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Sharing-----or not

Sharing-----or not

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 5:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have been dabbling in my Family Tree for about ten years. Love doing it, mainly it comes in bursts; and I have gotten up to 1500 people in my tree thus far.

But I am curious as to one problem I have run in to several times here. I will get stuck on one person, and find a hint listed on a "private tree" and send them a message asking for help, (it has always been on a person who has been deceased for CENTURIES), and I have been met with flat out refusals to share information. Which has always baffled me. Certainly it is anyones right to keep their tree private, but this refusal to help at all is confusing. I am not asking for a living person's Social Security number...... I always try to be as helpful as possible when someone sends me a request for assistance or information and was just wondering if anyone could shed light on why someone would be so secretive. I'm not being testy, just genuinely curious as to the possible reasons why some might be so unwilling to offer assistance. I know some might say embarrassment over the ill repute of some long deceased relative, but I have found a few scoundrels in my own family tree and it bothers me not a bit. I can't imagine being embarrassed by the bad behavior of someone who has been dead for over a hundred years and who I never knew.

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 7 Aug 2012 3:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Fiona, I can't believe that no one has replied to your simple and honest question. In a search for a thread about genealogical "vampires,"and I came across your post. I might have one or two reasons that you've encountered such rude behavior: there are other researchers out there who have abused the system in such a way that the owners of the trees will not answer requests anymore, and ruin in for people like you (and me!). On the other hand, there are researchers out there who are just plain rude. I've encountered both. A third possibility may be that the person you are trying to reach hasn't logged on in ages and simply didn't get your message ...either way it's frustrating. When that happens to me I was just think, screw them, I'll find it myself! I take it as a challenge. I hope this helps, you sound awfully nice and undeserving of such rude behavior.

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 27 Aug 2012 5:31AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hey cousin how about sharing with me already?

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 11 Oct 2012 8:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Perhaps I can shed some light on why researchers aren't willing to share. I have spent considerable time (years), money (hundreds), and hours (unnumbered) identifying and documenting my family lines. I'm not willing to post my hard work to a public format were there is no guarantee that the integrity of the information will remain intact. I'm happy to help others by pointing them to the resources I've used, but respect my own efforts too much to give away my conclusions. If I ever choose to make my research public, I will copyright and publish the information I've so painstakingly compiled. I'm sure there are others who feel this way as well.

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 12 Oct 2012 3:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
I've gotten that too and I think most of the time is the person doesn't have a clue what the documentation is. They copied it from someone else. I hit a dead end with my husband's grandfather's siblings. There is an aunt my father-in-law never heard of. She's on a ship manifest (and several years older than the other siblings). She's listed on a good half dozen trees at Ancestry with the same married name (and this unusual maiden name...sometimes the parents' names are given too, so I'm sure it's the same person). I wrote all of the tree owners and only got one or two replies, all telling me they just copied it and don't have documentation. Even using the probable married name I haven't found anything else. Somewhere someone must have at least one doc showing the connection between the married and maiden name, even if it's verbal confirmation from the source.

I don't get it though when someone has a computer file of a document and won't share it. My uncle and I shared everything we each had. I sent all my docs to a distant cousin of my husband's who did a very complete branch of my mother-in-law's family tree (she hasn't sent anything to me, she just tells me when one of my docs is new to her). And I sent all my docs to someone who is almost certainly a cousin of mine but we need to go back one or two more generations (he's shared everything with me too). And if they don't have the computer file, then at least they could say where the doc is from and the basic info on it.

I would understand refusing a request to "share all your docs" with someone you don't know. But one specific person who is a shared ancestor? Makes no sense to me.

If you and I were to have any shared ancestors, I'd be happy to share the info I have.

Cyndi

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 2:21AM GMT
Classification: Query
I think you have a good point and would make that decision depending on the individual I was working with. Unfortunately, as a less experienced researcher, I shared some of my research with a family member who then published it as their own. That has made me very careful with what I share.

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 2:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 13 Oct 2012 2:04PM GMT
I agree with both of you -- Tengen: having also spent hundreds of hours and dollars I also am wary and do not open the tree indiscriminately anymore. This is your baby! You'd want to see it cared for with respect. Cyndi - I, too, feel as if sharing the documents readily is the right way to go and do share what I have with relatives who are as keen as I am to find the answers and keep the right records. As you said to fiona - if we ever have relatives in common, I'd be happy to share..

The way I found this original post was by looking for any post dealing with the vampires, specifically the photo/article vampires -- if I share my private tree with a cousin who keeps a public tree then my hard-earned photos, articles and documents can be seen by people just collecting names - why are there so many? Recently I realized that one of these unknown takers must be writing a book using my resources because she had no specific family members of her own she was documenting but kept writing to me asking me about my relative who had a bit of a shady past -- she wanted all of the articles! When she finally did allow me entrance into her tree there were no family links to anyone - just a collection of 16,000 names and photos when she could grab them. I realized, when looking at her tree, that the records she had for my shady relative were ones I had shared with a cousin with a public tree -- photos and all! She just wanted more. I was/am furious. How do you deal with these types? Many thanks

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 3:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
It might be worthwhile to look into copyright law if you think that your information may be used to make money by a pirate - seems like I remember that pictures and original writing are under copyright automatically - I reviewed it sometime ago in regard to some stories published on Facebook. Of course that would mean an attorney and lawsuit. It's so simple to give credit where credit is due. Unfortunately there isn't near enough emphasis on the website regarding integrity and sound reseach. The "just point and click to find your family" ads are adding to the problem. Personally, I think mandatory courses should be part of the subscription and subscribers not given access to the website until completing the courses. I know, I'm an idealist :)

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 4:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
I agree with you and I am just as much an idealist as you; learning a little etiquette would make these situations less intolerable. It's the same as the rules of the road, which are just as much trampled as these. I tried tracking down this "researcher" but have no proof of anything yet; she has a tree called "Lower East Side Beginnings" and it's a tree all right but there is something fishy about it.

Let me ask you this: if you've been asked to invite someone to view your tree, how do you nicely ask them not to post your photos/articles in their public tree unless they are photos of their own relatives? This is a sticky situation for me. Thanks!

Re: Sharing-----or not

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 7:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
I *very* rarely invite someone to view my tree.

When I get such a request I politely let them know that while I'm willing to provide information about any individual they find indexed in any or my trees that I just don't grant access or provide full lines.

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