This is a subject that often comes up in conversation amongst my genealogy friends – should you keep your online family trees hosted by the likes of Ancestry and FindMyPast private or allow them to be seen by one and all. This 25 minute video by Ancestry’s Crista Cowan explains the privacy rules for Ancestry’s online family trees and then shows you how to share your tree with others.
I have four family trees on Ancestry, each starting from a grandparent, and they are at the moment private, but I do reply to all the requests from other researchers for access and information. However once I have checked and sourced each person on the trees I will make them public so that the research and information won’t be lost once I’m not here anymore. Not that I intend becoming an ancestor for a long time yet
I recently heard that Ancestry are thinking of instigating a traffic light system to grade the millions of trees that are on their site. I understand that red will mean the tree is small, hasn’t been added to for a long time and hasn’t any sources, amber will indicate a larger tree with some sources and green will indicate that the tree is actively being worked on, is well sourced and documented. I think this is an excellent idea and hopefully it will give some well earned recognition to those awarded green who work hard on making their trees good, historical documents and encourage the amber tree owners to make the leap and start improving their trees to green. As for the red trees well I suspect they are a lost cause, probably the result of a free 14 day trial of Ancestry taken out on a wet Sunday afternoon!
Christa is always worth listening to so click on the start button and learn what Ancestry does to protect the privacy of those living, how to share trees with other family members and other related topics.