Words to

The Wise

written June 5, 2009

I wanted to take a moment and touch on a subject that all too often is overlooked in researching. We are always so very anxious to obtain data or find someone who might be able to assist us that we frequently don't use common sense in our dealings.

The internet is a wonderful tool, but it can be your worst enemy if you don't take the care to use it wisely.

When dealing with other researchers and BEFORE you willingly give them your files--

Take the time to find out a few things about them. Such as --

1)Just how closely are they connected?

2) Do they really deserve all of my hard earned data?

3) Have I removed ALL of the potentially sensitive items from what I am sending them ?

4) Do I trust them enough to not throw my info all over the internet and falsely claim it is their own?

When you are corresponding with family members and they send you an email with memories or personal family observances regarding someone, that information is intended for your eyes only and probably shouldn't be shared online for public viewing.

If you do choose to place it online and on a site meant only for family (in other words password protected) please take the time to make certain just who you are giving access to.

Just because someone is a 6th generation connection once removed from your 2nd great grandmother's sister doesn't mean that they need access to these personal emails.

It is difficult to determine just what to send someone- but I try to go by certain guidelines that might serve someone else well.

Find out just what the family lineage is.

Just what EXACTLY are they requesting..

Send them data for the immediate family they are looking at only. Not notes, simply data.

If and only if they reciprocate do you send more data.

Think of it this way-- If you were to meet someone new while out shopping, you would not immediately bring them to your home and say "here, feel free to make yourself at home and just go through whatever you like". You take the time to build the relationship first.. Your research should be handled the same way.

Respect the privacy of others who are kind enough to share memories with you or you might just be finding yourself asking "why won't they share with me anymore".