Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Genealogists Hall of Shame

One of my CVGS colleagues suggested that a special place in Heck be reserved for certain people who make genealogy research too difficult, do stupid or damaging things, or embarrass the profession/interest/hobby/obsession.

After thinking for a few minutes, I wrote down a few candidates for my version of the Genealogy Hall of Shame:

1) People who throw out official original records without letting repositories claim them or copy them.

2) People who publish research based on the research of others without asking or crediting the original researcher.

3) People who close access to old records while claiming identity theft concerns.

4) People who discard family papers, Bibles and photographs without considering donating them to a local society.

5) People who ask for "all of your data" on a surname or ancestry

6) People (census-takers, court clerks, etc.) with very poor handwriting.

7) Repositories that practice poor housekeeping and don't protect their records

8) People who practice "extreme genealogy" - by harassing or attacking people, stealing DNA, etc.

9) People who steal, hide or or damage books, records, tombstones, artifacts or ephemera that cannot be replaced.

10) People who invent or distort historical records for the purpose of embellishng a genealogy or family history.

What have I missed? What can be said better? Tell me in the Comments and I'll add or edit the list above.

Have you had experience with any of the above? Were you able to save some records from the Shame-folks? Tell us about that too!

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