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.