Friday, May 22, 2015

Terms of what?

The Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Facebook group page is pretty popular. There are over 20,000 members. One of the things you will see on there all the time are questions like, “Can someone see if Mortimer Snerd has an obituary on and clip it for me?” If you happen to have a subscription to should you do the lookup? 

Before you do, you need to read’s Terms of Use. Doing lookups like this might be in violation of the agreement you signed with the company.

Here is a great article written by the Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell, CG. 

Reprise: a terms of user primer

Most genealogists will bend over backwards to help out a fellow researcher but sometimes you just can’t.  It is always best to follow the rules.  You can tell them whether or not what they are looking for exists but for them to get a copy they will have to subscribe to the website just like you did.


 Copyright © 2015 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. They're usually more "... of engagement" than "... of endearment" ;-)

  2. Thank you--good article and good reminder.

  3. One can ethically give the date and page of publication, to ease the questioner's search, and highlights (in your own words) of information, but a full transcription word-for-word may violate terms of service. Judy Russell's articles on this subject are terrific. Thanks for posting the link.