Misleading Ads for "Genealogical" Products

From JFA newsletter no. 10, July 1995

These days, most of us have received an invitation to buy a book on our "JUNKINS" surname. One company specializing in selling such surname books is Halbert's, Inc. of Bath, Ohio, a village near Akron. Typically, somebody using the title "Director," writes on letterhead that features a coat of arms, supposedly for our family. You can find a list of the only Officer and Directors of the Junkins Family Association on the inside front cover of this newsletter. Halbert's sends tens of thousands of letters every day and thousands of individuals respond.

The description makes these books sound like family histories or genealogies. These books are little more than lists of early immigrants who share the same surname as ours. They also include lists of addresses of people with the same surname. These lists are based on the mistaken notion that people with the same last name are relatives. Frequently, this is not true.

The Federation of Genealogical Services

On March 23, 1995, the National Genealogical Society, in cooperation with the Federation of Genealogical Services, filed a formal request with The United States Postal Service to investigate Halbert's for misrepresentation of its products.

If you have received a letter offering a genealogical product that appears misleading, you should replace the material in its original envelope and mail it, with your comments, to:

Mr. Kenneth J. Hunter, Chief Postal Inspector
The U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza
SW Washington, DC 20260-2100

If you have questions about any advertising material you receive in the mail about the Junkins family, please fee free to call me at: (207) 363-6975.

Alan D. Junkins, Founder & President
The Junkins Family Association

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