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Online Tree at Ancestry made Private

Several times, I have made my online tree at Ancestry.com public so that others can enjoy the research that I have done. So much more is included in my Ancestry.com tree than I will ever be able to include on this site. This includes images of source documents and photographs of people.

Unfortunately, I have had to make my Ancestry.com tree private, once again. It will remain private from this day forward. Family members and researchers may be given access to this tree upon request, and only if I choose to give the access.

My reasons for these actions and the strict private nature of my tree and research at Ancestry.com are simple.

In a sense, Ancestry.com is a sort of online file-sharing community. End users upload pictures of ancestors, and other end users are able to attach those pictures to people in their trees.

When end users also use the Family Tree Maker software to work on their trees, the software automatically downloads all pictures in the online tree to the end user's computer. No problem so far. However, if a problem ever occurs with the online tree then the end user has to re-upload the tree from Family Tree Maker, including all the files.

The result... All of a sudden Ancestry.com identifies the end user that re-uploaded his/her tree as being the original source for all pictures in his/her tree, even if those pictures originated from a different end user's tree. This is the way that Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker works, and there is absolutely nothing that the end user can do about it.

Now... What does all of this have to do with me making my online tree at Ancestry.com private?

It appears that there are some people using Ancestry.com who just cannot comprehend the fact that when a tree gets re-uploaded then all files in that tree are attributed to the end user uploading the tree. As a result, one elderly lady has already written and accused me of being "unethical" for not attributing her with the point of origination for some pictures in my tree.

The only way for people to get attributed as the source of origination for the pictures they share on Ancestry.com appearing in my online tree after a re-upload is if I were to delete all pictures (several thousand), then hunt them down on Ancestry all over again and relink them from their original sources. That would take months to do, and I just am not going to duplicate my efforts over and over again every time that I have to re-upload my tree.

I hope that you, visitors and family members alike, understand my reasons for restricting access to my online tree at Ancestry.com.

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