Re: Data matching privacy issue on MyHeritage

Pauline Parnell

I've been working my way through this conversation all day, deleting the posts as they arrived when I was at the computer and keeping out of it.  But the last couple I read decided me to stick my oar in.  Yes, I've had my original photos and documents copied - sometimes when I had sent a copy to a cousin and before I put them online myself.  I've had my father hijacked and given a different family.  I'm sick to the back teeth with all the wrong information that gets copied.  My tree was kept in Family Historian, and Ancestry, Find My Past and all the others were used purely as means of accessing records.  But as of last October I have a public online tree, the whole tree on Ancestry and my troublesome mainland European lines on My Heritage. DNA has changed everything.  There is no point in taking a DNA test unless you are prepared to share, and if you're sharing you might as well go the whole hog.  I have been contacted by distant cousins trying to find our connection and between us we've been able to work our way through the web of lies and half truths to reach our common ancestors.  I've discovered that all those people in Shoreditch with the same surname were actually related to my ancestors.  We haven't found the records which connect us, and they quite possibly don't exist, but we've all got trees which stop at the same point and we all match through DNA - on three different continents with emigration taking place in the top most generation we've found.  It's been brilliant.  

Most matches will not bother to contact you if you don't have an online tree and many assume you won't answer if it's private (I've done both since October and seen the difference it makes).

Essentially, it comes down to what you want to get out of the sites - harvest the online records or use your DNA to break down the brick walls which any decent researcher who has been at this for any length of time is going to have.  Personally, after over forty years, I've only got brick walls left.  I have masses of source documents, including a fair chunk which still aren't available online, and if I'm honest I no longer care if someone copies it.  As long as it is to my standard it is the best I can do and if they can find a mistake I would welcome their input.  And if they copy it? Well, it's their family history too.



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