Re: Publishing genealogies #general

Stan Goodman <SPAM_FOILER@...>

On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 04:41:46 UTC, (Nick) opined:

I have experienced a very distant connection (the precise relationship I don't
know) sending me a copy of my familytree with details of my immediate family
with their birth dates and their relationships to each other.

I know that if I were to mention this to my close relations that they would be
very concerned that someone who has very little connection to them has obtained
this information which includes children of school age.

In fact, they would be very angry and would want to know how she got hold of the
But the fact that she did ought to be a clue that the information is out there,
and that it is obtainable by anyone interested, whether you publish or not. One
can adopt any number of philosophies about what degree of privacy is required or
necessary; some of them are more attached to reality than others. An extreme one
such as you suggest is in fact an invitation to abandon meaningful genealogy in
favor of a less intrusive hobby, such as building ships in bottles or collecting
stamps, which would kill time as effectively as genealogy.

There is therefore a question of when does a connection stop being family - they
might be family in terms of a familytree but someone whose relationship goes
back to 1800 hardly counts as family in most people's understanding.
The paragraph above defines an approach to genealogy which may be termed
"dabbling"; it is certainly not a serious one. Personally, I have lines going back
to the middle of the 18th century, and do regard those earliest progenitors as
family, and the same is true for their descendants, cousins of degree four, five,
and more. That is why I do this often tedious work. If I could push my tree
further back, I would do so. My joke with friends is that I would really like to
get it back to at least one Homo Erectus.

I have a family in Jerusalem that was unknown to me until about three years ago,
although I have been in this country for forty years. They have been in Jerusalem
since the mid-nineteenth century. I got to them only by having worked down to
present-day persons (including two that had died in the preceding few years). Had
I not done all that work (and had I not had the cooperation of the Hevra Qadisha
and the Interior Ministry), I would not have found them at all, which would have
been a great personal loss to me, and an equal one to my genealogy project. Only
my ability to trace their ancestry back until it linked with my own enabled me to
prove to them that we are related, as they were initially dubious. None of this
would have happened, had I played by your rules.

At that degree of separation I would be related to half the Jews in London.
Are you saying that this would not be a good thing?

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

ISMACH: >from Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: >from Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: >from Iasi, Dorohoi, and Mileanca, Romania

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