Adventures in Genealogy Adventures in Genealogy

EBay Outrage

Or "Rednecks, Public Records and Private Outrage"

by Uncle Hiram


I seldom get upset. I seldom lose my temper. I never comment on the items auctioned off on EBay or any other of the online auction places but this time I cant stop myself.

Currently there are 130 ORIGINAL 19th Century marriage intentions for sale in 11 separate auctions on EBay. It is inconceivable to me that these precious original PUBLIC documents could possible be transferred to private ownership. They belong to people of New Hampshire. They should not become an exhibit some persons personal History collection. I have no roots in New Hampshire but this sale should outrage everyone who loves genealogy. With her permission I am putting the text of the entire Message that DearMyrtle sent to me earlier today.

Subj: Selling 1830s Marriage Records on E-Bay? HELP!
Date: 2/23/01 1:09:21 AM Central Standard Time
From: DearMYRTLE

Dear sir,

From today's issue of Local History & Genealogy Librarian News, and Thomas Kemp , Editor:


More than 125 pages of marriage intentions written and signed by Rye, NH Town Clerk John A. Trefethen in the 1830s to 1850s are for sale in 11 separate auctions on E-Bay. Each marriage intention is written on a separate page. The marriages occurred in Rye and neighboring towns.


In the interests of historic preservation, and with an eye to family history, please withdraw the following items from auction. It is unconscionable to sell public vital records.

These records belong to the towns in question, and are valuable public documents. Somehow, they fell out of the hands of town officials, and its your civic duty to return these items to the rightful owner.

I am sending a copy if this e-mail to NBC, CBS and ABC News with the hopes that this will be thankfully resolved.

Pat Richley
Daily Genealogy Columnist
AOL Keywords: roots or myrtle

Please take a moment and write an email to EBay to complain of this SALE of our heritage. We cannot allow these precious resources to be sold. This time it may not be your kin or my kin but next time it might be. Documents of this type need to be in historical societies or in the county court houses or the county libraries.

- Adios and Keep Smiling!

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About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."

- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)

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