Thursday
Aug212008

The Eternal Value of Privacy

Of course, that statement pertains to the living. However, if you reword that, it could read...

Ethics are important because without them, genealogical information can be abused.


That's my quote of the day. Think about it.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug202008

Ebay Winnings

This week I won the print of Mary Van Heusen (Smith) Kretschmar that I mentioned in an earlier post. Her niece Lizzie Smith lived with my cousin Mary's great grandmother's family in Philadelphia. Her great great grandfather wrote a letter home when he went out to visit Mrs. Kretschmar in St. Louis. We have no idea who Mrs. Kretschmar's parents were, but now we have the name Van Heusen from the back of the photograph and that was pretty rare for Philadelphia (where they lived before moving West).

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug202008

Blog Carnival Entry

The Carnival of Genealogy is having a Show and Tell submission, so I thought I'd write an article.

Every few days I comb ebay for anything from Bridgeton, NJ. In May 2006 I and rescued tons of letters, photos, and other documents belonging to my distant cousin [5c2r]  Marjorie Reeves Fithian. She died unmarried about 7 years before I was born. The ephemera belonged to several generations of her family as her aunts and uncles on her father's side did not have any surviving heirs. It all ended with her and ended up at a flea market in PA in the 1970's. A lady bought them and hung on to them until placing them on ebay in 2006.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug202008

The whole story

If you see someone's World War II army enlistment records on ancestry.com and it says they had two years of high school when they enlisted, what does that mean?

A. They dropped out

or

B. They skipped two grades and graduated early

or

C. That it is an error and the real answer is anywhere from 0-4

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug202008

National Genealogical Society

  • inform people who provide information about their families as to the ways it may be used, observing any conditions they impose and respecting any reservations they may express regarding the use of particular items.
  • require some evidence of consent before assuming that living people are agreeable to further sharing of information about themselves.
  • convey personal identifying information about living people—like age, home address, occupation or activities—only in ways that those concerned have expressly agreed to
  • are sensitive to the hurt that revelations of criminal, immoral, bizarre or irresponsible behavior may bring to family members
  • Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug192008

    The gist of the law

    So my question is, just because you can publish any sort of information you want on dead people, does that mean you should? When I find myself faced with this sort of dilemma, I like to pretend that that person is my grandmother. Would I do this to my grandmother? I call it the Grandma Test.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Aug182008

    Privacy of the deceased

    Right now I'm very interested in the legal rights of deceased people and their personal information. I've been doing some legal research and consulting with my favorite lawyer cousin.

    As you know, I'm writing a book about my family including all persons from my 4th great grandparents onward. Some of my female cousins died from having abortions. It says so on their death certificates. I am not putting that in the book because that's not what I want them to be remembered by. I also think it's ethically wrong to include that information. If someone is that interested, they can go buy a copy of her death certificate themselves.

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Aug162008

    More dead people found

    I just got an email from someone who found my family tree on rootsweb with my Cumberland County, NJ, family. Before 30 minutes ago, Mary and I had thought that our cousin James Tharp (previously thought to be Thorp) married Sarah Hughes, had two deceased infant children, and died in Philadephia where they were living in 1850. Mary's brother hired me on retainer to help out for the first 6 months of 2008, so I know this family quite well even though they are distant cousins. (you know you want to hire me, too!)

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Aug142008

    I couldn't resist

    Wednesday
    Aug132008

    Daily routine

    Fortunately for me, most of my relatives grew up in Cumberland or Salem Co, NJ, and a lot still live there. Everyday I check the obituaries on nj.com to look for any names I recognize. I check the Bridgeton News and the Salem Sunbeam. Then I go to read the BEN column (which is more of a community post of events and notes from townspeople).

    I wrote in to the column 9 times last September regarding the situation at the Broad Street Church Cemetery. My favorite part was when they said I was exaggerating about the waist high weeds that I trimmed and then I sent them a picture. There will be another blog entry about uncovering my cousin Ella and her family's plot later.

    I have found many interesting things in that column, frequently some of my cousins' names are mentioned. It's also how I found out that the county surrogate has extended hours (until 8 pm vs 4 pm) one Thursday a week.

    When someone I know dies, or someone descended from my 4th great grandparents that I haven't contacted yet, I always send a sympathy card to his or her next of kin. This is why I buy sympathy cards in bulk from Target.

    -andrea