Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) is a web based genealogical research co-op that functions solely with the services of volunteers in regional areas. It was originally started by two researchers in 1999 who saw the need for such a service in their local area. However, the small site grew very rapidly from being solely a statewide offering to an international service with some 4300 volunteers located around the world.
RAOGK has won many awards and has been featured in smaller local papers such as The Daily News, Jacksonville NC, the Lorain Morning Journal, OH, and the St. Petersburg Times, Florida — as well as AARP Magazine and the New York Times for the unique service it offers to researchers.
Volunteers from any part of the globe may offer various services to any requester such as research of death records, public records, obituaries, marriage records and deed records to name a few. Other volunteers will offer to photograph burial sites, cemeteries and tombstones. Any fees requested by the volunteers are based upon actual costs involved, such as gas mileage, record fees, or postage. However, in most cases, the services are rendered free of charge in the spirit of offering a random act of (genealogical) kindness to a stranger in search of family ties. Thus the name of the organization came into being from the nature of the services offered.
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