I had been contacted by a member of ancestry.com site. A gentleman we’ll name “Paul”. Paul had asked if I could take a look at his family tree, and see if there were any mistakes before his posted it public. Public as in so others can see it. He didn’t want to do this if the information was wrong, understandable. Being a genealogy freak of course I took on the request. I sent back some of the questions I always ask.
- What are they looking for? Ex: dates, facts, names, burial etc.
- Birth, Death or Marriage certificates?
- Spelling of names
“Paul” sent back answers to the questions. I seen a name I knew. Why, it was in my family tree also. I had to get my notes on my tree to compare information and to give correct information. I took a short break to grab something to eat, and settle down to take an all nighter to do some digging. I wanted to for fill this “Paul” request for help with his family tree. Plus, I wanted to know if in fact we were related.
I did find a few mistakes in “Paul’s” family tree nothing big. Married names as maiden names, a few dates, multiples of the same person and married couples but not the spouses first name. Nothing to big to figure out and fix.
As “Paul” and I continued to sent messages back and forth, with more answers and more questions. And him wanting me to help fix his tree, I asked if he felt like changing his settings on his family tree so that I would able go in and make those changes. “Paul” didn’t think twice about it. Once I got the invite I went to town, fixing little mistakes and adding information I knew was correct from my tree. “Paul” staying contact with me, and I did him. The questions started to shorten as the answers were being given.
I had shared with “Paul” we were related and how. As I had explained to “Paul” how we were related through a family member of his and my family member mine, he was surprised and glad to find a family member as I was too. I added the information I had in my family tree to “Paul’s” family tree which would show him how we were related, nothing close. “Paul’s” tree began to grow like a wild flowers. I had filled in blanks, that were empty. I worked on his family tree for about a week, thinking we would work on the connection we had in our families together. BUT..
There’s always a But.. to my surprise today, “Paul” has removed me from his tree, and is not accepting messages on ancestry any longer. This was all after he had sent me messages throughout the day today. I didn’t learn this until I sat down to add an obituary to “Paul’s” family tree. Wow what a way to end that.
I’m not sure if “Paul” was upset of the obituary I had found, with a spouse’s married name which he had but not the wive’s husband first name. I had shared with him that I’ve had this happened in my family tree. I found an ancestor buried with the first spouse’s last name and not the spouse’s name they had at death. “Paul,” sent back a message with “Wow” and a little more details and that he had a lot of work to do. I sent back message letting him know if he needed help to let me know. But I didn’t think it would mean I could no longer contact “Paul” when I found more information.
I understand it’s up the each genealogist take on who can help and can’t help, but it would have been nice to know after helping him, that my work would be ended. But.. There’s that BUT.. I was able to add the information he had on his family tree to mine, but not the photo’s his had.
I have been tossing around going into business helping others with their family tree’s and research, but it’s moments like these that turn my cheek to the idea. “Paul” had told me how good I was at this, and how helpful I was for him, all the words one likes to hear. Has “Paul’s” action stopped me from helping others? No, I’ll just chalk “Paul” in the book as, limit myself with answers. I know that sounds mean, but I feel if you’re asking someone for help be nice about it and not act like this. These actions turn a lot of genealogist away from helping others.
End of Rant.