For many years I was a member of the “I’m not publishing” camp, primarily because of
coming across a tree which in effect represented itself as a “one name study”, gave credit
to one my relatives for their original work, but actually got her name wrong, and then to
cap it all deleted all of her line. My response to this was not enhanced by finding it
between her dying and her funeral!
Since then many people have found me (and visa versa), and I guess it’s from posts to
groups such as this, and between us we have willing shared and exchanged information and
documents without restrictions.
Over the last couple of years I have come to the view that no matter what we hold
ourselves, what those who come after us will rely on is that which is published, and so I
have gradually been loading my various lines on to Ancestry in one combined tree. This
exercise has been invaluable as a means of auditing the information, because inevitably
there are events not clearly documented. I suspect that I will still be doing this a long
time to come!
The view that people simply copy and paste garbage and so perpetuate it is very valid. I
can point to a classic example of where the Liverpudlian husband and son in law of two
Pembrokeshire ladies incorrectly reported in the 1901 Census that they were from Milford
Haven. Someone has picked that “fact” up, and then applied it to virtually every Welsh
ancestor, and then others have copied the same error over and over again. I point out the
error to those who contact me, or challenge me on my information as I can substantiate my
I guess my final point on this is what harm does someone else’s fiction/fantasy really
do? We may not like it, but who are we to “burst their bubble”? The principle exception
to that would be if the person was trying to gain in someway by it.
I am sure that there is no right or wrong camp to be in. People need to do what sits most
comfortably with them.
From: Marcus Griffiths <marcusgriffiths(a)doctors.org.uk>
To: Edward Llewellyn-Jones <edwardllansamlet(a)gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 20 March 2012, 10:33
Subject: Re: [Dyfed] The Written word.
I suppose I come somewhere between the approaches discussed.
In practice I use Ancestry and Family Tree Maker so I can synchronise on
different computers - PC + tablet.
If I am working on a new line I create a new tree which I keep 'private'
till I am sure of my information.
I then would make the updated tree ' public'.
Like others I have found several 'new' relatives and freinds when sharing
I too am not sure how we 'own' information that is about people who have,
in some earlier generations, hundreds of other descendants and whose
information comes largely from public records.
Whilst I sometimes question other's conclusions it does not hurt me if they
insist on keeping incorrect records. I certainly know I have made a few
blunders in the past - but usually the corrections have provided more than
The rather exaggerated claims of others - eg that we have a direct line
from Hen Coel (old King Cole) provided amusement at a family wedding as did
the fact that we seen to connect into one of the medieval pedigrees that go
back to Adam % and God (and Mrs God!). I suggested at my son's wedding last
year that 'my work is done'.
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