The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
For 50 to perhaps 75 years, many genealogists have provided a valuable “cottage industry” of publishing genealogy information. Sometimes this information is in the form of reprinting old, out of copyright family history books. Other services include the publishing of local tax lists, school records, census extracts, histories of towns or counties, and much more. Sometimes these publishing efforts are done by private individuals while others are offered as public services or money-making activities by local genealogy societies. Whatever the source, the goal of these efforts has always been to publish valuable genealogy information that is of interest to others.
Many of these publications have been low-budget efforts, often photocopied manually and bound together with hand-stapled covers. Over the years, I have purchased a number of such publications and have found most of them to be valuable for finding information about my ancestors. Many times, I was able to find information in these “home productions” that was not easily found anywhere else.
As the world moves to more and more of an online environment, we shouldn’t be surprised to see many of these “cottage” publishers moving to an online environment. In some cases, the publishers continue to produce paper documents but have opened online “catalogs” that anyone can easily search. You place an order, and a book arrives in your mailbox a few days later.