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Family Trees and Privacy

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  • Family Trees and Privacy

    I can understand if someone doesn't want to post a family tree but why do people upload a Gedcom (family tree) and then make it private where only they can view it? That makes no sense.

  • #2
    They may have the tree to help phase their maternal and paternal line matches on FF. They might not actually have a family tree, they may just be connecting the "known match" relationship to themselves.

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    • #3
      And what about a tree where everyone in it is private? Kits with private trees or trees where everyone is private shouldn't be marked as having a tree. If the kit owner doesn't want us to see anything why should we waste our time seeing they show us nothing?

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      • #4
        My best match (somewhere else, I hasten to add), identified as 1C2R - 2C1R, has an online tree with just one member, marked "private", and obstinately refuses to respond to my polite requests to communicate.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rivergirl View Post
          They may have the tree to help phase their maternal and paternal line matches on FF. They might not actually have a family tree, they may just be connecting the "known match" relationship to themselves.
          This is a possibility.

          I've run into all the scenarios from the above remarks. I guess people have their reason/reasons but it's just very disappointing when you have a great triangulated match.

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          • #6
            When I started in genealogy, no one had an expectation of privacy. Whatever information we wanted to reveal was right there in print, in Everton's Genealogical Helper, including our addresses and phone numbers. We were thrilled to get any response whatever! That's what genealogy was all about for us, reaching out with what we knew, in hopes that someone would recognize something that could help us find relatives. The expectation of complete privacy doesn't lend itself very well to that goal. People who mark everything "private" are not likely to be your ideal genealogy correspondent, so you may not even want to bother with them.

            Some GEDCOM entries are shown as "private" on some web sites, because of recent whimsical European ideas to the effect that everybody should be quite literally anonymous. If there isn't an actual or estimated death date in the GEDCOM, some web sites automatically replace the name and all information about that person with "private", "hidden", or some similar label, even if it is obvious to everyone that the person in question must have died centuries ago! So, even if you don't have the exact date, make sure your ancestors who are deceased actually have at least an estimated death date in your GEDCOM file.

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            • #7
              Sometimes privacy is necessary. I have one kit that's like that per the request of the tester. The person didn't test for your normal genealogy reasons to find ancestors but to find someone living. Of course no tree is posted.

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              • #8
                Lots of reasons -- but also realize, a lot of folks do not have a whole lot of technological knowledge in this area - so may be like one I spoke to -- -- did not know it was private, had no idea why it was private, had no idea how to make it not private.

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