Thursday, May 26, 2016

From now on they'll have to ask

Am I being Bah Humbug?

A while ago I found an unsourced tree that had quite a number of my ancestors listed online at a fellow genealogist's website. I immediately thought how mean-spirited or lazy this chap was for not sharing sources. It didn't bother me personally as I was using his site for clues from which I went off to seek sources.

I've been mulling over his practice for some time and think I may follow his lead. I like to share and collaborate with fellow genies, that's why I have my tree on the web in a public space. What I expect is that if anyone republishes what they find at the GeniAus Family site they will acknowledge their source.

I regularly see on Ancestry and now on MyHeritage  bits and pieces from the notes I share copied into online trees without acknowledgement. What makes me giggle is that I am a poor typiste and make quite a few keyboarding errors, these are replicated in those trees. Copy and Paste has a lot to answer for.

I stopped putting photos on my GeniAus Family site  when I saw so many of them subsequently appear on Ancestry, I have yet to see one sourced as coming from me. Could so many distant cousins really have copies of those photos in their collections? The photo with the most shares, an image of my Kealy ancestors' home in Ballyfoyle, was taken on my last trip to Ireland. As I have another trip to Ireland planned I'm going to try for a sharper image which I may just keep for myself.

The original photo of the Ballyfoyle home from which the shared one was cropped
The cropped and enhanced (by me)  photo I find all over the place
I am about to upload an update to my site that includes names, dates and places but no sources or notes. I know that some folk will still copy my stuff but if they want more information they will have to ask.

Am I being mean-spirited?


Kathleen Moore said...

I have this problem too with my family website. It's actually very funny to me because they are less common names and over 75% of what I see is my pictures from my Great-Grandmother's collection. The most shared one being linked to the "famous" story. It is a photo of the woman the story is about and everyone has it now but only after I posted it on my website.

I am like you, I wouldn't have shared it on my website if I didn't want to share, but it is very frustrating to put in all the work and go onto the member trees and see all my pictures but I haven't gotten any feedback from those people.

I chose to just embrace it and try not to let it bother me but I definitely limit the pictures I put up now. I definitely understand why you would take the route you are!

Linda Stufflebean said...

I have my tree online to find new cousins. After I found a couple of people saving huge numbers of photos and documents from my tree (50+ each) and neither responded when I contacted them and asked about sharing info, I went through and manually made everything private. Since then, I have not added any more images to my online tree. I have had a couple of people contact me to complain that I made items private. My response has been that I like to hear from people to share information and that they took the time to contact me because they couldn't just save and move on. I don't think you are mean spirited at all.

Anonymous said...

Sadly this seems the case... can press the button to copy a pic and enter yr tree with when/where they found it (and not make contact with the owner of tree or pic); and others choose to copy/paste and not give reference/credit to where it came from. My trees are private, due to this and my time/cost for travel,documents..ect to find/access these records. Contact me and I am happy to share, but then others will take from them... its a sad story. That is awful the above pic eg of you and the whitewash building...deliberate editing... and you try to contact and they not reply... very SAD.

Anne Young said...

Deep breath. Ear worm of that song from Frozen "Let it go" and remember how much you have got from others.

I get the editing of the picture, even tough it is a breach of copyright and your presence gives it time and place and provenance and thus authenticity- it isn't just a house it is THE house ....

A couple of months ago I went to a talk and the speaker had used pictures and information from my blog. When I went up to her afterwards she did acknowledge it;)

I had my tree set to private on ancestry at one stage but if people who had access to my tree copied a picture and their tree was public it was out there ... If I find one of my pictures elsewhere I write to the tree owner, emphasising that I don't mind but would love to know how we are related. More often than not the connection is very very distant. Had one yesterday where the brother of the grandmother of the son in law's married the sister of my mother-in-law and hence my photo of my mother-in-law in her private tree. I actually mind most when their trees are set to private and I can't work out the relationship.

If I publish in my blog or on my ancestry tree then I know the information may be used. Sometimes, many times, that use will be without attribution. However, even without attribution, when I come across that use I can sometimes draw new conclusions because they are related somehow and maybe I learn about another branch of the family that went to New Zealand or ... Even without contact from the user you can still learn a lot ;) (except if their ancestry tree set to private grrr)

Sharon said...

I know exactly how you feel Jill. I want to share with family - that is why I blog, but it is very frustrating when people do not acknowledge the source. On Ancestry I find the original "thief" and put a comment sourcing my blog, which then transfers to all the others that it has been copied to.

My correct tree on Ancestry has been private for some time as I have thousands of photos attached to it :)

Fran Kitto said...

My family tree on Ancestry private right from the beginning. It started with people that were alive so needed to be private. Once I started adding ancestors they had few sources and potentially could have been errors so I kept it private. I also did not want to share material publicly that may have been copyright. Later when I learnt about people copying trees with errors I did not want to have any errors I may have made shared out onto other people's trees.

I do have my blog as cousin bait and people can contact me via ancestry messaging as my tree shows up in search results.

I do ask permission for any materials I am using on my blog.
So far most people think it is odd that I even bother to ask assuming that it is free to be taken if you leave it out there.
Just shows that there are many views on this topic.
I share small unsourced tree for DNA on Ancestry.

That's some of my thoughts and no, Jill, your not mean. Go private if it works.

Caristiona said...

I like that people use my stuff. I would like it even more if they acknowledged it. I will still make my tree available but I no longer do so on places like Ancestry. My tree is on my own website, it is actually freely available but because it isn't on one of the big sites I get less people taking stuff without acknowledging it. It is not as easy. All of my photos on the tree itself are small and can't be blown up to a nice size easily. So if people want a good copy of the photo or a gedcom they have to contact me. Seems to work. For those it does not work for I doubt anything is going to work.
Do what you are comfortable with.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Short answer, no. I could rave on at length but others have covered it. What annoys me is the expense, persistence and knowledge that goes into acquiring the information only to be siphoned up with no reciprocity of information and no acknowledgement.

Caristiona said...

Not good at all. I totally agree that when you go to all of that effort it is totally unfair that people just take the information without acknowledgement.
I am not sure that it is always deliberate. I know I did similar things in my early days. I was not aware of the expectations surrounding use and sharing of trees. Having said that I picked it up pretty fast and have not used Ancestry, in particular, for many years. It is just awful when people take your stuff. Particularly after all the effort that goes into writing it.


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