The nature of family history research means that collaborating with others is almost a necessity. I have used Google in the past and discovered new information about my ancestors as well as vital information about the areas they lived in and their social lives. I love ‘meeting’ distant cousins just as much as I love finding out about my ancestors. By finding cousins I feel I am also finding and reinforcing links to the past. My links to the areas my ancestors grew up in. Sharing my information is a way for my cousins to find me.
The possible implications of sharing family history information could be numerous. However, to prevent this I made the decision to share as little information about living people as possible. The names and stories here will only ever be about deceased members of my family tree. The past cannot be changed and it’s something that we either cover up for fear of what others think, or we stand up and be proud of the events in the past that led to our own births and that of our descendants.
I, for one, am very proud of my ancestor’s lives and stories. I have a several times great grandmother who appears to have been a bigamist, several possibly illegitimate children, and the great grandparents who outlived 3 of their 4 children. Each of these stories could strike a chord with many people but they are part of the past, the decisions they made, and the events that made them who they were led to my birth. For that, I will be grateful to them.