Bay County Landscape

Bay County Lookup Volunteers

Help Wanted

How would you like to make a meaningful and enduring contribution to Bay County family history researchers? You can help in many ways. We need transcribers, data extractors, lookup volunteers, and photographers. To learn more about how you can help, please contact the


Are you interested in joining or starting a extraction project? Please check the Projects Registry page before you start. There you will find information about the many areas that need work as well as areas that are currently underway. For example, there is a 52-year gap in Bay County obituary indexes - a very important resource.

Looking for a Lookup?

Several Bay County residents have volunteered to do brief lookups in the Panama City area. Before you contact one, please check to see if the information is available on this site or at locations pointed to by the site. If not, make sure you describe your request accurately but briefly. What are you looking for? What deliverable are you expecting: Paper copy or e-mail attachment? When is it due?

Please be aware that some documents are protected by copyright, and volunteers will not knowingly violate copyright law. Also, please note that “Free” does not necessarily include any out-of pocket expenses such as travel, copying, and mailing. Contact the volunteer for details for your specific case.

Please remember to say “Thanks” when you receive a response from a volunteer, and please remember that not every search is successful.

Suggestions for Lookup Volunteers

Make sure you understand exactly what the customer wants and expects before you start looking. Set a report deadline. If you feel a particular customer wants more than you are willing and able to provide, now is the time to say so and suggest another volunteer. Don't agree to do something you aren't sure you will. Include a complete citation to the source from which you obtained the information.

Reporting options: Determine which of the six types of reports is desired. Deliverable: What type of document is desired? If the customer is computer-challenged, she will desire a paper document. Digital/ Electronic document: What file type is the customer expecting? Below are the most common file types. They can be opened in almost any computer. Delivery Method: How will the report be sent to the customer? Copyright Law: Many documents are protected by copyright law. Works published prior to 1923 are in the public domain and can be copied freely. Most government documents are not protected by copyright. More recent documents are generally protected regardless of whether they contain a copyright notice. However, in special cases when only a small portion of the work is to be copied, and when only a single copy is being made, the "fair use" clause permits copying. If in doubt, contact the Web master.

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