I have recently received some data and photos from a family member on another side of my family. This information came to me purported to be genealogical research.

It is in reality, an accumulation of photos; many unidentified and some of family pets in the 1930's. What actual real data is contained in the shipment is so riddled with errors, that it would have been better off to remain completely unrecorded.

I myself, am able to see and identify the errors as there are some about my immediate family-- however, this same "genealogy" is being passed along to about 10 other persons as being the actual and definitive records of the family.

Not to mention that some of it is just plain hearsay or copies of what others have done, with full claim to being this other person's work.

There is an intense conviction by this person to be related to somebody famous in history and although mention has been made SEVERAL times to them that this is not the case, alterations have been made to make this fact true to their satisfaction!

In this case, I feel that some genealogy should be kept to yourself.

Below are listed some do's and don't's of sending out data to others.

If you cannot discern between items of a genealogical nature and a ridiculous nature, it should never be passed along.

If you have items that ARE of a genealogical nature, and you are passing them photocopied along to others, such as birth/death certificates, DON'T write your own opinions or commentary on the actual paper.

I am not stating that everything in genealogy must be "names and dates" only, but to include names and dates is very nice.

There are always interesting anecdotes within the families to include; however, these should not include solitary photos of the family pets for "history's sake".

Make certain that your spellings are correct and marriages that you attest to are correct.

If you send along a news clipping be certain that it actually PERTAINS to a family members somewhere along the way.

If you are sending out personal letters that you have received from others that are still living, be certain that you are not violating their privacy to any extent.

If you are including a mailing to others of person's addresses/phone numbers, be certain that you have received approval from those persons FIRST.

Record data for ALL members that you can, even if they are adopted.

Remember, the people receiving your information will regard it as fact.

If there are obvious errors in your research, they will question the rest.

If you send photos of houses, neighborhoods, please specify just what and where they are suppose to be; and also why they pertain to the family.

Don't change/alter names to suit yourself.

Basically, if you cannot verify the data you are sending, then don't send it with the statement that it is true and complete.

If you didn't do it, don't claim it.

Remember, genealogy is NOT just a photo album..there is much more to it then that.

Not everyone is related to someone famous....most of us are not.