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If you are conducting research into your family heritage, these issues are a REAL concern for you.  Take a moment to read about these issues and concerns which affect our genealogy community.  If you have an issue you would like to see addressed here contact webmaster.

 

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Privacy Issues:

You visit a genealogy site, put your last name in the search engine and voila!.....a match!  You click on the result and it takes you to a page where you discover your own name in a divorce record....or your mother's name in a marriage record....or your child's name in a birth record.  All records of people who are still living!  Should this be allowed?? 

 

There is much debate over this issue right now.  As genealogists, we want ALL records online at our fingertips right now!  It's just the way we family historians are made.  But is it "kosher"?  Do others have the right to display such personal information about living individuals for the whole world to see at the click of a mouse??

 

RootsWeb has taken the stance of "No it is not".  In the past, there were Texas & California divorce, marriage and birth records available online of living individuals.  Only recently, RootsWeb decided to take them down.  It has created quite a stir in the genealogy community at large.  Should they be allowed??

 

It is my opinion that all people are entitled to their privacy.  Sure it is ok to publish records of the deceased for genealogy purposes, but it is a "real privacy violation" when we publish personal records of living individuals.  Please, if you publish a genealogy web site, do not publish records of living individuals.


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Documentation of Genealogy Facts

You are zooming along the genealogy trail and suddenly you find a gedcom or descendant chart with erroneous information on it....or worse yet, you see a lot of suppositional information in it.  This is becoming quite common on our information super hiway! 

 

Most of us who have been climbing the family tree for many years are aware of this but many are young and new to genealogy.  That is a wonderful fact in itself.  No longer are genealogists old women and men who are retired.  Today's genealogists can be as young as in their teens.  But guidelines must be set by each of us who take on the job of "Family Historian".

 

The world wide web is a vast source of genealogy information and should be used as a tool.  But once you find information, you MUST DOCUMENT IT.  The importance of this cannot be stressed enough.  Without documentation, your family tree is so much rubbish.  When your descendants look at your work 100 years from now, will there be documentation included to substantiate your claims??

 

Take it upon yourself to document each and every fact before placing the information in your family tree.  One way to do this is to keep undocumented information out of the actual tree.  Take the information you have gathered and look for ways to document it.  Write letters to county clerks, visit court houses, libraries, historical societies, archives, funeral homes, cemeteries and find the PROOF! 

It is so very important to your work.

 

Sure we all want to get back to the 1500's but what good will that be, if you have nothing to back it up with other than something somebody else said or published on the internet??  It then becomes Hearsay!

Don't let your hard work become known as Hearsay.


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