Friday, March 11, 2016

A Connection between Genealogical Research and Crowd Source Funding

According to oral family history, my great-grand father, a free man living in the north was involved in a card game that went bad and he ended up shooting a couple of guys. He escaped across the Ohio River into Kentucky but was captured and sold back into slavery. Because of the notoriety surrounding the shooting, to distance himself, he changed his last name.

Sometime after the Civil War, some of his children, my Grandfather and Great Aunts and Uncles changed the spelling of their last names; some didn’t. This change of spelling lead to a "branching off" in the family tree. The "Smiths" went one way and the "Smythes" went in another direction.

Thanks to Genealogical science, my mother's sister located a cousin from the other branch of the family and we were "reunited" with other them.

Ten years later, Facebook came along and where, one connection with one family member lead to multiple connections between many family members spread across many states; one is even an acclaimed entertainer.

The entertainer recently announced on Facebook that he was going through some serious medical events and, he set up a "Go-Fund-Me" crowd source funding page to raise money to help with some of his medical expenses.

Now, if I break a $20 or $10 bill and end up with a couple of singles, I’ll stuff them in my cup holder so that they will be easily accessible to give to a deserving Pan-Handler or busking performer. I don’t have a problem contributing to someone who appears to be in need but, I have not contributed to the crowd source funding request from my distant family.

So, to put this in perspective, pan-handling is a form of crowd source funding as is the Go-Fund-Me accounts on the Internet. Is one really any different than the other?