for the wiki.)

In a Facebook post (27 Apr 2012), Doc indicated he was starting to restore the RAOGK site.

About the RAOGK Wiki

The original Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) website was the brainchild of Bridgett Schneider. Shortly before her death in 2011, she had a computer disaster and the site has been down since. Before the RAOGK site went dark, the global organization consisted of over 4,000 volunteers in every U.S. state and many international locations. The RAOGK wiki is dedicated to Bridgett's memory, to continue her efforts, and to provide a service that researchers and volunteers dearly loved and miss.

The way RAOGK worked was that volunteers agreed to do at least one free genealogy research task per month in their local area as an Act of Kindness. The RAOGK volunteers agreed not to charge for their research time; however, researchers were required to reimburse the volunteer for expenses incurred in fulfilling the research request (e.g., copies, printing fees, postage, film or video tape, parking fees, gasoline, etc.).

  • On state pages, volunteers would indicate what services they would perform -- e.g., courthouse/public records lookups, library research, tombstone research, etc. -- and what expenses (never their time) they expected reimbursement for.
  • Similarly, researchers would locate a volunteer by going to a state page and selecting a researcher from a list of counties and based on the volunteer's description of services they would perform.

Bridgette Schneider (1946-2011)

Photo at: Findagrave (posted by Anja van Steel) and Nebraska Roots & Ramblings

Historical Background Info

For now, see the Wikipedia article about RAOGK.

Shortly before Bridgett's death, she posted that she'd had computer issues and the site would be down "quite awhile." Upon Bridgett's death, several of the RAOGK admins created Facebook groups to continue RAOGK's work while the site is down.

Volunteers post documents with the research services they offer:

The Facebook groups have a threaded discussion. Researchers can post their research need and members can respond with research help or suggestions.

Questions? Concerns?
Leave a message on the Talk page or contact the Wiki Admin.

(Click the Talk button ... located beside the Edit icon at the top of the page.)

Important Wiki Links

See Useful Links for both general and wiki links:

  • Wiki Basics
  • Help Files and FAQs
  • Researchers -- General Guidelines
  • Info for Volunteers
  • Useful Links
  • Special Cowantex/sandbox7 Links

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See the Latest Wiki News for such topics as:

  • Change to Wiki "Skin"
  • Wiki "Redesign" for Improved Navigation
  • New Wiki Poll ... suggest a new wiki name
  • Blogs Activated
  • Forums ... threaded discussions (coming)


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Rajsingh12 Rajsingh12 24 September 2016

my india ancestors

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Jawoods Jawoods 6 December 2013

Johann/John Ferrenburg

I am trying to find out all I can about John/Johann Ferrenburg. It seems that when he moved to the U.S. he started going by John, but originally his name was Johann. I don't have very much information…

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CL Carlisle CL Carlisle 14 September 2013

Today was a great day!!!

Yes today was a GREAT day with out a doubt.  Helped someone find their family and I dont know who was more excited about it, them or me.  LOL But I always get excited when I can track down stuff for …

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CL Carlisle CL Carlisle 9 September 2013

VOTAW research

If you or someone you know or have contact with is researching the VOTAW surname feel free to send them my way. Have quite a bit collected on the line and adding more daily. Am hoping to have a site …

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Useful Links

Wiki Basics
Researchers -- General Guidelines

When making requests of volunteers:

  • Make requests specific -- avoid being too general.
  • Make requests ONLY for the volunteer's specified research areas. (Do not ask for out-of-area requests.)
  • Never ask more than one volunteer for the same request.
  • Ask the volunteer what reimbursements they require: copies, gas, parking, etc.
  • Negotiate an estimated completion time ... Remember: volunteers are not "on the clock," may research for multiple people, and respond reasonably as their time permits.

Note: If no volunteer exists for an area, Follow the page, for alerts of page changes.

Useful Links
Help Files and FAQs
Info for Volunteers

NEW (and existing) volunteers, contact: the Wiki Admin with the following information:

  • State:
  • County:
  • Your "display" name: ("Suz-eQ" ... "Sue" ... "Susanna Smith," etc.)
  • Volunteer Services: (Describe your services -- i.e., tombstone photos, obituaries, public records lookups, etc.)
  • Reimbursements (if any) for: gas/mileage, copies, fees, postage, parking, etc.

Note: Always provide researcher with an estimated completion time.

EXISTING volunteers may also Update Your Volunteer Information yourself.)

Special Cowantex/sandbox7 Links
Questions? Concerns? Leave a message on the Talk page or contact a Wiki Admin.
(Click the Talk button ... beside the Edit icon at the top of the page.)

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