Re: The role of Social Networks in Genealogy Research #general

sharon yampell

No matter how distant of a cousin is that I find on Facebook, I still contact
them and explain to them how we are related...I then ask them if they have
any pictures they may want to contribute to my tree or if I may copy and paste
pictures they have....

There was one time when more than 75% of my friends on Facebook were cousins
ranging >from first all the way to fifth that I had found through years of

I believe you should reach out to these relatives! It is fascinating to learn
of similarities even in the most distant of cousin!

Sharon F. Yampell
Voorhees, NJ (Suburb of Philly)


I've found Social Networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to be very
valuable in finding living relatives. I've located 4th/5th cousins, etc. I
don't always reach out to these folks, but I do add their names, DOB, etc. to
my "family tree" if appropriate.

I'm curious about the ethical considerations, however, in using these sites
and specifically, in copying pictures to use in a family tree. All users to
a social networking sites have privacy control settings and may choose to
limit who can see their friends lists, pictures, etc. If a social network
user has not put in place these limits and his/her page is publicly available,
is it appropriate for me to copy a "head-shot" to use in my tree without the
owners' explicit permission?

My tree (on ancestry) is public too, but information on "living" people is
blocked unless you've been specifically invited to view it, so in that way,
I'm not "publicizing" information about anyone that's not already public.

In any case, I wanted to open up the topic for discussion and see if there is
a general consensus on this topic.

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