I am excited to tell you that I finally bit the bullet and launched my own genealogy website (and probably bit off more than I can chew too!) You can go to the “Family Tree” tab above and check it out. It’s very much a work in progress. Right now my head is spinning …. HTML, FTP, SQL, CSS….what the heck is all that?! It’s my hope that I’ll be able to personalize the website as I learn more….but like I said….”very much a work in progress.” I’m shocked I’ve gotten this far!
The actual genealogy database is set on private. I have a lot of “clean-up“ type things that still need to be done (reattaching photographs, stories from ancestry.com, etc.). So in other words, if you wish to view it you will have to make a request. You can do this via the “Contact Us” tab which is located on the upper right hand side of the page under “Information.” This will generate an email to me, and I in turn will issue you a user name and a password to access the database.
And this then brings me to my dilemma – setting the database on private in some ways defeats the purpose of having a website in the first place.
On the one hand I feel that if I make the genealogy available to the general public, then I will lose control over the information and how it is used. I must face the reality that my research could appear in places which I don’t intend for it to be – such as paid commercial databases, etc. This genealogy database represents untold hours of labor. I even fell and broke my foot while hunting down a tombstone in a local cemetery! All this for the ancestors! For a short time when I was first starting with ancestry.com my tree was public and people would just come along and in one full swoop gobble up information that took me months upon months to compile. Never a hello…a thank you…or a trading of information. It was disconcerting also to see photographs of our dear grandparents posted on user sites who had only a distant relationship.
On the other hand, there is no doubt in my mind that family researchers should and in fact must share their information. It is completely necessary in order to be successful. I have made countless friends along the way, connected with distant cousins, and even reconnected with family members. Many of the photographs that are most special to me have come generously from other researchers. Should I then be hoarding my genealogy database? Could my accurately documented and sourced database be a way to combat the misinformation that’s “out there” on some of our family lines? By way of example, my husband’s ggg-granfather, Tilman P. Curbow, appears in 11 public trees on ancestry.com. All 11 trees contain gross errors in them – which just keep getting passed on from tree-to-tree.
To share or not to share….what do you think?