Monday, September 28, 2009

Madness Monday

Following the high of Thursday, I have to report that I've not heard back from Isabella. What's even more frustrating is that after the initial contact, I saw where she saved more information from my tree, including pictures, to her "private" tree. This certainly creates a dilemma now doesn't it.

There is the side of me that wants to keep my tree public because I have had some good experiences. After all I did meet two almost cousins (we share a branch of our trees) on my maternal side, and mom and I have even been invited to go on their family reunion cruise next year. We've even shared pictures of  our common line and both of us have had contact with newly found cousins from the shared line. And thus it's the mutual sharing of information that says leave it public.

But then there is the other side of me that thinks I should tightly guard everything for a host a reasons.

Decisions, decisions.

Geneafamily, what's your thoughts?

Until next time!


  1. Mavis, this is a tough one, not fair no doubt. I think I am with you...there are a few bad apples but we can't let them ruin it for the rest of us. I just don't understand some people. I haven't made my tree public but for different reasons. I am still sourcing and verifing, but there is a part of me that is afraid to make it public. I think making it so you have to be contacted first is a good way to go. If you want to give out info, so be it but others can still see at least your surnames.

  2. How long has it been since you last heard from her? I know I'm sometimes guilty of taking longer than I should to reply to people--it's not that I forget them, but life gets busy and sometimes it takes me a while to organize my response. I hope she does get back to you!

  3. Tracy,

    It hasn't been that long but factering in that she got back to me the same day I initially wrote and I responded to her response that same day. Also, it was the very next day where she was adding the pictures from my tree to her tree. Hopefully, she will respond but this just feels like an all too familiar pattern.

  4. You might want to consider not making your tree public. I am not sure if there have been changes since Ancestry launched Member Connect, but it used to be that if you searched for a specific person, matches would still show up for individuals in private trees. The member would then be able to contact you directly for more information.

    On the other hand, if your purpose is to share your information, then none of the "problems" you have described are really problems -- you're just not getting any information back in return.

  5. Mavis, I only recently (and reluctantly) made my tree on Ancestry public. I did so with the hope that perhaps I'd connect with descendants of my ancestors, of course, but it hasn't yet worked out that way. However, I do not keep any pictures or personal family information or stories on my Ancestry tree. All I have on Ancestry are the records (such as census, and birth/death/marriage) that I've actally gotten from that site, since, although I did the work, anyone who puts the time in can find those same records for themselves.

    I maintain my tree on a totally different site for family and that site is password protected. ( have that one set up so that any visitor can see the homepage and a few other select parts of it, but only my family members (who have the password) can see the research notes, pictures, and family stories that I have there. It also has a guestbook. Perhaps you might want to consider doing something like that, where you have more control over what the general public can see.

    Just my thoughts... :)

  6. Michael and Nadasue,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm probably making a big to do about nothing but I think it's more of a ettiqute thing, too. I've used pictures from other peoples' trees but only after establishing contact with them and making sure of all the connections.

  7. Has she contacted you yet? I'm guilty, too, of reading an email and going back to it later (sometimes days later) to respond. Sometimes I'm not in the right frame of mind to formulate a thoughtful response. and sometimes the message gets buried in my inbox and I forget for weeks. (sorry) Other times, though, I'm really on top of things. lol!

  8. Hi Mavis, For myself, I'm using, putting stories and pictures out there, but I've set my preferences to "Private". That gives me the control of how to share it. The whole issue of private vs. public is something I'm still struggling through. I really like 'free' genealogy web sites that share sources and trees - it reminds me of the Public Library concept - but they're also careful to give credit where it's due. That's probably the real issue for me.

  9. Kathy,

    No, I never heard back from her. And I understand about e-mails getting buried down. It happens to me all the time. But If you are going through ancestry's message center, that shouldn't be a problem. Of course you can click, read, not respond immediately, then forget you have a message.


    Thank you for the input. This past week I came across another shared line and decided to just leave my tree public. I had a much better experience with that person. We've sent a few messages back and forth and I even got to talk to a cousin that I had never met before as a result. So, over all my experiences have been good.

  10. Mavis, I was sorry to hear about your experience. I think for many of us who are just always bursting with excitement and optimism about this genealogy thing, it's more than a little jolting to have this kind of encounter. I'm glad you resolved it in a way that works for you. I think of my old pastor who used to say..."don't let that devil steal your joy;))


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