Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Has this happened to you?  At our local Gene meeting this morning, one of the people asked this question; have you ever had someone found out what you were researching and then say  "Give me everything you have?"

That really takes a lot of nerve to expect someone to send them all of your research.   How would you handle this demand?

We all know that some of our research is incomplete and not proven and we do not want anything erroneous to go out because in a short period of time it will appear on the WWW, errors and all, and at some point in time it will come back to bite you.

My husband suggested to say....my research is not done yet.  Another person said to ask what exactly they were looking for.

 I have shared some of my information with distant cousins or people searching the same lines.  So far they have all wanted to know where I got the information (I love those people) and sometimes what are my thoughts on the same family lines and I will willing share because they are also descendants of the same lines.
But I have no intention on sending you a GEDCOM to give you all I have.


  1. It's happened to me. I spent nearly ten tedious years painstakingly researching the 1906 murder of my great aunt and it was an extraordinary amount of work. I've had some distant relatives ask me to send them all I have. I told them that it's far too much material (which is was) and that it wasn't properly organized yet.

    Your husband has the right idea. Tell them that the research is not yet done.

  2. Sometimes I'm a little blunt and my response may be, "Oh, I just can't do that." After that I think I would try to engage the person in conversation to find out how their line connected to mine and if he/she were interested in a particular person or line. I think I would also try to find out how much research the person had already done and whether they he had information he could share that I didn't already have.

    I think it's great to give a hand up to someone beginning family history research by sharing selected information and research on that person's particular line, or even directing them to the sources. But to give someone everything? Ha! I couldn't do it. As with Jon, above, for many of us it could be reams and reams of paper or more!

    No one has ever asked for everything I've got, but now I may be prepared with a response.

  3. I've had new found relatives ask for information and I often tell them where I found that information so they can do some hunting themselves or otherwise give them information relative to them and then they can pursue it further if they want to. Genealogy is hard work (and can be expensive if you join some of the official sites). I am not mean but reluctant to be too 'easy going'.