Author Topic: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves  (Read 25866 times)

Offline Simon G.

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #45 on: Friday 25 May 07 14:23 BST (UK) »
Hot matches are a joke.  It's a way to be sent links to people you know you're unrelated too, while people you know are in your tree are overlooked.  How the system that selects them works I don't know, but I personally believe that put everyone's name in a big hat and have a monkey draw them out every 2-weeks (well I say 2-weeks since that's the time there's meant to be between new hot matches, but I've not received any for 6-weeks...although I've made new contacts with people I've searched manually).
Indeed, all my best contacts have been through searching myself...even down so far as having a "new relation" help me break down a brickwall I'd been stuck on for 3-years recently.  So with the bad, there is also good. :)
Currently engaging in a one-name study of the Twyman surname.

Golding, Twyman, Kennard, Wales (Kent).
Berks, Challinor (Staffordshire).
Wakely. (Glam & Monmouth).

Offline ambers

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #46 on: Friday 25 May 07 15:04 BST (UK) »
When I was new to all of this, I didn't realise that people would copy and paste without verifying details.

I found it confusing when I contacted people because they had nothing else to offer because they were using the information I had put on my Tree...which cost me a fortune to prove.  Before this the name was a brickwall to all of them, one even had the cheek to ask me to prove it, in quite a curt way, I felt like saying buy your own cert. 

I will always share information I have, to me that's the name of the game . I don't understand though why someone would leave incorrect information on their Tree when you have offered them proof because you bought the Cert and Will, I would be grateful to learn of any mistake I made.....but then they cut off contact with you ???

Thankfully I have had some very nice contacts, and we keep a look out for each others rellies whilst doing our searches.

Ambers
GLAMORGAN: Evans. Davies. Eddy. Bradnum.
GLAM to USA:Walter H Davies 1886.Thomas J 1852
PEMBROKE: Bradnum.Summers
CARMARTHENSHIRE:Davies. Jones
NORFOLK/SUFFOLK: Bradnum.Cork.Helsdon 3 in Australia, Whiskins. Fairhead.Catchpole.
DEVON:Mallett. Acford, Kidston.Short.Lover.Edwards,Telford.Sparrow
SOMERSET: Masey
CORNWALL:Eddy.Thomas Maddern.Harvey. Noy.Reynolds,Batten,Curtis.
Cornwall to USA: Thomas, Semmens. Oats
Warwickshire: Mountney

Offline FishMan

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #47 on: Friday 25 May 07 16:42 BST (UK) »
Unfortunately I think some of you are really missing the point. Everyone has their own reason(s) for engaging in this wonderful hobby. I fully understand those who perceive our researching the lives of relatives that died hundreds of years ago as a pointless exercise. But unless your hobby involves saving lives (ie. Surf lifesaver, volunteer firefighter, etc) most hobbies remain - just an enjoyable way of spending our spare time.

There will always be those who are determined to seek out the smallest details of their ancestors lives; dates will be critical and accuracy an obsession. For others it is just about building the biggest tree possible. Is is not fair to deride them for having a different goal. I guarantee that if you do fall into the "obsessed with accuracy" category you would never accept unsourced information anyhow - it's just not in your nature to do so. All reputable genealogy websites have an administrator, so if you encounter incorrect information, simply notify them and move on.

If you are frustrated by people contacting you continuously with a low or no probability of being related to you or your area of interest, I must ask "why are you limiting access to your research?" Why not make your tree "public access"? Reputable sites protect information related to living people. The person inquiring can see immediately that they are not related and has no need to bother you. The amount we spend on our hobby is irrelevant. We don't own the fact that our parents were married on the 1st December 1951. That just happened to be the day that they chose to celebrate their wedding. It is my experience that sometimes I have overspent because I have been too lazy to do a little more research and narrow down the search criteria.

Finally to those of you who feel so aggrieved that sharing your research efforts is always a one way contribution - I sincerely hope that you have family who share your obsession. Just imagine if all that research was ultimately only valued by the very "thieves" you abhor?

FishMan
FISHER (Cheshire, Lancashire, Essex, Australia)
BURNS (Lancashire)
SYMES & SCOTT (Devon, Lancashire)
MCCALLUM (Midlothian, Malta, Kent & Dublin)
GARDINER (Midlothian, Ireland, Malta)
KRUSE (Denmark, Australia)
MCINNES (Argyll, Cheshire, London, Australia)
MCINTOSH (Avoch, Nairn, Australia)
COULL (Banffshire)

LEWIS (Herefordshire, Australia)
COLES (Oxfordshire, Australia)
STUFFINS (Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire)
JASPER & JUKES (Worcestershire)
NAPIER (Ireland, Australia)

Offline kate*k

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #48 on: Friday 25 May 07 18:56 BST (UK) »
Oh Fishman I think that it is perhaps you that is missing the point made on this thread by many of us. 

It is not so much that we don't care for those who's goal is to have the largest possible tree but what we dislike are those folks who do no more than copy data then claim it to be their own research.  Yes the information is out there in the public domain for anyone to research if they like but when it comes back to you complete with your own references, spelling mistakes and errors, then it is plagarism pure and simple.

.... And as for site administrators stepping in where others post personal details of me and my living family - well I've tried and I'm still waiting for a response! 


Offline Josephine

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #49 on: Friday 25 May 07 21:40 BST (UK) »
kate*k,

I agree wholeheartedly.

I shared my tree with a handful of cousins out of the goodness of my heart.  I started from scratch and worked extremely hard to build this particular tree.

One of those cousins inputted everything into her genealogy program, including my notes, word for word.  Then she gave it to a man who, along with his friend, is well known for putting everything into a massive online tree. 

A different cousin pointed it out to me.  I was so shocked because I didn't remember having sent any data to man #2.  I emailed him and he said, no, man #1 gave me a copy of his file.

I contacted man #1 who thought I was a novice inquiring about a relative so he sent me a data file saying, Here's everything I have on your family, please send me info.

I was very upset that, not only did he obviously have my data (and I'm the only cousin who shelled out the money to buy certificates, etc., for every branch of a few different connecting trees, etc.), but he had all of my notes, verbatim.  He had my speculation about various people who are deceased but who have living children, and about the scandals they hid in their lives, as well as information on living people.  He also had some information that I later disproved.

He later said he had deleted the sensitive information but I don't know for certain that he did it.

This tree was intended for family eyes only and the cousins knew that.  The cousin who gave my tree away betrayed my confidence and, in all probability, took credit for my work.  I didn't have permission from any of my cousins to put anything about their families online or to distribute it to any Tom, Dick or Harry who asked.

Man #2 has me and my siblings, our recently deceased parents, etc., all in trees that he lets anyone see ONLY if they give him information on living people.  (That's what he told me.) 

I have information on living people:  the family of the cousin who gave away my tree.  But I won't do it because then I'd be stooping to her and man #2's level. 

Man #2's defence?  "It's all in the public domain."  Except it wasn't until he put it there. 

My problem?  It was made public without my knowledge or consent.

Man #2's defence:  If you share your tree to anyone else, it is theirs to do with it as they please.

The big picture:  the internet.  Thanks to the internet, almost everyone wants to put "their" tree online.  If we give any information to anyone, it belongs to them.  If they do not believe in asking first or, at the very least, giving credit where credit is due, they obviously don't care if we are upset or hurt at what really is plagiarism or, if that word doesn't fit, I think theft will also do nicely.

Man #2's comment:  Well, missy, if there are egregious errors in your data and you are upset about them, it is up to you to send me the correct information.

My problem:  Huh?  I was pointing out the errors because they don't exist in the public domain and they came only from my tree and I'll be ****** if I'm going to feed you more information, you greedy, insensitive so-and-so.  (He's not a Rootschatter.)

Public domain?  Sure... that plus thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of hard slogging.

This public domain line is an easy cop-out for people who want easy trees and who don't respect the privacy and work of others.

If I choose to put my tree online, then, unfortunately, I have to accept that some people are going to do the copy-and-paste thing.  But then it'll be my choice and I will accept that risk.  I did have three different trees online a while ago until someone copied and pasted more than 200 names into their private online tree... and most of those people weren't related to him/her.

If someone doesn't understand my point of view or doesn't agree with it, that's fine.  The least you can do is respect it.  Respect my privacy.  Respect my boundaries.  Respect my right to have my own opinions about these issues.  I'm not interested in arguing about it with someone who thinks it's perfectly alright to take credit for someone else's hard work or who thinks it's acceptable to pretend to be friends with a cousin long enough to get their tree and then never contact them again.

What are those "10 things I learned in kindergarten" again?  Be nice, be polite, etc. 

Posting someone else's data wholesale without permission is stealing and it's not nice.  It's not the same as sharing. 

Regards,
Josephine
England: Barnett; Beaumont; Christy; George; Holland; Parker; Pope; Salisbury
Scotland: Currie; Curror; Dobson; Muir; Oliver; Pryde; Turnbull; Wilson
Ireland: Carson; Colbert; Coy; Craig; McGlinchey; Riley; Rooney; Trotter; Waters/Watters

Offline FishMan

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #50 on: Friday 25 May 07 23:44 BST (UK) »
I still don't get this concept some seem to have of "selective sharing" and "ownership" of research. Once you "share" you do lose control of your info; there is no world wide web filter for those who will recognise your contribution and those who don't. As for ownership; the information wasn't yours before you uncovered it and it still isn't once you have.

If you enjoy the searching and the challenges in overcoming seemingly insurmountable roadblocks, it should not matter to you that a "thief" simply copies your information to populate their tree. And if you are the new family authority who amazes everyone with the fact that they have found 20,000 relatives in  just six months of researching - you must be prepared to admit that you have had enormous contributions from others researching the same name.

Hopefully we can all maintain that attitude we all had when we were just starting out; when we were very humble, polite and appreciative of all the information we received.

FishMan
FISHER (Cheshire, Lancashire, Essex, Australia)
BURNS (Lancashire)
SYMES & SCOTT (Devon, Lancashire)
MCCALLUM (Midlothian, Malta, Kent & Dublin)
GARDINER (Midlothian, Ireland, Malta)
KRUSE (Denmark, Australia)
MCINNES (Argyll, Cheshire, London, Australia)
MCINTOSH (Avoch, Nairn, Australia)
COULL (Banffshire)

LEWIS (Herefordshire, Australia)
COLES (Oxfordshire, Australia)
STUFFINS (Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire)
JASPER & JUKES (Worcestershire)
NAPIER (Ireland, Australia)

Offline Simon G.

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #51 on: Saturday 26 May 07 01:46 BST (UK) »
The person inquiring can see immediately that they are not related and has no need to bother you.
Which is all well and good if people are researching properly, but there is a worrying voracious minority these days that has a tendency to shoe-horn every and all into their tree irregardless of if any relationship exists.  Partly all the recent TV programs are to blame, which leave the impression that you can switch on the PC and have your tree back to Adam in a matter of hours.  Combine this with the complete lack of correct citation when mining someone else's work, and you've got a cornucopia of information that can't be verified out there that will mislead researchers for quite literally generations to come (I know that for a fact...some of the ancestors I connect too had trees including them published about a century ago.  The published research has since been proved incorrect by countless researchers, but still the falsehood endures).
All this leads to is the degradation of information and the hobby being brought into disrepute.  Genealogy is not a hobby based on creativity...it's a hobby based on the interpretation of hard historical fact.  This, however, is something that seems to be overlooked far too often and really you can't assume that someone else's research is the absolute truth written in stone.
Currently engaging in a one-name study of the Twyman surname.

Golding, Twyman, Kennard, Wales (Kent).
Berks, Challinor (Staffordshire).
Wakely. (Glam & Monmouth).

Offline kate*k

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #52 on: Saturday 26 May 07 06:51 BST (UK) »
... it should not matter to you that a "thief" simply copies your information to populate their tree.


I reiterate Fisherman - it is not that they are using the information to populate their own tree, it is that they then pass it onto others explicitly claiming it as their own research.  I have no problem at all with the genuine researchers who "share" or even who "copy" for their own use.  My tree is out there on my website for anyone to look at if they so wish.

And if you are the new family authority who amazes everyone with the fact that they have found 20,000 relatives in  just six months of researching - you must be prepared to admit that you have had enormous contributions from others researching the same name.


Well no actually, very many years of research! - and those who have helped me along the way are properly credited.

Offline JAP

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Re: Fed Up With Genealogy Tree Thieves
« Reply #53 on: Saturday 26 May 07 07:22 BST (UK) »

As a famous/notorious Australian is reputed (apocryphally?) to have said as he went to the gallows:
"Such is life".

JAP