Monday, April 14, 2014

Public vs. private, and the debate goes on

I have a private tree on  The only reason I even have that is so that I can be alerted about DNA matches.  I only have my absolute direct line posted (a pedigree chart). You wouldn’t believe the amount of flack I get because of this.  If I hear one more person tell me that a real genealogist would want to share their data and not hoard it I think I will have to kill someone.  I DO share my data but I want to have control over what I share and with whom.  I want to be able to talk about the research that is being shared.  I don’t think that is unreasonable.  Kerry Scott has written an article about this and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Why Don’t People Post Public Family Trees?

I also have selected persons up on FamilySearch’s Family Tree.  I actually prefer it over so you will see more of my research posted there.  Why?  Because they provide an area to add notes and discussions about the person.  I also like that I can sync directly to Family Tree using Legacy.  If anyone goes in and adds anything to my person of interest I will be notified by FamilySearch and by Legacy.  There are several reasons why I prefer Family Tree but I will save that for another blog post.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. If the tree is "bare minimum" why not post it publicly? Leave the last two generations living if you wish and they can't be seen. Put just one census on a couple people so "DNA matches" could identify which one you are related too and then contact you. This also might help correct others mistakes if they have identified the wrong person in their tree.
    It is frustrating to see a match and the owner won't contact you. If it is on the tree and it looks like they have limited information is better than not knowing how they are connected. Also you can have a public tree and a private tree on Ancestry if you want to keep info to share later or not at all.

  2. I can't argue with you when you say it is frustrating when a person won't contact you back. Part of the problem is that many trees are abandoned. I have clicked on to send a message to someone and got the dreaded message that the person hasn't logged into Ancestry in over a year. I don't even bother sending the message.