Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Genealogy Advice Desperately Needed

sad-emojiI have a friend whose husband got very sick last year. On top of that, he also had a minor stroke. Because of this “John” hasn’t been able to work since last July. He was able to get short term disability from his work for 6 months but he was denied long term disability because the insurance agency declared that his sickness was preexisting. So since the denial, they have survived on what savings they had. Now they find themselves in the position of being homeless on the first of next month.

“Jane” has a good attitude about it. Yes, she will miss having her home and all the Closedcomforts it affords, but they have fixed their truck up so they can sleep in the covered cab. It will still be difficult because they are both over 60 years old. It appears her only concern is how to continue doing her genealogy research while being homeless. If things were normal she could spend time in the library with her laptop and use the access to their Ancestry account. However, with this pandemic, all of the libraries in her state are closed and they do not offer access to Ancestry online outside of the library! She will also be limited to the access of the internet that you can usually use for free at fast-food restaurants because they are either closed or offer only drive-up service. She also has tons of paper research and photos that she will now have to put in storage.

So, until this shut down of all the places she could normally use to get WiFi and access to the online genealogy sites ends, what can she do to continue her research? During the last year, genealogy has helped her to keep her “sanity” because being a 24/7 caretaker can be quite stressful.

Any and all advice or suggestions would be appreciated and I will pass them on to her. If you are so inclined, prayers for Jane and John are most welcome.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

13 thoughts on “Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Genealogy Advice Desperately Needed

  1. I’m very sorry for your friend. Such sad circumstances. The one thing that gives her solace is unattainable. I wish I had a suggestion or a solution for her, but at the moment I can’t think of anything. I pray things improve for John and Jane soon.

  2. 1) I wonder isf Starbucks free wi-fi would reach to the parking lot? 2) Allow her access to your internet service and then she can use any of the thousands of “hot spots” they have set up.

  3. This is so sad. I, of course, am a major genealogist but would be worried about food, going to the bathroom and washing. Very scary. Wishing them the best of luck.

    1. They have access to food and they have a friend who will let them shower at her house once a week. The bathroom part is something I worry about for them. I wish they lived closer. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Do they have a cell phone? If so, they can be used as a hot spot for a laptop. I do that sometimes. What a shame that our country doesn’t take care of people better. They shouldn’t have to be homeless.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. Yes, she has a cell phone. I am not sure how phone savvy she is but my husband could explainghow to use a hot spot if she has one. I agree that it is horrible that anyone would have to be homeless. Especially at their age. They worked and contributed their entire lives, it is heartbreaking.

  5. If she has a cell phone, she can use it as a wifi hotspot. (Assuming they can afford a cell phone and that they own a laptop.)

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