Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xerox - Hat's off to the early genealogists!

Xerox might be a strange topic for family history but my mom left me xerox'd copies of records and it does figure into genealogy.

From the "About" website, I have copied the first paragraph.

"In 1937, the process called Xerography was invented by American law student Chester Carlson. Carlson had invented a copying process based on electrostatic energy. Xerography became commercially available in 1950 by the Xerox Corporation. Xerography comes for the Greed for "dry writing"."

My mother loved the Xerox copier and as a true Renaissance Woman, embraced the technology with open arms. It made it easier for her to make copies when she traveled collecting family history. In fact, the first copy of my birth certificate is xeroxed.

Family historians and genealogists who have put the time in tracking our families have worked with all kinds of media. They tramped graveyards, hauled books off shelves and spent hours looking at reels of microfilm.

Hat's off to these people who did all the work so I can sit comfortably at my desk and find all the records they discovered. While I tramp graveyards, pull books off shelves and study microfilm, these people set us all on the right track so we know what graveyards to tramp, which books to pull and the roll numbers on the microfilm to ask for.

Technology changes and we adapt to new things. The early folks took notes, gathered information on giant computer printouts and xeroxed copies. Today, I just hit print and the information is at my fingertips. We are blessed to have the Internet but a big thank you goes to all of those who have come before. They not only did most of the work, they shared what they learned and made it available for us.


  1. That law student must have been multi-talented. I'll have to read more about him. Xerox used to seem so wonderful - getting a copy. Now they look so bad compared to a good scan. Wonder what is coming next and if a lawyer will invent it.

  2. Stopping by to say 'hi' from the A-Z Challenge!
    Finley Jayne

  3. I agree photocopying was a great way to gather and share family history information :)

  4. How fun that we both chose the same word for today's challenge. Now I wish that I could track down some of the original photos that my mother xeroxed years ago. I could get better copies now by scanning.
    At least, I know the photos are out there and I can search for them.

  5. Great post with thoughts and sentiments I whole heartedly support. My Aunt was the first genealogist in our family and passed all of her research on to me. I treasure every piece of paper...most of them Xerox copies of her own hand writing from hours spent in libraries, court house record files and notes from phone calls. So, YES, thank you to all of those who have come before. Great post.

    BTW....the Wedding Deceptions are revealed. LOL!!!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  6. Yes, hats off to them. Many years ago, I worked in the clerical support section of a financial department for a clothing company. There were two women whose job was to feed invoice after invoice into a kind of xerox machine.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  7. YES -- the perfect "X" for all genealogists. Where would we be without Xerox??
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.