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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Private Trees On Ancestry

Are you hiding out on Ancestry? Or rather are you hiding your tree, keeping it secret, or flying under the radar undetected? Those cautious family tree seekers crack me up. I am all for privacy settings and keeping living people's identity super top secret. After all, there is too much identity theft out there in the world today. However, I'm not sure how much can be stolen from a family tree full of those who have passed on. Ancestry is excellent about keeping living people's information private.

I can totally understand if you want to play your cards close to the vest but setting up a private tree and then networking with others does not really pay off. It's nice if we can see your tree when you ask if we are related. Even with all of this privacy technology, your private tree can be reviewed via member connect options if enough information matches up. This only applies to those who have passed on, of course. Living individuals are still protected by privacy.

So what is everyone afraid of out there? As I've indicated in my previous posts, networking is part of your key to success in finding your ancestors, especially further up the line. I admit to separating out my family tree lines into exclusive public trees. It makes it easier and less confusing for everyone to view and search for people. I also admit to privatizing one of my trees because it is so incomplete and has errors. I am, however, not actively networking with others about those family lines.

What is the right thing to do here about tree privacy settings? Well, I guess some etiquette would best. If you have a private tree and start networking with others, don't hold back in your message to others or make your tree public for viewing, or both is wonderful. I am all for more information.

Like I've said in another post, networking and getting help from others is definitely the way to succeed in your family tree search plus it can be so much fun to meet new people and relatives. So share what you can!

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