Sunday, February 17, 2008

Genealogy and History Thoughts - Column Twelve

I do not know about other genealogy bloggers, but lately, I've become a bit hesitant to post on any memories of living relatives.

I guess the best example at the moment is my Great Depression post. I could have included some of my grandparents' memories, but I just felt that that would be violating their privacy. I'm not sure if they would want to find their memories posted on the internet, so I just decided to play it safe and write in general terms. I've also written in mostly generic terms about my ancestors since the whole Internet Biography Database fiasco. I'm still uncomfortable with the thought that a genealogy company could take my words and call them their own. So, in order to prevent that, I've come to the decision to include as few indentifying details as possible. (Plus, one could possibly run into copyright violations if one is quoting or using information from another source.)

Still, I wonder how much should a genealogy blogger post on his or her family or ancestors. How much is too much? I really don't have the answer to this question. Has anyone come across this issue before? How did you resolve this problem? How much is too much?

As always, you can leave a comment with your thoughts and feelings.


Lidian said...

Hi Jessica, I think abut this issue a lot. At first I was really hesitant to write about anything genealogical. I do now, but never about living relatives, and pretty much people before 1910 or so. I hesitate to even write about anything 20th century really! There's plenty of pre-1900 stuff for me to write about anyway.

I am thinking of adding some sort of copyright thing, but not sure - Blogger says the writing is all protected anyway, but who knows? What do you think?

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I think after the IBC came and went most of us added a Creative Commons license or copyright to our blogs. I do write about the present and not so distant past fairly often,
more so on my other blog. For living members of the family I use different names than what are on their birth certificates but they all know who they are ;-)Hopefully the key to who is who will survive after I'm gone so a later generation isn't left with a brick wall to dissasemble. LOL

I will not write anything that a living member of my family might find hurtful. I thought about publishing less family history - briefly. What's the point of writing if no one can read what you write? My blog may be scraped but I'll deal with that when and if it happens. For right now the connections I am making are more valuable than the risks of having my content stolen.