DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 2009-11 > 1258711230
From: "Nick Heard" <>
Subject: Re: [DEV] Data Privaxy
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 10:00:30 -0000
I guess part of the issue is whether you are actually recording on the site
directly, or uploading a gedcom. If the former then you have total control
and can either make your own blanket rule and exclude details as required.
Some living relatives, I have found, are keen to have their details
published, others do not want theirs, their parent's or their children's
details revealed. This is clear from an examination of the trees that are on
Genes where some owners have included themselves and their children. As
genes sister site Friends Reunited is wholly about contacting living people,
and the original purpose of Genes Reunited was to build on that concept and
provide an opportunity to contact long lost living relatives it is perhaps
not surprising that there are a lot of living people recorded on Genes.
If you are uploading a gedcom file then Family Historian, for example will
allow you to flag individuals and offers a number of options as to which
details of the flagged individual will or will not be revealed. There are
also shareware tools that can filter out living persons if your family
history software doesn't.
The real benefit of sites like Ancestry and Genes Reunited is that they can
generate contacts with members of your family and thus enrich your research
possibilities. I've never seen much point in using these sites if it is not
to exploit this opportunity. If you just want to record your own family tree
and not follow up contacts, why bother to do it on those sites. But you
don't need to post living relatives to exploit this.
In practice if there are determined identity thieves lurking, leaving names
off a family history site will not deter them. I'm sure that I'm like most
researchers insofar as when following a trail for UK families, if I have the
names of dead grandparents from Genes or Ancestry, nine times out of ten I
can use the available online databases to very easily complete the family
tree to include their descendants to 2005, particularly so since Ancestry
has made the indices for Births and Marriages searchable after 1916.
On my web site I exclude living people, the spouses of living people even if
they are dead , and people who may be living - i.e. born within 100 years
for whom I have no death details. Sometimes somebody slips through the net
and I remove them. I also have a notice on my home page asking anybody who
spots a living relative to email me so I can modify the database.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ruth Bartlett" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:27 PM
Subject: [DEV] Data Privaxy
> What is the best way of protecting the privacy of the living while
> compiling a family tree for inclusion on one of the many ancestry sites -
> how do others handle it?
> I had this question from a cousin and don't know how to answer
> whether I should record all Living Descendants of my grandparents
> with name only and an M for male or F for female, excluding all vital and
> confidential information such as
> births, and marriages, and writing the word Living or and Private,
> before each living descendent. What do you think? I am very concerned
> about identity theft
> I have numerous cousins, but about half a dozen or less who are
> familycontributors to the Gill Tree.
> Help & advice welcome, T.I.A. Ruth
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