First, the Black Friday deals:  If you want to stay cozy and warm here’s some deals on the Internet! 

  • I have a Black Friday widget for Amazon.com on my sidebar that will take you straight to the Amazon.com deals.
  • Fold3 is offering a Black Friday deal: A one year membership for $47.95.  That’s a 40% savings!  This offer is good until 11?59 PM Mountain Time, today only!

Now for the lesson:  Have you ever stood out in the cold for most of the night to take advantage of a Black Friday deal?  I have.

I remember years ago my daughter, Sarah, wanted a Cabbage Patch doll, a blond one.  The minute these dolls hit the store shelves, they were snapped up.  After much investigating (I’m a genealogist so I know all about investigating), I discovered a certain store was going to get a shipment on a particular night.  So, on the night of the promised delivery, my thirteen year old son, Tim, and I donned our long underwear and heavy coats and headed to the store.  Can’t remember much of what we did that night, but we were near the front of the line when the doors opened in the morning and I secured one blond Cabbage Patch doll for Sarah.  I had been thorough in my research.

Not all are so fortunate.  Last year we needed a gas stove for one of our rentals and found a good price in the Sears ad.  So, about 11:00 at night Bruce headed to the Sears store.  He parked the car and donned so many sweaters, coats, and hats, you would have thought he’d been mummified.  (We live in Utah.  It’s cold.)  He waited in line for the 5:00 AM opening.   About 4:00 AM a sales clerk came down the line giving out tickets for the sale items.  That’s a great way to assure no one gets trampled in the rush when they open the doors.  They only give out as many tickets as they have items in stock.

When the sales clerk got to Bruce and Bruce told him what he wanted, the clerk said, “You don’t need a ticket for that.  We have plenty in stock!”  WHHHHHHAT?  He’d been standing in the cold all that time for NOTHING?  Ooops.

Now we know to call in advance and make sure the item is at the store in a limited quantity.

So what does this all have to do with genealogy?  Give me a minute.  I can relate ANYTHING to genealogy.

Any time you plan to visit a library, repository, archives, or courthouse, you should call ahead (or at least go online) to make sure they have the record you seek and to determine that they will, in fact, be open the day you plan to go.  Nothing is more frustrating than taking time out of your busy schedule to make the trek only to discover they don’t have the record or they are closed for a holiday.

Easy to do, but sometimes in our rush to get to the next source, we get sloppy and forget.

Have you got a Black Friday lesson for genealogists?