I know that in five or ten years the answers may be a couple of clicks away. I am also aware of my impatience when I set my mind to something. I really want to know where John HEATON came from and who his parents were. I also badly want to know where the EBERT family came from.
The difference here being that I cannot just go research on-site for an extended period of time. It's not feasible and frankly I'm not even sure where to begin. I mean, the areas don't look that big on a globe, but...
Another issue at play is the age and health of certain other family members that I would really enjoy sharing this information with.
There is only so much that can be done online. The assistance and generosity of others can help, but there are only so many RAOGK-type people out there and most don't want a research project. Record retrieval and small scale lookups are their strengths, and that's really all I expect since that's where I often draw the line when I do the same.
So, what I've been thinking about is offering a cash bounty. With my readership, though, I may have to trick Chris into thinking this would be a great Challenge. Maybe a new category: "Sponsored Challenges with Cash Prizes."
This idea is fraught with problems, though. If one were to pay for results, what would be a reasonable list of expectations to have? How many layers of proof or conditions would have to be met before paying out? I'm an honest guy and I'd stand by my word, but I'm not going to hand over $500 or a $1000 to the first person to email me a few names and dates. I don't need possibilities, I need forward (well, reverse) movement on these families.
While I know hiring a pro is an option, I have some reservations about that. First, in both cases I cannot easily reproduce a list of everything I've researched. Fixing this is going to take a very long time. Secondly, and this may not be fair to others, but I did consult a research firm once and every idea they had I had already covered.
DNA may be the cheaper route, but I fear it would still take years to achieve minimal success in terms of the number of people being tested.