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Good Morning, friends and cousins in the genealogy community!
The response to the identification of the genealogy rip-off operation
in Denver last week has been tremendous with a steady stream of requests
for add'l info.
The operation in Denver with a newly discovered "branch" in Utah is an
incarnation of the identical scheme that Halbert's used. The same form
letters, books and newsletters are being sold, and the same fake
"Crests" and other products are being created "to exacting standards".
The new incarnation has not yet been linked financially to Halbert´s or
NUMA (Halbert parent), but the resemblance is so close, they could be
joined at the hip, operating under dba's Mountain West News Service,
Mountain Pacific News Service, and MORPHCORP. The Better Business Bureau
reports that the company has joined the BBB in January 2000, opened in
1985, and is rated as satisfactory. A complete history of Halbert's,
courtesy of Jeff Scism (despite our surname homonyms, we ain't kin ---
he hopes!) is available at
Volunteers interested in assisting in informing the genealogy community
of this scam have come out of the woodwork. We would ask the recipients
of this email the following:
1) A sample of the Colorado flyer is at
Print it and post in the genealogy section at your library with
appropriate message and make announcements at your gensoc.
2) After you have read it, as a researcher you realize the fraud that it
is. Go to the Federal Trade Commissions website at
https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm and file a complaint ONLINE. For
a sample complaint and further detailed information to use, please go to
3) Forward this to every list you are on.
4) If you are a member of NGS (shane(a)ngsgenealogy.org) or FGS
(fgs-office(a)fgs.org), contact those organizations and ask that they get
members motivated. Gentech, Inc. (beau(a)connect.net) has a director and
a well-known regular conference speaker in the Denver metro. I asked
them to do some local research. No response to date.
5) Contact every genealogy columnist whose work you read, both local and
online such as Myra Gormley (myravg(a)prodigy.net} or Dick Eastman
(ROOTS(a)compuserve.com) who was stalwart in early work on Halbert's, both
of whom, as well as others, are on this list. No response to date.
6} If you have rec'd a flyer yourself, please report the names and
addresses to me. We need to know all the DBAs they are using. Then
take it to the local post office and file a complaint.
7) If you are in the Denver area, we need search of the court house
records to determine any corporate connections. If we can make a
corporate connection, I am fairly sure the restraints placed on
Halbert's can be extended by the proper authorities.
8) If you are a supplier (software, services, researcher) to the
genealogy community, this type of scam effects you even more.
Contribute to the effort.
9)This is no small time scam. Halbert's is owned by a company named
NUMA whih in turn is owned by CENDANT. Go to
http://itjobs.cendant.com/cendant_co.html to find other Cendant
companies. You will NOT be happy with how you have been doing business
with folks like this --- I promise you.
These scams are more likely to rip off folks less involved in genealogy
than most recipients of this msg. Most of us will recognize it for what
it is and trash it. That does not relieve us of the responsibility of
making it more difficult for these and other parasites within our
community to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. I have found far too many
that "don't want to get involved", "Didn't happen on my watch." (to use
an old Navy excuse), running from controversy and responsibility. Let
us unite in eradicating those that are behind an obvious attempt to
profit unethically from the popularity of genealogy.
I am sure that everyone on this list is familiar with the Halbert
operation that plagued the genealogy community for years with phony
Well, there is an operation out of Denver with no identifiable name,
listed as Maxwell & Christina Sissom (there ain't none)n.d.p. (what does
that mean, 'No Damn Persons'?), 1181 S. Parker Rd #105, Denver 80231.
They are publishing "The Sissom Family Yearbook.", plus a complete
revision of the "Classic Sissom Family History.", "... 24 databases
researched in all."
It also includes a CD which I will need "... a database or word
processor to read."
Has anyone else received this solicitation? Maybe some of you folks
(Birdie?) in Denver should check this out. If I have duplicated earlier
notices, I apologize, but none have reached me. This outfit will take
money away from legitimate publishers, vendors and must be DISCOURAGED.
For more on John Lanier and particularly Lucy Townley, pls go to
> 2nd wife Lucy Townley b. abt 1825 New Hanover, North Carolina
We have her b.1799, and since you have her bearing a child in 1829, I
suspect the above dob is in error.
Some recipients and some moderators may feel this is off-topic and
political. It is neither - and both. It concerns genealogy now and
forever more, it is to some degree techical (tho it does not concern
GEDCOM) and no organization, no columnist, nobody is even considering
the long term effect. What other way do I have to at least call your
attention to this event that could have tragic consequences down stream?
Next Tues, millions of Americans will vote in their party primaries.
The next Tues, millions more will join them. There are politicians and
bureaucrats that would, for their own political gain, base part of the
census on a 'statistical sampling', forever eliminating the possibility
of ever providing family information --- just like burning the court
These voters will not only select their party's nominee for president,
but for the US Congress as well. I know how the people for whom I vote
stand on this. I will not do your home work for you as that WOULD make
For over 2 years I have been urging genealogy groups to take some
interest in this. About 18 months ago I requested the Gentech board to
consider this a project. Not even the courtesy of a response. Bigger
and stronger NGS and FGS ignore it also.
The irony of all this is that those that support the idea of sampling
rather than counting as required by the Constitution, claim that Gs of
racial and ethnic minorities are undercounted. How do they know? The
people that would be hurt 70 years from now are those precise groups the
do-gooders want to help. I have not seen this clear fact mentioned one
I am not urging 'single-issue' voting on anyone. That has never made
much sense to me. But I do urge you all to KNOW where the candidates
that you are considering voting for stand, and what their election might
do for folks just like us 100 yrs from now.
Thank you for your time. See you at the polls at the appropriate time
May I call your attention to the fol'g URL:
This is the record of Lemuel Lanier of my wife's direct line. Scroll
down to the bottom and click on the link. It is a map of Brunswick Co
based on deeds and other land transactions that I think you'll enjoy and
perhaps it will give you a clue as to further research.
The map was prepared by Joy Denton of the Denton families indicated. It
was enhanced by Jeff Scism who is a neat friend as we have found no
connection btw the Scism and Sisson/m families. The SissoN, Shearin(g),
Denton and one or 2 other families are part of my prime line.