I have now been introduced to Ancestry family trees. They are extremely creative. I am pretty sure it is inappropriate to use “genealogy” and “Ancestry family trees” in the same sentence.
I am amused by all the “hints” which lead to other family trees. Those trees have misinformation, creative information and no sources. They obviously copy from one another because the same errors are repeated over and over again.
I am not so amused to find they have stolen and used as their own my personal family pictures. In a couple lines the number of descendants is extremely limited. I don’t know the authors of those trees. They are clearly not descendants of the people in the photos. There is no way they would be the owners of the photos. Some still have my date stamp or other identifying marks on them. They have been stolen from places such as these blog posts, my web sites, ILGenWeb and FindAGrave.
I think the thing that upsets me most is having my family photos attached to the junk family trees.
Someone suggested I complain to Ancestry. Have you seen the process? Do you really think Ancestry cares?
Is this the price we pay for sharing information?
If you are thinking of contributing to a graves web site read this blog by attorney and genealogist Judy G. Russell.
Years ago I was opening a bank account in Chicago. She asked me for my mother’s maiden name. I must have looked at her funny because she explained it was for security. I laughed. I told her that wouldn’t work where I was from. I knew everyone’s mother’s maiden name. She said I’d be surprised at the number of people who didn’t know their own mother’s maiden name.
That was long before the internet. About 25 years ago I was on Compuserve and people traded genealogy in the Roots Forum run by Dick Eastman. I was careful to end mine at my great grandparents. Later I picked a date of 1900 and gave no information after that. When ask my mother’s maiden name for “security” purposes I created a maiden name she would not recognize. Early on that was a problem because I was rarely asked and I would forget. So I changed her maiden name to something I could remember. She’s had that same maiden name since.
About 15 years ago signing up for the first free web mail account [I still have it] it asked me my birth date. I didn’t figure it was any of their business so I created one. They only want to know if I’m adult and the birth date I created indicated I was. Wouldn’t you know I forgot the password and they asked my birth date to retrieve it. Fortunately she also gave me a password hint and I got it. [Yes, back then you talked to a real live human.] So I created a “permanent” birth date for myself. Naturally I made myself younger and with a more interesting birth date.
I still don’t put out the details in my genealogy but it wouldn’t take too much to figure it out from reading blogs, mailing list posts, etc. And a couple of people have posted my lineage all the way to me.
Security questions have gotten more detailed. I can’t answer them. What street did you live on when you were 6? When I was 6 I might not have known what a “street” was. Certainly the roads were not named in the country. So I pick the genealogy question and use my creative facts.
The criminal who uses my mother’s maiden name, my birth date, etc. from my online genealogy is in for a big surprise.
IF you have an iPhone and you want to try this buying the app will save money. Yes, it is a gimmick.
BillionGraves: Save a Dollar—Buy the iPhone App Now
Remember, a GPS smartphone is required. iPods, iPads and Android tablets need not apply.
If you try it let me know how it goes.
Ancestors. Everyone has them. We all have about the same number of them. Why is it that some of us have found many of ours and others have found only a few?
Sometimes it is where and how you were raised. I have Revolutionary War ancestors buried almost literally in the backyard where I grew up. This is not uncommon on the East Coast but I grew up in the Midwest. People came to this country and many stayed fairly close to where they landed. Those weren’t mine. My ancestors traveled to Pennsylvania, Ohio and other points before ending up in central Illinois. Once they got there their traveling days were over.
I came from a large extended family. They knew their relatives, good and bad. I had first cousins and second cousins, first cousins once or twice removed — didn’t matter much. We were all related. I was nearly 30 before I found out this was not the norm!
Research found more relatives and more connections. I have a friend who is related to me five different ways – so far.
I’ve been at this awhile and I’ve learned a few things. In many ways my research has evolved into more of a location study. These are my thoughts, mostly random, on the never ending quest for ancestors.
Genealogy Blog Finder
Looking for a genealogy blog? There are too many to count but you can use the above link to 1,691 genealogy blogs [number as of the moment of writing]. At the top of the page there is a search box so you can narrow your search to fit your specific interests.
America’s Top Ten Genealogical Repositories | FamilySearch.org
This blog post lists the top ten best archives and libraries for genealogy. If your library participates in Interlibrary Loan it’s worth checking World Cat to see if they have your book. They assuredly do not loan every book but your librarian can determine if they will loan the one you want.