Re: Geni Family Trees - Privacy and Baptism Concerns #general

Martyn Woolf

I have read the various comments about GENI and the Mormons. Some considerable number of years ago I was Chairman of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, when the question arose of Mormons baptizing both Holocaust victims and other Jewish dead. I took it up very strongly with the Mormons here in the U.K. and received a positive assurance that the practice had been abandoned because of the number of complaints. I believe that we received a letter confirming this.

In any event I agree with a number of comments about it over the years, that it does not make a great deal of difference; perhaps the more deceased Jews that are baptised by the Mormons,  the better the Mormons will be.  (That should attract a bit of correspondence).

As to GENI, this is a site that does arouse my ire. It is not so much a genealogical site as a place to find "Mishpocha". If I need the name of my ex sister-in-law's cousin's chauffeur,  that is the place to go.  For serious genealogical research, it is not.  A lady asked me a year or two ago for some help on her tree. She said that she had been "doing" her tree for nearly a year and only had about 32,000 relatives.  I told her that I had been researching my family for more than twenty years and still had not found anywhere near 1,000.  The difference is that my tree is sourced. If people want to "Hoover up" what purports to be fact, from such sites, let them do so. It probably makes them very happy.

Having now established myself as a grumpy old man, there is one tip that I would pass on and which I have used for years.  I have the habit of putting surnames in upper case when I am 100% certain of my view.  It allows me to see very easily when some antecedent needs some more work.

Martyn Woolf

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