News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 30, 2012

GENEALOGY: Sept, 30, 2012: Websites further acts of genealogical kindness

Tami Dehler
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Several years ago, I reported about a website called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK). This site was up for 11 years, offering volunteers willing to do a good deed for any person visiting and making a request. Sadly, the site was taken off line last November when the founder, Bridgett Schneider, passed away.

A final message was posted at It says, in part, “Bridgett and her husband Doc began Random Acts of Kindness (RAOGK) in 1999 in their Nebraska home. What they began with a handful of volunteer researchers in 1999 grew to over 4,000 people around the world. … Bridgett’s husband Doc has assured the RAOGK volunteers that Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness will be back online in the future – a promise he has made to Bridgett. For now, some people are helping individuals through the RAOGK Facebook page at Bridgett has brightened the lives of countless people and will be dearly missed.”

Meanwhile, another website dedicated to genealogical volunteerism has recently launched. This is Gen Gathering, the brainchild of Valerie and Dean Bowman of Chandler, Ariz., and located at

Bowman states, “Our new site is called Gen Gathering. It is a gathering of researchers and genealogists that ‘give and take.’ Do you have resources in your home, or are you willing to do searches at your local court house, library, cemetery, etc.? If so, we would love to have you step up and join us. If you come to our site seeking volunteers to assist with finding a record for you, you have also come to the right place. We are all working together through generosity, cooperation, and willingness to share! Come see what we are all about! Visit us on Facebook at Gen Gathering.”

The site is relatively easy to use. You can set up a free profile, with as much or as little information about yourself as you care to post. After logging on, you can choose from two options: “I want to volunteer,” in which case you post what you are willing to do for others, or “find a volunteer,” where you search through the voluntary acts that others are willing to do for you. An added bonus is the first 250 volunteers to sign up will be awarded “charter member” status on their profile page.


• I am hoping to find a photo of Peter Jacob, Civil War veteran. Peter Jacob was born March 3, 1827, in Hesse, Germany. He married Eva Katherine Oehlenschlager, March 23, 1850, in Rimbach, Starkenburg, Hessen, Germany, and then emigrated to Terre Haute, Vigo County, Ind., arriving in New York City, Aug. 7, 1857. He enlisted Aug. 24, 1861, in Co. E, 32nd Regiment, Indiana Infantry, possibly an all German regiment. He was discharged Sept. 7, 1864, and later was killed in a sawmill accident in Terre Haute on Oct. 8, 1869. According to family lore, a photo of Peter Jacob in his uniform was taken shortly after his discharge and return home in 1864. I confirmed with a living family member that this photo definitely existed, but has been missing for at least 10 years. I have checked the Vigo County Public Library and the Indiana State Archives with no luck. I am hoping that somebody else may have been able acquire this photo or make a copy of it sometime over the years. Thanks for any help or clues. Jerry Jacobs at email