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Many times I've wanted to trade off research with other genealogists--those not related to me.

I live in Florida. Say I need a record from a repository in Tennessee and another Genealogist needs a record from a repository in Florida. At least in theory, we could "trade" our volunteer efforts, couldn't we?

I know that there are Professional Genealogist who use this method of "bartering" but I would like to have a different avenue--something that didn't require me to pay membership dues and other fees.

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I took a stab at clarifying what I think it the "non related" aspect of the collaboration idea. Please make sure it still reads in the spirit of your question. If it doesn't, give 'er a roll-back. – GeneJ Nov 14 '12 at 23:22
I think that this is a great idea for a website - it could track the "good deeds" you had done, and you could spend your points to get good deeds from others. – Jeremy Nov 15 '12 at 14:32
Nice, sounds good to me. – Ezri Rediker Nov 15 '12 at 15:09

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) was established in 1999 as a resource for networking among researchers. RAOGK linked researchers who needed documents from a distant location with others who may have been able to obtain them.

The original site closed after the death of the founder, Bridgette Schneider (1948-2011). Among several attempts to keep the collaboration going, you might try the Genealogical Kindness Wiki

Updated January 2015: RAOGK is back in operation!

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One avenue is to use this Q&A. Ask a question about your ancestor in question. Include your research and what it is you are missing. It's possible someone will help you without bartering. Other sites like findagrave work just thru the generosity of others. I now photograph gravestones for others because someone was nice enough to do it for me. '

Another avenue that has worked for me is the pando (one big tree) at Entering your ancestors and data at this site helps you find others with similar interests that may help you. Just like this stackexchange site, sometimes people help just to help - no barter required.

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The recently established Generous Genealogists is a volunteer based community simliar to Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK).

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This site now seems to be just an aggregation of ads - did its community shutdown? – PolyGeo Jan 4 '15 at 23:25

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