As an officer in our local genealogy society, I often do research requests we receive for persons who have ancestors who lived at one time in Story County, Iowa. It always helps if we know specifically what the requester is attempting to find. (Well, we can’t fill in a complete pedigree chart, for example.)
Through the years of doing these requests, some are etched in my memory. When the requester includes the words “please” and “thank you” it definitely tends to be a more postive experience. Why? Because, perhaps subconsciously, that increases my motivation to help them. (Regardless, I still try my best to help them.)
One of the strangest requests was from a husband who wanted to surprise his wife for Mother’s Day by completely researching her ancestors and, “did we have any suggestions?” We received the request three weeks before Mother’s Day and I was so tempted to respond, “Mother’s Day of which year?” But I resisted the urge and sent him some suggestions for beginning the process. Not surprisingly, we never heard from him again. (He probably did not realize how long and complicated the process can be.)
Then there are the kind people who provide feedback and thank us for our efforts, even if we aren’t always able to find all of what they are searching. That’s the fuel that keeps our genealogy society researchers going!