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Subject: New Web Site Posting Obituaries and Memorials	
Date:    Tue, 16 Nov 1999 15:23:49 -0600
To:      "Toronto OGS" ,  "Brant OGS" ,  "Waterloo-Wellington OGS" ,  "Sudbury OGS" , "Simcoe OGS" ,  "Ottawa OGS" ,  "Norfolk OGS" ,  "Nipissing OGS" ,  "Niagara Peninsula OGS" ,  "London & Middlesex OGS" ,  "Grenville OGS" ,  "Lambton OGS" ,  "Kingston OGS" ,  "Kent OGS" ,  "Halton-Peel OGS" , "Essex OGS" ,  "Elgin County OGS" ,  "Bruce and Grey OGS" 	
From:    "Ron Mills" {}

New Genealogical Research Tool

A funny thing happened while working on my family history. I was using obituaries from as far away as Manitoba to fill in my family tree. Some obituaries I received from relatives and others I found after spending hours looking through microfilm at various libraries. I kept thinking to myself "Why doesnít somebody contact the funeral homes and provide their customers with the opportunity to post their obituaries on the Internet?" If all obituaries were to be posted in a database on a web site, people could use the "marvels" of the computer for convenient searching to help fill in their family tree. It seemed like a marvellous idea to me. Well, the idea percolated in my head for almost a year before I thought "Why donít I start that web site!"

Voila Ė the web site GENERATIONS: Memorials That Live On was created. We are providing one central Internet web site focusing on the posting of Canadian obituaries. After 7 days, the obituary is transferred to a Genealogical section to be used for family history research.

We completed the web site in mid July and immediately started talking with the funeral homes in Simcoe County, my home base. To date, 35% of the funeral homes in Simcoe County will provide the opportunity for their customers to post their obituary on our web site. We would ideally like 100% of the funeral homes participating, and believe that as more people become comfortable with the Internet, the percentage will draw closer to 100%. In September we started expanding into the Toronto Metro area, and we will continue to expand over the next 2 years to cover all of Ontario. This process will take time, but we hope that by the end of the second year, the web site will have a large database of names for family history research. With 76,000 people passing away every year in Ontario alone, the GENERATIONS web site should turn into an invaluable resource for family historians.

There are two barriers to the success of this endeavour: funeral homes that are not providing our service and people that are not posting their loved ones obituary on the Internet. Please feel free to help promote our genealogical enterprise by mentioning it to your local funeral director and to all family members. We plan to visit each funeral home to give them a visual display of our web site, but realize this will be an enormous venture. We will gladly send out an information package to your local funeral home if they wish more information.

Each obituary will be posted for 7 days in our Current Obituary section. After 7 days, the obituary will be posted to our Genealogical section indefinitely. Posting an obituary with us is a simple process. An obituary can be submitted through your preferred funeral home at the time of your loved onesí death, or can be sent directly to us by a family member. There is no need to be connected to the Internet, or even have a computer. Obituaries can be faxed to us at our toll free fax number 1-877-322-6250 just as you would fax an obituary to a newspaper. We do the rest. Our pricing is very reasonable. The cost of an obituary is, in most cases, one half to one quarter the cost of an obituary in a newspaper. Included in our price will be a free memorial posted on the GENERATIONS web site for the deceased personís family on the first anniversary of the date of their loved onesí death. The memorial will be posted for 30 days.

An obituary posted on the GENERATIONS web site not only reaches the people in the local community, but anyone in the province, the country and the world. There are certain online newspapers posting obituaries and a few funeral homes posting obituaries, but there is no other Canadian web site that provides all the services we offer.

We also have a Canadian Directory of Funeral Homes, where people visiting our web site can search by Province, City or Funeral Home Name to find a funeral home in a locality of their choice. Our Funeral Information section provides help on such matters as: answers to frequently asked questions, estate planning and what to do when a loved one dies. We have a Local Churches section where individuals can search for a church in their local area. Churches can submit their information free of charge. Our Genealogical section provides links to various genealogical web sites in Canada, the United States and across the "big pond".

The latest Angus Reid poll states that 55% of the people in Canada, or approximately 12.7 million people, are now connected to the Internet. We believe that it is time for family researchers to take full advantage of this excellent medium for sharing information.

I have been a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society for a few years now, and more specifically a member of the Kawartha and Grey/Bruce branches. We took the privilege to place links on our web site to the local Genealogical Societiesí web sites. We would appreciate a reciprocal link. We hope to help others in their family history search by providing this new genealogical service.

Traditionally, obituaries have been posted in local or provincial newspapers. We hope to raise awareness that individuals can now post their loved onesí obituary on the internet and start a "new tradition".

Ron Mills

GENERATIONS: Memorials That Live On Web Site:

Tel: (705) 322-6248
Fax: (705) 322-6250
Fax Toll Free: 1-877-322-6250

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