Why I Keep My Ancestry Family Tree Private

Categories Family Tree Research
Ancestry Family Tree

Ancestry is the online hub of my family tree research.  I have been a member since 2012 and for most of the time I have kept some of my family trees public.  Recently, I changed that and my research on the Ancestry website is no longer public.   My main Ancestry family tree is private.

Collaborate, Not Isolate

I decided to keep my Ancestry family tree private because in my experience,  most members who are researching my ancestry do not reply to messages.  Yet, when my main ancestry family tree was public, those members added my research, and family photos on their trees.

Without an acknowledgement.

This has been the case since 2012. And continued until I went private.

Does that sound grumpy to you?  I guess I am quite grumpy about this.  When I got deeper into my research, I believed that the best way to learn about shared ancestry was collaboration.   Members researching my family’s story could help me learn more about my ancestry, and perhaps I could help them fill in the gaps.

I have no divine ownership over my ancestry.  Nor do I wish it.  I am only a custodian of my family story. And in time others will take over the work, improving on it.  Making new connections and breaking down the genealogy brick walls.

Family Tree Harvesters

People have their reasons to why they will harvest information without being courteous and contacting the source member.  But I do find it hard to fully understand why, lost relatives close to me on our branch of the ancestry family tree wish to build brick walls.

I have wondered if it is what I put in messages:  Is the content too personal?   Too overeager for knowledge?

Or, has something happened in the decades gone by?  A family feud creating emotional wounds that wont heal?

See?, my mind goes into curious overdrive..  Or over analysis.

A Hypocrite Researcher?

I want to collaborate and share my finds with family close and distant.  I want to find out what I can’t source from the archives.  That being said, my ancestry family tree is private.

Am I a hypocrite family history addict?

So, family history addicts:

What do you think?

Do you share similar frustrations?


Family History addict since 2012. Now documenting my findings and insights online.

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