This is a public Forum  publicRSS


    Kevin Corkhill
    Photo's taken from Find A Grave without permission or...Answered
    Question posted January 7, 2013 by Kevin CorkhillLevel 1, last edited January 7, 2013, tagged Citations/Sources, Media, Member Trees, Photos, Privacy, Sharing 
    44895 Views, 75 Comments
    Photo's taken from Find A Grave without permission or attribution
    Photo's taken from Find A Grave without permission or attribution

    I have had dozens of photo's taken form my Find a Grave memorials and posted to trees on Ancestry despite my request not to re-post them accompanying the pictures.  Most of these still bear my logo (year they were scanned and my initials) when I ask that they be removed or that their source be listed I am generally ignored or even verbally attacked.  Now I am finding my pictures with the logo photo shopped out.  I have had an ancestry membership for 11 years and if I wanted my pictures posted here I would.  With no attribution there is no way for other researchers to contact me regarding additional info and pictures I have.  It seems pretty low photo shopping out my logo and not giving me credit.  Is there any thing that can be done abou this?

    Best Comment

    Caroline T.

    Kevin, your last sentence pretty much sums up the argument although I would add ignorance as well.  Some people aren't trying to be unethical or disrespectful they just truly believe that anything on the internet is free to use.  It is frustrating to have others take credit for your hard work and time, as anyone with a credit thieving boss, co-worker or classmate knows.  A lot of us have spent hours upon hours and significant sums of money to collect our information and images making that much more frustrating.  You're obviously very passionate about what you do and it would be a shame for you to no longer share your photos because some people either don't know or don't care to follow the rules.  If your current software doesn't have a watermark feature you really should consider buying software that does.  You don't have to spend a fortune on it and there are sites out there that offer special deals fairly often (pm me for more details if you would like them).  If I were you, I would place the watermark right across the center of the photo.  People might not like it, but they have no one to blame but the people who don't follow the rules.    I can tell you that when someone adds a record from an Ancestry link to Find-A-Grave, or any source, it automatically adds a citation.  If the citation is missing, it was either removed or the information was not added through Ancestry's search/hints.

    Copyright issues aside, the practice of taking records and photos without attributing the proper source should be considered a huge problem for serious genealogists and the genealogy community as a whole.  Being able to go back to the original source is vital for anyone who wants to verify and confirm the accuracy of the information.  By failing to attribute the information to the original source, people are denying another researcher to evaluate that source for themselves.  I can speak from first hand experience when I say that it's incredibly annoying to reach out to a "genealogist" for information on their sources and get a reply that they don't know where the information came from they got it from "someone else."  It's even more annoying when you waste hours upon hours trying to find the original source or "someone else" only to eventually and quite accidentally stumble upon records that prove that the information in the original tree is incorrect and there are no sources because the people in question were deceased at the time of the events.  I was researching an individual with a not very common name in a very specific location, I can only imagine the havoc that this practice wreaks for researchers looking for people with common names over a broad area.

    Comments Are Closed


    • Caroline T.

      Kevin, the answer is both yes and no.  Unfortunately you have found yourself in a position where the copyright on photos that you took is being violated.  The problem with posting pictures on the internet is that you really can't block people from copying the images to a personal hard drive.  Your first step would be to reach out to the people using your photos without your permission or who are not giving you proper credit and ask them to remove them.  As you've found out some people are not very responsive or respectful.  Your next step would be to go to each photo that your copyright is being violated on and on the right side click "report issue" and scroll down to "copyright permission issues" and report the issue to Ancestry.  You shouldn't have any problem with the images that still have your logo because you can definitely prove that you took them.  Proving you own the rights to the ones that have had the logo removed may be much harder.  If you're adding your logo to photos that your uploading, you must be using something for photo editing.  You might want to check your program to see if you can watermark your photos and place the watermark conspicuously across the image.  I know it takes away from the image, but it really is your best defense against someone removing your logo.

      The final option would be to file copyright infringement claims against all the folks who are using your images without your consent or without giving you credit.  There is a very limited scope of "fair use" under the copyright law and I can't imagine any scenario where genealogy would fall under any of them.  There was recently a story about users of Pinterest and this topic.  The reality is that most people know that legal action is not an option for the average person.  The other issue would be determining if all the people using that photo knowingly took it from you or if they took it from someone who had already violated the copyright.  There might be some copies out there where the people who are using them think they belong to someone else.  Then the question becomes is that person legally liable violating your copyright and unless it's changed in the past couple years that's a gray area where the law hasn't caught up to the technology.  During parent orientation at my kids' school they had a lawyer come in and talk to us about talking to our kids about copyright infringement, so this last bit of information came from that seminar.

    • artsmart

      Call Ancestry, they'll remove the the photos.

    • Sharon P.

      The thing is, I realize you took a lot of time and trouble to do this but you posted them on Find a Grave which is where tons of us go and feel such GREAT JOY to find a photo of a loved on or family member from the past is there!  Most people happily share these and I don't quite understand why you won't share them.  They are simply grave stones and most people share them willingly and are glad to have been able to help others find some small thing left of a person long dead.  Most people aren't located anywhere near to the stones location and so your ability to have photographed them is a fantastic gift.  The stone itself is there for all and any to see.  On find a grave you can actually request that someone near by go and take a photo of your loved on if they have the time and have volunteered.  You see noone is trying to STEAL your photo's its just that your attitude is just the opposite of the whole reason for find a grave in the first place.  Search your heart maybe and see if you can find it in there to understand that others are just sooo thrilled to find any small crumb of information and best of all a PICTURE even if it is of a grave stone.  I am sorry you feel so abused.  Most folks are just happy to help each other out any way they can.  I feel sorry for you.

      • Barbara Needham

        What you say may be true but if the op has posted his contact information on find a grave then the courteous thing would be to notify him. And he may be more concerned with other pictures, like pictures of people that he has posted to go with the gravestone. Those are definitely his property and although some people post pics expecting people to freely copy, he did not. Also it seems if you do contact the op that he is willing to give additional information. It is always possible to copy down the find a grave memorial number and put that on your individual profile so that the next person can find the memorial more easily but no copyright infringement is involved. It took me a long time to realize that each find a grave memorial had a number and I could use it to refer others to the site

        • Caroline T.

          Barbara, you hit the nail on the head.  It doesn't sound as though the op has an issue with people using his photos, he would just like to be credited for them.  It's just like we were taught in school, when you reference someone else's work you have to give them credit as the original source to not do so was academic dishonesty.  Taking credit for someone else's work, which is essentially what someone does when they don't give the proper credit, is just not right and is a violation of copyright law.

      • fizzbomb

        Sharon P., I believe you need to search your own heart for "right" and "wrong".  Are you a parent?  If so, did you condone your child plagiarizing?  If you were like me, you did not.  And yet, you think it's okay to take someone else's creation (photos) without their permission so it seems the message is "Do as I say, not as I do".

        Also, you are incorrect about "the whole reason for Find A Grave in the first place". FAG was not created for genealogists to freely obtain photos to republish on any other site.  You should read why Jim Tipton created Find A Grave and understand he is not interested in genealogy  one whit.

    • Kevin Corkhill


      Sharon P,

      You said “I don't quite understand why you won't share them.” I have heard this many times by those who have already copied my photos. I copy photo's I just ask the OP first if I am going to post them in a public forum and then list the OP as the source. It is sharing if you have them even if I ask you to list me as the source IF you share them or post them to a public tree. How is it not sharing? Some people don't consider it sharing unless they can too can share it as their own. What is wrong with asking? It used to be the norm. I have much more detailed info that I could share with people if they contacted me and perhaps I too might gain some info from them. I inherited 2 generations of genealogists research. Some of it a very very small portion of it was published in genealogical publications but as my grandmother died before computers none of it has been digitized other than what I have done If contacted I could be asked about this. The person on ancestry who has copied and appears as “the original Submitter” probably has no idea.

      Barbara and Caroline,

      Your answers were excellent and unfortunately what I expected. I am a little perturbed with ancestry letting loose it's hoard of newbie “genealogists” on Find a Grave by indexing the site. I feel that the rules at external sites should be respected...

      Abbreviated website rules concerning photographs: The copyright of all photos posted to Find A Grave remains with the original submitter. No use of photos from Find A Grave, to any other website, or personal use is given without prior consent of the original submitter. Do NOT copy photos and use them on memorials or other websites! (you are attributing the photos as your own when you use them).

      Ancestry should be more proactive on this. An effort should be made to educate the membership regarding respecting the rules of other sites and even just plain genealogical courtesy and etiquette. Instead Ancestry indexed FG and opened it up to mass violations of FG's rules that when made aware of they insist the responsibility to correct the situation resides with those who have been aggrieved. I truly believe the fault lies with ancestry. It would not be impossible to include FG rules on copyright and taking photos with the page access they provide to FG from Ancestry. And Ancestry could be more aggressive in responding to reports of violations. Does ancestry have a policy regarding taking material from other sites?


    • artsmart


      I'm not understanding what you would like.

      The reality is, any image or data visible on the Internet can be copied. You're not going to "win" a copyright action over your headstones photos, you don't have the means to start one and those copying your photos don't have the means to make it worth while. I'm stating the reality, not the morality. What you want and and what you can resolve are two very different things.

      Ancestry will remove the your photos that have been copied into trees without your permission, however you must be the squeaky wheel.

      Most users don't bother to read the Terms and Conditions of the site, copyright is expressly detailed and clearly stated. What would like Ancestry to do further?

      Watermarking your photos is a good idea and will outlive an attribution, it will always travel with the photo. Memorialize your headstone work by a using a distinctive watermark.


      • Kevin Corkhill

        I would like ancestry to take an active part in promoting ethical and accurate genealogy.    I DO NOT expect this to happen.


        BUT ancestry could have a pop up display when members access the external sites they index, or even display it with the search results reminding members of the external sites rules and even of basic genealogical courtesy and ethics.  As it is members who acccess sites like Find a Grave thru ancestry treat it just like ancestry and think they are entitled to take anything they find and treat it as there own without permission or giving credit the result of this is even though dozens of my photos are here without crediting me or my Find A Grave memorials there are dozens more that i have since the influx of to Find a Grave chosen not to post.  


        Perhaps i am the Don Quixote of genealogy stuck in the past but it's not the technology I rail at but the lack of ethics and respect it brings.

        • Caroline T.

          Kevin, your last sentence pretty much sums up the argument although I would add ignorance as well.  Some people aren't trying to be unethical or disrespectful they just truly believe that anything on the internet is free to use.  It is frustrating to have others take credit for your hard work and time, as anyone with a credit thieving boss, co-worker or classmate knows.  A lot of us have spent hours upon hours and significant sums of money to collect our information and images making that much more frustrating.  You're obviously very passionate about what you do and it would be a shame for you to no longer share your photos because some people either don't know or don't care to follow the rules.  If your current software doesn't have a watermark feature you really should consider buying software that does.  You don't have to spend a fortune on it and there are sites out there that offer special deals fairly often (pm me for more details if you would like them).  If I were you, I would place the watermark right across the center of the photo.  People might not like it, but they have no one to blame but the people who don't follow the rules.    I can tell you that when someone adds a record from an Ancestry link to Find-A-Grave, or any source, it automatically adds a citation.  If the citation is missing, it was either removed or the information was not added through Ancestry's search/hints.

          Copyright issues aside, the practice of taking records and photos without attributing the proper source should be considered a huge problem for serious genealogists and the genealogy community as a whole.  Being able to go back to the original source is vital for anyone who wants to verify and confirm the accuracy of the information.  By failing to attribute the information to the original source, people are denying another researcher to evaluate that source for themselves.  I can speak from first hand experience when I say that it's incredibly annoying to reach out to a "genealogist" for information on their sources and get a reply that they don't know where the information came from they got it from "someone else."  It's even more annoying when you waste hours upon hours trying to find the original source or "someone else" only to eventually and quite accidentally stumble upon records that prove that the information in the original tree is incorrect and there are no sources because the people in question were deceased at the time of the events.  I was researching an individual with a not very common name in a very specific location, I can only imagine the havoc that this practice wreaks for researchers looking for people with common names over a broad area.

          • Merry Atric

            Caroline T.,  This still doesn't address the issue that no ill will was intended when the syncing process strips the details of the photo or record.  I have had hundreds of photos I had uploaded from my large family photo collection going back to the era of tintypes and also scanning and uploading my cousins entire family photo collection.  I am now starting to run across many of my family on Find A Grave where someone, other than myself, sometimes the manager of the memorial has taken my photo from Ancestry and up loaded it to Find A Grave.  I am assuming it isn't someone wanting to deny me credit as the repository of the photo but, someone truly and earnestly trying to manage a memorial and make it as pleasing as possible.  I am finding on Find A Grave many obituaries without giving recognition to the news agency and the date it was circulated which is also annoying. 

            I understand the frustration about not sourcing records and photos.  I will regard all information but the source has to be obvious to me otherwise I leave it be.  I learned the hard way collecting data 25 years ago where relatives filled out family group sheets guessing at birth dates and middle names.  The bottom line is do not depend on another researchers data unless it is backed up by documentation and then be very suspicious.

   is a fabulous tool but it is in a constant state of flux with new users eager and unrestrained muddying the waters with unverified data.  Instead of Thrice Removed it should be Thrice Proved.   

            Happy hunting and documenting!


            • Caroline T.

              Mary, I hadn't been aware that there was this glitch with the photos in synced trees until I read your comments.  I don't keep other people's photos yet.  Knowing this problem exists, I'll have to find a work around if I ever come across a photo that is really a match to a known ancestor.  I wonder if a brief cite would fit in the file name.  Ex. John Smith c. 1800; cr Jane Doe, FindaGrave, 1234567.  This is definintely a problem that Ancestry needs to address because it is frustrating and it does make it difficult for people to find the original source.  My comments certainly don't pertain to someone who has ended up with an unsourced item through no fault of their own.  However, I would hope that someone who ended up with an unsourced item by accident would respond to the OP and fix the citation.  Clearly for those who use photos in their synced trees this is going to be a headache until the glitch gets fixed.

              The bigger problem is something that I don't think we're ever going to solve.  As you mentioned, this is the risk of putting things on the Internet.  Unfortunately, be it through ignorance or ill will many people think that because something is on the Internet that it's fair game.  I just had a discussion the other day with a family member (who really should know better) about this subject.  A photo was posted to a memorial and I was curious who posted it since there are only 4 people that I know who might have permission to post the photo.  I know I didn't do it (I hadn't asked the person who has the rights to the photo) and he isn't computer literate, so it was either one of the other 2 people or a random stranger.  If it was a random stranger, I was going to reach out to them and ask how they knew my relative.  Well it turns out it was one of the other 2 people, but instead of understanding why I was curious he was a bit rude about it because I "should know that the photo is on the Internet so anyone can use it."  It wasn't worth arguing the point because I will never get him to understand that just because it's out there doesn't mean anyone can use it or that my reasons for wanting to reach out to a stranger who posted it had nothing to do with questioning their motives for posting it and everything to do with communicating with them about my relative and being able to share any kind words they had with his father.

              • Merry Atric

                Caroline T., it is unfortunate that some people tend to ruin a beautiful sentiment that should be viewed and treated delicately as to not tromp on the feelings of family members and loved ones. I think many people, unless they are involved in genealogy, have never heard of F A G and then are stunned when they realize a close relative has a memorial posted by a stranger. I ran across it numerous times when I first tried to post immediate family members. Fortunately almost all either corrected errors and respected my request or transferred the memorial to me.

                As time permits I am reentering source information that had been stripped from my tree.  It is a long and laborious task and whenever I see a photo of a headstone I try and search F. A. G. to make sure the photographer receives credit. 


                • Bill Feller
                   Mary........ When I became acquainted with F A G I thought it was great. I started posting memorials for my relatives with my photos of their gravestones. I also got into their forums. But it didn't take long to see some real problems, Including their managers mistreating contributors. There were "Know-it -alls" who compounded the problems. And management didn't (and still don't ) enforce a policy of preventiong copyright violations. ... One example is like you say Mary.... I come from eastern S Dakota. One person in most of eastern S Dakota seemd to be checking all the newspapers for obituaries. And almost before the deceased were in the grave, she would post the obit on F A G with no credit given to anyone, basically the newspaper. It is my understanding that even tho I and everyone else love to see obits, it is still copyright violation, And F A G & just look the other way ...... So anyhow, altho disgusted with F A G, i haven't removed my memorials and photos simply because that is how I can control what is posted there. But as I said in another post, my photos have been lifted from F A G and now appear on without credit to me......... ........ ...... Someone mentioned that F A G and Ancestry don't really collaborate, but there is the thing called "Web Search" which facilitates transferring info from one to the other. Well, I think there are over 30,000 of my own gravestone photos posted on . The whols SD project has 185,000, and Nebraska 200,000 (both coordinated y Brad Kellogg. But the "Web Search" does NOT seem to pick them up and offer hints to copy them to the way it picks up my( or other people's) photos from F A G. Hmmmm,... I wonder if it is because on the front page there is a warning that photos are copyrighted. And when you hover your cursor over the actual photos, there is another pop-up partially over the photo with a reminder of copyrights....... I am proud to be a contributor to the Gravestone Photo project. (can you tell? ). I just wish it was available in all states .....Wild Bill
            • Kevin Corkhill



              For your comment to apply to this thread your photo's from ancestry would have to have been watermarked and accompanied by a request to be contacted before re-posting AND the person who posted them to find a grave would have had to remove your watermark.  In this case which is the case we are talking about in this thread, would you be "assuming it isn't someone wanting to deny me credit as the repository of the photo but, someone truly and earnestly trying to manage a memorial and make it as pleasing as possible."???

              Your comments seem imply that I am being unreasonable but really do not apply to the specific instance that generated this thread.

              I agree totally about unverified data.  "Data" that spreads like a virus with every "clicked leaf".   I know of many trees on my family that have provable errors.  Once a thing is copied to dozens of trees it becomes  accepted and if you ask where they got the information of course the only source they have is trees on ancestry.  And even official documents can be wrong.  I am often challenged about the birth date for my grandfather because he falsified documents to enlist for WWI my source for his birth is him telling me.  The longer you do genealogy the more you find things like that and the more skeptical you become and the more you realize the importance of sourcing to back track and verify when facts turn out to be something else.



        • Moderator - LHiggins


          Hi Kevin, 

          That is great feedback. does not index Find A Grave, but rather uses a tool called Websearch which searches the internet for genealogy related sites and then provides a link to that site. If photos are uploaded, does have a reminder on the upload page about the Content Submission Agreement that they agree to and does include verbiage around the proper use  of photos, copyrights, etc.  For more information on how Websearch works please click here

          If you would like to have include additional verbiage around basic rules when going to an external site or common courtesy and ethics, please click here to get that information in front of those who develop and design the site. 


          Community Moderator

          • Kevin Corkhill


            Hi L

            Thank you.   I just called ancestry and was directed to  I  left my suggestion with the person on the phone.  I would insert a copy of what I wrote to customer solutions but as I mention member names in it I won't.   I really think the majority of my fellow members are decent people but there seems to be a lack knowledge when it comes to what used to be and I hope still is basic courtesy and ethics between researchers.



            • Barbara Needham

              I am glad that you are making progress on this. I can believe that people copy the pictures when they are new to genealogy or new to ancestry, but can't believe that they don't respond when you contact them. I copied pics from Fina a Grave when I first started but when I realized that each memorial had a number I took the pictures off and replaced with the number. So people can make mistakes.. but should respond when corrected...

            • Victoria Camp

               From what the moderator said here, Ancestry spiders other sites just as any search engine like Google and Bing might do, and grabs information from those sites to offer members to pay for what they spidered that exists elsewhere as FREE DATA.

              Does anyone else here see the irony in this?

              So, is it fair to conclude that they DO NOT have any agreement with FindAGrave or any other site that is available to the general public. What they DO create is an environment where people can 'GO TO THIS EXTERNAL WEBSITE' and then shrug when people upload the photos.

              I don't think contacting anyone at Ancestry will resolve this - it goes against marketing and common corporate practice.


          • fizzbomb

            LHiggins, I have suggested, on numerous occasions over the past two years, to add a pop-up to the Add Media screen.  Hasn't happened yet and I do not expect it to ever happen because Ancestry does NOT want to discourage anyone from uploading whatever they want.  I believe Ancestry's "attitude" was clearly demonstrated when John-David Anderson informed me "It's not our (Ancestry's) job to send our users to law school."

        • Merry Atric

          Kevin, I empathize with you in regard to wanting a trail leading back to the originator of the photo that has been uploaded to either or Find A Grave.  I would be thrilled if no one could add any document or photo with out detailed source information and the repository.  If anyone is a serious genealogist these details are a must. We have millions of users who are not serious though and log in for a "freebie" snag as much as they can and then never log in to their tree again.  Alas, I am afraid that due to modern technology having glitches our request for ethical and respectful use of our photos we generously upload is no longer a reasonable request.  I have scanned and uploaded thousands of photos to Ancestry and many to Find A Grave. When I transfer a photo from Find A Grave to Ancestry I religiously give credit by stating, "Photo compliments of Find A Grave contributor (name) and (#) even if the name is "Graverobber".  But, there is a huge disconnect because of an major bug in maintaining the trail to the originator all due to the syncronization process in the upgraded versiou of Ancestry.  Since Ancestry upgraded to provide a "syncing feature" between desktop FTM and the online Tree there has been a tremendous glitch when the two trees are disconnected either by accident or purposely done.  All of the photos from an Online Tree that have been religiously labeled to give credit to the originator no longer have the data attached to the photo as it is stripped when you sync to your FTM.  The data details of the orginator do not transfer from on-line Ancestry to your desktop FTM.  So, if the data is no longer linked to the photo and your FTM tree is no longer synced to online tree and you decided you wanted to upload to Ancestry with a new on-line tree, none of your photos will be labeled with the details. 

          I had the misfortune of having this happen to me and I realized that all the hostile feelings I had for those who I thought were "stealing" my photos was unjustfied.  This happens quite frequently and regardless what Ancestry says when you call them it also results in triplicate and quadruplicate records.  It is a nightmare and Ancestry has not address the bugs in "Syncing" nor have they addressed a way to make the corrections. 

          All in all, I have to agree with Sharon P.  I have uploaded several photos I have taken at cemeteries for Find A Grave.  Honestly, the sheer nature of the site should alert you that there is a clear understanding there will be no exclusivity.  It seems that many yearn for recognition of the most memorials managed or the most photos uploaded.  If we want accolaides for our photography and find the need to doctor them with copyright or watermarks then perhaps a website of our very own would a better place to focus efforts for exclusive rights to a photograph.  The site is meant to honor the dead with a memorial that can be found.  I can't tell you the joy I experienced seeing my great grandfathers headstone and finally find out where he was buried.  That is why I try to help others and hey, if they give me credit for my photo or not; so be it.  I did it to honor the deceased.

          Just keep in mind, Ancestry strips the details of photos when syncing.  I wish they didn't but that is the harsh reality and not the fault of a subscriber.  Also, private trees don't have to follow any ethical rules and there is no way for you find out because you won't have access to your own photos on their tree, they now own them.

          All in all, I am thrilled with what I have been able to find and share with others on the Internet.  I am chaulking up my no longer being about to claim exclusive rights to photos as the cost of using the internet.

          Good luck,  Mary Neal

          • Kevin Corkhill



            You comments make sense but they really don't apply.  This case was NOT about syncing of sources failing because of updated versions of family tree.   This was about someone photo shopping a photo to remove my logo and then posting it as their own.   Who when asked nicely to list me as the source ignored me but when ancestry asked about it she removed the picture.   I am not naive and I am not stupid.  I have looked the other way 10 times as often as I have asked to have my photo's sourced.  But when someone goes to the trouble of removing my logo so she can claim it as hers, that is a different thing altogether from your comment.   If we chalk up this kind of *** as " the cost of using the internet" then we are indeed selling ourselves and the genealogy community short.  And if it is okay that after being asked politely to source something that was taken from an external site many peoples response is to attack the original poster as being selfish instead of just listing the source; then I clearly am missing something...




            • Kevin Corkhill

              LOL Quite the naughty word filter c r a p is the word censored.  If only ancestry was as efficient at other things.  :)laugh

            • Merry Atric

              I do realize your issue was not about the syncing bug Kevin. The syncing bug only mires the issue even further when our goal is to responsibly source and list a repository for a photo, or gives credit to the photographer so that we can properly identify it for future queries. In trying to investigate the copyright procedure, for my own photos and my vintage photo collection years ago, my head has been spinning since as even museum archives and institutes such as Getty can't seem to effectively control misuse of their collections. For photos that I myself had taken and some of my watercolors I thought my copyright watermark logo was enough, not so. I am an amateur photographer but have photographer friends with websites and they must go to great lengths to protect their photos. Some of them repeat watermarks through the entire photo which renders it unusable for printing but you can still appreciate the photo.

              There is no excuse for someone to ignore your request and I apologize if I sounded like I was attacking you. I honestly know your frustration and have had it happen to me numerous times. Right now I am trying to get one lady to realize that a photo she posted as my great grandmother is in fact not my great grandmother but a niece. She has refused to respond to my messages.

              I am now suspicious when I see photos of cemeteries on Ancestry without documentation. When I run across one I go to Find A Grave and almost always find the originator of the photo. It is maddening though to find cemetery photos you know came from FAG but the Ancestry client didn't bother simply stating the name or even the state where the cemetery was located.

              I wish there were a simple answer but unfortunately at this point in time I can't see one but, I do appreciate that there are others, like yourself, who are conscientious.  Maybe someone will come up with a good idea we could all benefit from.

              • Kevin Corkhill


                No need for you  to appologize although perhaps to much of my frustration came thru in my responses.  I am frustrated with SOME of ancetries clients and am afraid things will get worse.  But there are bright spots to.  



          • fizzbomb

            Mary, why do you say "the sheer nature of the site should alert you that there is a clear understanding there will be no exclusivity"?  If you are talking about Ancestry, yes, that is clearly demonstrated by the "Save to your tree" button as well as the Terms & Conditions.  However, that is not the case on Find A Grave where the FAQs (site's policies) clearly state the copyright of photos remain with the photographer and to use a photo on another site, you need to get permission from the photographer.

            • Merry Atric

              Valued Member... Yes, that is exactly what I am saying and I cannot bring myself to be convinced that the multitude of people who land on a free accessible websites such as F A G can be controlled to the point they will play by the rules or meet with my ethical standards. That, Facebook, F A G and many other sites have free access should be sending up huge red warning flags to you and everyone else that wants copyright laws adhered to and also maintain anonymity and exclusivity. It is too easy for folks to jump from being a righteous and noble researcher who adheres religiously to all the rules and then turns around and breaks those same rules using a different pseudonym. I believe in using my proper name and not a pseudonym because of just that issue. That "R.I.P" can copy records from my tree I feel is unethical. I want to be reached for clarification on anything I post or upload so I am suspect when met with pseudonyms that avail themselves of my records but don't want to identify themselves or respond to my messages.

              I am truly perplexed at the level of annoyance and indignation reaching the point of retaliation by making ones tree private, I wish I could count on all the private tree owners that copy my records on a daily basis being so virtuous and in their private tree count on them keeping my sourcing and repository information.  I honestly encourage those who feel so strongly about maintaining privacy that they avail themselves of some of the numerous closed genealogy sites that will afford them their anonymity and let the nature of and F A G evolve through those that wish to collaborate and exchange records in an open, and maybe not perfect, format that encourages sharing records to everyones benefit. 

    • Show/Hide RepliesAnonymousposted January 19, 2013
      This has been deleted by the author
      • Moderator - LHiggins

        Hi Kevin, 

        They try to respond within a couple of days, so you should be getting a response soon. smiley  

        Community Moderator

        • Kevin Corkhill


          Just recieved a response.  They did not address my concerns over users taking material from other sites and posting it as their own.  They did  "contact them as a courtesy to you and request the removal on your behalf"  Which is not what I wanted.   I wanted to be listed as the source; however it works.   Surprisingly the person who ignored 3 requests to list me as the source nearly immediately removed the pictures.  Why they were just not sourced I will never understand.  This member has only been with ancestry 6 months perhaps that's it?

          This was my response to ancestry:


          Thank You for your attention,  I wish she would have just listed me and my find a grave memorials  as source's ...
          Can I have a clarification on your terms of service regarding posting material from other sites to trees on ancestry?   I would think it good for ancestry and the genealogy community to promote proper sourcing of offsite material.  I guess I am a little confused when you say  "per the terms of service on our website, we are not responsible for managing individual user’s submissions"?  Are there no guidelines for members to follow regarding their submissions?  It has been my experience that usually it is the newer members who show a disregard for sourcing the material they post.  But it is very wrong in my opinion for her to post my pictures as her own after removing the logos.    Again thank you for contacting her.  She never did respond to my requests to list me as a source but did remove them after you contacted her.  If the same picture(s) is re-posted again you will not hear from me if it is sourced.  Please inform me of terms of service and other rules regarding  members taking material from other sites and posting them as their own on trees in ancestry and why this would not be something that ancestry would take an active role in addressing?
          Thank You,


          • Moderator - LHiggins

            Hi Kevin, 

            We appreciate your post. We will look into the issue and a member of our Member Services team will reach out to you directly and regret any frustration that this has caused. 

            Thank you again, 

            Community Moderator

    • Kevin Corkhill

      So now that a week has passed since Ancestry asked the person to remove my pictures which she did the same day; I get a message from her on ancestry.

      To Para phrase she says she checked, & there are no pictures of mine  in her tree. And requested that I  not contact her again. 


      I just don't get some people.  I ask for her to list me as a source 3 times she ignores me but 7 days after SHE removes them she finally contacts me with a Request to not contact her as if I had been rude or unreasonable and she was the the agrieved one 

      I would like to contact her and send her the screen captures i took of her page with the pictures on it along with copies of my correspondance with ancestry....Instead I will just ignore it   ARGGHHH




    • Regena Holmes

      I take it from this discussion that each of those complained about for having taken FindAGrave pictures without crediting the photographer have indeed actually taken the photos directly from FindAGrave?  I ask because, of course, once a single individual takes a FindAGrave photo and "adds it" to an profile without crediting the photographer, other subscribers won't have any reason to suspect it as a FindAGrave photo -- they'll just "add it" to their own trees on the assumption that, as it was posted on a "public tree," the person posting it was anticipating that it would be shared among members so they could put it on their own trees. 

      I have added headstone photos I've made to profiles on my tree and had people not copy them directly to their own -created profiles, but rather download them, I assume, and then add them to their profiles as though they were the original contributors.  I don't mind, really.  The prevailing orientation to seems to be that only by sharing among ourselves can we ever hope to pull together much in the way of meaningful profiles.  Actually, what did bother me a bit was when a photo of my mother I attached to her profile was taken and added to her FindAGrave memorial without my permission, even tho' I had created her FindAGrave Memorial.  I'd thought the person who established a FindAGrave Memorial had to be consulted before that memorial could be changed -- & apparently that is true as to information but NOT true when it comes to photos, which can simply be added on.  I got over it. 

      I admit I have not read carefully every single post here, so I do apoligize if in my scanning I missed previous discussion about this issue (that one single person with a public tree taking a photo from FindAGrave and posting it on his or her tree without giving credit to the photographer could easily mushroom into huge numbers of people copying the photo from that profile where it first appeared on to profiles on their own trees without any idea that the the person originally adding it onto a tree wasn't the original photographer.  

      I'm sorry you feel you aren't getting proper credit, but I will tell you that, early on, I would write people and ask permission to copy and use their photos, and after doing that hundreds of times, I only ever had one individual say, "Yes, you have my permission but I want to be credited."  A lot of the other people acted like I was stupid or goofy for asking the question; many said, "I make those photos for the very purpose of contributing them so others may use and enjoy them."  So, while I sympathize with you, I admit I tired of the near universal response to my requests for permission being, essentially, "Why are you bothering me with your silly question?" and it's now been quite a while since I stopped sending requests for permission to use photos, except for those that have a photography studio's name on them.  You have a right to exclusive use of your photos, but it seems clear that most people assume that by posting them on FindAGrave, you are making a gift of them for others' non-commercial use.  -- and that's those who know they originated on FindAGrave.  For those who saw them only on, without your name, and "added" them onto their trees from there, they wouldn't have known the photos were your's.

      • Kevin Corkhill



        This is not all about as you say "I'm sorry you feel you aren't getting proper credit".  In specific someone took photos not of stones but of my family from Find a Grave and not only did not list my find a grave memorials as  sources but removed a logo (watermark)  identifying them as mine and posted them as her own,  This was not an oops kind of thing there was effort put into photo shopping out the logo so that they could be posted as her own.  I really do get how ancestry works with sharing I have been on here for 12 years.  And since I do know how it works I had chosen not to post my picures in any of my public trees.  Everybody wants to paint  me as this old technology challenged grouch demanding attention.  I have really probably over 100 of my photo's of gravestones on trees in ancestry some list my memroials as sources some do not.  These photo's are not my complaint any one can go to the cemeteries and get their own if they wish so I came to the conclusion that I was doing people a favor.   I have dozens of my family pics that were lifted from my F A G memorials and posted here.  Most are sourced and all still have my small logo on them.  So mostly I look the other way because when I contact people to see what info they might have to share about our common ancestor in the picture I usually get no response or just grief.    But this person that I am complaining about not only lifted my scans but photoshopped out the logo.   I must be crazy but I still believe in sourcing everything in my tree.  Do I ask every one I obtain material from if I can have the material NO I do not.   BUT if I am going to display the material publicly I check my source and contact them and ask.   Every one seems quick to defend the genealogical error of not sourcing but blind to the fact that removing identifying features from pictures to claim them as ones own is probably not only unethical but probably even illegal.





    • David Stroebel

      Another problem you have is that there are some people that know that if the photos are more than, say 40 years old or more, that you are not the copyright holder.  You are the copyright holder if you snapped the photo, or had them willed to you in a will. Having possession of the physical photo does not grant you copyright ownership. I do not post any photo anywhere due to this. Sorry you are having difficulties with these people.

      • Kevin Corkhill




        I disagree with your assessment in that these photo's were posted with a copyright notice on a site that has a policy prohibiting re-posting without the original posters consent and they were watermarked.  The person ignored the site rules and my request to not re-post and even removed the watermark.  It was my intent to share these on Find a Grave and I fully knew they could be copied for personal use but to re-post them as ones own after removing identifying features I think just might be illegal.    But having said that, yes I think that if I tried to make a legal issue of this it would be difficult.  I posted them where I did because of site rules prohibiting taking photo's off of others memorials.  It is sad that by sharing photo's I know are unique instead of thanks or positive interactions with family members I get vilified over copyright law.  If  "sharing" something means it no longer is yours and you should just go away.  I think like you I will no longer share online.   And probably not offline as well.  What is really sad to me is that I had only posted a very small fraction of what I had and it was my intention to share the rest with those family members who contacted me.  And that just by asking that I be listed as the source so I might have contact with other researchers I have been attacked as being selfish by those who still have the photo's I posted.  I have been doing research since 1990 and have been on the internet longer than that.   I am not naive I understand the reality of it; but It seems sad that just because things are easy to get online that some think it means that the courtesy you would extend to some one for sharing with you does not apply.   In fact they feel they are entitled to it and the mere suggestion that these photos had a source that someone searched for and physically found these and took the time to scan them and post them and they did not just appear on the internet for their exclusive use seems to anger  them.  It is sad indeed that my polite requests to be listed as a source so as to get contact with others has in fact had the opposite effect.



        • Connie Fall

          Kevin, I agree with you regarding sourcing and have removed my trees from public view, because I had too many errors in them that I didn't want perpetuated. My question here though is how you copyright photos from the past, or even those you've taken yourself, without going through the copyright procedure? You have enlightened me on the Find-a-Grave photos, however, although I don't think I've copied any without asking permission, but, of course, there is always that possibility, since I didn't know I was doing anything wrong. I definitely will be aware of this in the future. Thank you for bring it to my attention,

        • fizzbomb

          Kevin, if you were not the photographer, you should not have posted them on Find A Grave, unless the copyright had expired or you inherited the copyrights.  Per Find A Grave's policies "ONLY post photos for which YOU hold the copyright (meaning photos you took)!!!"

    • Victoria Camp

      Bottom line - as one who contributes photographs to FindAGrave, and has friends who traipse the cemeteries doing same, I resent seeing their photos here without so much as a 'thank you.'

      KEVIN - you can track down each one of those photos if you're irritated enough (I would be!!!) and attach a comment to them - either say 'used without permission of the photographer' or 'Photo taken by .... '. Depends on how you want to approach it. (I don't see any of mine here, but I do see those of friends whom I know have expressly stated they do not want them copied - and religiously go and post a credit. Sometimes if I'm really irritated I do say 'photo used without permission.'

      That way, anyone else who goes to use it gets the same little comment attached to the photo. There are those who wlll still be rude - BUT THEY CANNOT REMOVE YOUR COMMENTS!

      Just my .02 -


      • fizzbomb

        Victoria, the tree owner can remove your comments.

        What you need to do is file a copyright claim to Ancestry to have your original photographic works removed.

    • ellie mae


      I have been using for almost 2 years.  Not daily, maybe weekends, off and on.

      I am confused on this topic - not as related to watermarked photos, but the use of Find-a-Grave's photos and the information and links it contains.

      When one of my "hints" take me to Find-a-Grave, I have copied and pasted the persons' page, along with the photo(s) it contains.  The person who took the photo is listed on the bottom of the photo and that copies along with it.  I just checked, and the individual photo(s) that I have posted on my tree and the photographer's name did not copy along with it.

      This is how I have posted the individual's information on the tree (I have changed the last name so I don't get angry emails in the future!)  Individual photos:


      • EXAMPLE # 1:

      top of photo:

      (Name) FAMILY BURIALS - TOHICKON CEMETERY PHOTO 3 of 3 from Find a Grave

      Photo here

      below the photo:

      TOHICKON CEMETERY PHOTO 3 of 3 from Find a Grave: Tohickon Cemetery, Bedminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA


      EXAMPLE # 2:

      Saved as a "story" on my tree - copy of the "info" page from Find-a-Grave:

      (name) (1859-1925) - Info and photo from Find-a-Grave

      Information on family member including:



      ending with:


      Created by: Tom Myers
      Record added: Aug 03, 2011
      Find A Grave Memorial# 74388021











      Photo here.  (sorry, I couldn't get rid of this gray box)

      Credit below photo is below.

      Added by: Tom Myers






      Now I am confused about this discussion regarding ownership of the photos and information.

      FIND-A-GRAVE disclaimer:



      • Any text, images, photos or other content you submit to Find A Grave, Inc. (Find A Grave) is subject to editorial review. All content you submit must not conflict with the copyright laws of any country, state or other legal entity. No copyright is claimed on non-original or licensed material.

      Accuracy and Content Disclaimer
      • All information provided on official Find A Grave web pages is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between Find A Grave and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Information on official Find A Grave web pages is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Find A Grave makes no guarantees of any kind.
      • The Find A Grave web site may contain information that is created and maintained by a variety of sources both internal and external to Find A Grave. Some pages are unmoderated and may contain the personal opinions and other expressions of the persons who post the entries. Find A Grave does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in these pages or information contained in links to other external web sites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. In no event shall Find A Grave be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services available on or through any page, site or resource.

      Link Disclaimer
      • Any links to external web sites and/or non-Find A Grave information provided on Find A Grave pages or returned from Find A Grave search engines are provided as a courtesy. They should not be construed as an endorsement by Find A Grave of the content or views of the linked materials.


      • ................................................................................................................
      • Could someone please explain what I am doing wrong or not understanding?
      • I thought that the "hints" could be used and added to my trees. 
      • What about the "family tree" hints. 
      • Am I NOT to add this information to my trees? 
      • Then why is there an option once I am one another persons to merge that individual to my own matching person? 
      • I want to do the correct thing and not upset other people. 
      • Thank you so much.  E.



      • Jeff Zupan

        Simply put, you are perfectly entitled to add the information from Find A Grave (and other sites) or other hints and searches to your tree. You may manually enter the dates and places or merge them from the hints and search results.  You may NOT (legally) copy text and photos from those sites into your tree.  There is a vast difference between the information itself and the media which contain it.



      • fizzbomb

        ellie mae, you need to read this portion of Find A Grave's policies:

        "I found a photo of a relative on Find A Grave, can I use it?
        Photos posted to memorials on Find A Grave are copyrighted by the member who submitted the photos. Lifting the photo to use elsewhere would be a violation of copyright. You must obtain written permission from the member to use any photo for your own use. In general if you did not take the photo yourself, you do not hold the copyright to the photo.

        In addition, you should not copy the bio area as that could also be a violation of copyright if the bio is an original writing (not an obituary).

        As others have said, the hints are to show you more information.  You may abstract (glean) the facts, which are not protected by copyright.  But wholesale copying and republishing (posting) on Ancestry is prohibited by Ancestry's Terms & Conditions.  If you  notice, when you receive an Ancestry hint to a FAG memorial and choose to "Save", only the index data you see on Ancestry (name, birth date, death date, place of burial) is saved to your tree. Any time you have to right mouse click (or highlight and "copy") to save something, it's not okay to publish it on Ancestry without permission of the copyright holder.

        For photos and stories you see on Ancestry, there is a Save function, so those are okay to save to your tree.  Again, read Ancestry's Terms & Conditions.  By adding content to Ancestry, users are agreeing to allow others to see and use that content.  But that is only for Ancestry. On other sites, you need to read their Terms of Use documents.

    • Victoria Camp

      Hi, Ellie Mae -

      I would not take it upon myself to represent the entire Ancestry community; will simply state my own thoughts. First - as to Ancestry, did they contract with FindAGrave to suck up the information they're giving to Ancestry members who PAY for this, when FindAGrave is, after all, a FREE SITE? No one knows.I personally find their work here on Ancestry sloppy - they don't update very often, and the info often excludes place of event even if it is on FindAGrave.

      I think all anyone is saying here is 'when you copy/paste a photo, just go into the photo comment area and say 'Photo from FindAGrave member so-and-so.'

      Having said that - I think it's just that somehow, even when someone is an 8th great, people who go to the actual cemetery to pay their respects, or who CANNOT go and ask some caring FindAGrave member to take a photo for them, it somehow feels 'personal.' Having people copy photos is NOT necessarily a bad thing - BUT I will give you an example that is hurtful to all....

      Nathan Abbott who died in Stockbridge Vermont - his grave is everywhere on the site. That photo was taken from a private site (NOT FindAGrave) and all of a sudden there were over 200 instances on Ancestry with NO CREDIT GIVEN to the man who walked and mapped that entire cemetery sothat loving family members could 'visit.'

      What happened was this: Folks who do not do their own research copied this headstone for every single Nathan Abbott in anyone's tree - even though the dates were obviously incorrect. It was a hurtful and anger-inciting incident.

      So what did Ancestry do when contacted about this? Suggest that one had to go through some ridiculous appeal situation to have the image removed. The man who took the photos was not even an Ancestry member. His site had stated explicitly ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      So, while YOU do your homework. and a lot of us do, OTHERS DO NOT. They do not care. I call them the 14-day-freebie folks; and it appears that they show up more and more, copy bad info, and leave. Leaving the bad data out there.

      Another horrible resource is One World Tree, that people copy. I've seen mistakes from a One World Tree I created years ago that had bad data in it copied over and over and over here on Ancestry. What did they say when I cited it? Write us....

      Sorry, I have a huge dispute with Ancestry's ethics. So here's what I suggest (and while I don't LIKE people copying my photos from Find a Grave, well, I put them out there, so I can't control it...'

      What I did is made my tree private. AND I don't put up photos here, either. If you did that, no one could copy your stuff. THAT is up to YOU.

      But, no, your copy/paste doesn't work, and wouldn't. It's database driven, NOT just HTML. There's a difference.

      Just think about putting a credit on the Photo Comments. That's all.

      Again, one more reason I'm bailing on Ancestry. It ain't what it set out to be - a decent exchange amongst righteous genealogists. It's a genealogical Facebook. (again, just my .02).

      In this world without privacy, I sure hate seeing my Mom's death certificate available to the world when she only passed in 2009, with all her info out there for the world to see. ENOUGH.... when people haven't had time to grieve, Ancestry decides it's an okay thing to sell my Mom to the world.

      So, prudence and sensitivity are really all that's required. I don't think anyone's yelling at you, Ellie Mae. I wouldn't!!!  They're just asking politely. And those who don't? Well, they shouldn't scream at somene, who may not even know that it's a courtesy here.



    • Kevin Corkhill


      I agree with you 100 percent.  Your Genealogical facebook comment sums it up.  When I first got on ancestry 11 years ago I posted a tree without realizing that I had left a few of my research "Guesses" on it of course even though I had labeled them as such they soon spread all over ancestry as facts. (I have long since gone private with my tree) There is nothing more frustrating than correcting somebody about one of these research hypothesis that turned out wrong or is still unproven when you know you where the source!   Ellie May is not the pproblem people like her are trying to do the right thing and learn.   I learned the hard way that proper sourcing of documents and pictures is very important..   I have regretted that when I first started I was not as dilligent as I should have been because now when I find some new info and it conflicts with my tree if I can't check my source it makes it hard to know which is correct.  


      • Merry Atric

        You are not alone Kevin.  I wish I too had been more thorough and diligent sourcing when I first entered data and photographs.  I try to make an attempt to contact people when I realize my data is not correct.  The continual scrubbing of my data is all I or anyone can do without completely deleting a tree and starting over. 


    • Bill Feller
        Kevin, I believe I agree with everything you have said. You have a perfect right to be upset, even those who try to Poo-Poo you with comments about just "sharing your toys". I have read all the posts in this thread, and might have comments about quite a few of them, but at my age (or should I say my mental capacity) I cannot recall everything. Maybe simply because Tory is one of the most recent responders, I think she has a pretty good grasp. Previous to her, a few comments were good, while others don't seem to "Get It". ........ ......... About my age & memory as a senior, I mention it to emphasize that I am not totally computer savvy. So some of the conversation about technicalities of links vs websearch, watermarking with software, etc, just goes over my head. I'm doing this as a hobby. I'm not formally educated in genealogy but somewhat experienced(12 yrs), nor am I getting paid. I qualify that, because I get paid almost weekly with Thanks from someone who appreciates gravestone photos I have posted. However, I learned a few years ago to stay away from FindaGrave. Their copyright policy (or lack of enforcement ) combined with other troubles with their people, have led me to find a different place to post my gravestone photos, maybe 30,000 of them in S Dakota. And my coordinator is fantastic to work with, aiding me and others to get our copyrighted photos removed from both F A G and One neat thing about this site is that not only is there a red warning of copyright policy on the front page, but also when you run your cursor over the photo, there is a pop-up right over the photo as a reminder. ....... The sad part of this project, Gravestone Photo Project , is that it is not active in a lot of states. .......... ......... I was never in the military, but I have heard of Weekend Warriors. So I will borrow the term, and admit that I have been a Weekend Warrior Genealogist. But now that I'm retired, altho I have a couple other hobbies, genealogy is now my main hobby. Probably everyone on this board puts a lot of time on genealogy all week. But it is precious time, and we should not have to spend our time going back to make comments on pirated photos or stories or whatever from F A G or any other site. It IS REAL PROBLEM in the world today. Copyright violation, Pirating, or such stealing is rampant(think of the music industry). People have little regard for each other when it come to the Information Highway, be it cell phones, internet, or written media. Yes, those media certainly keep people in touch, but FAMILY HAS BROKEN DOWN. Those of us seriously doing genealogy may be the exception to the rule. The weekend genealogists (and there are exceptions to this too), are the ones who don't respond when we try to contact them, either to credit us for our hard work, or just to share more as a family member. ........ ........Back to F A G, I was somewhat surprised when I started getting hints here on for photos from F A G of relatives. More than that, I was upset with I refuse to link to anything from FAG, for reasons stated above. Sure, F A G is free, but that is not the point. So is lots and lots and lots of misinformation on the net about our family members. And that gets multiplied hundreds of time, as pointed out by Tory( I believe). The One World Tree is another joke, (not that i really need to repeat the previous statements about OWT). ...... ....... ......Ok, I'm sure I could have rambled on more, but this is enuf. I hope my thoughts can be followed, as I know that sometimes I am misunderstood. I always know(well usually) know exactly what I mean or want to say. ........ ....BTW. Altho I am writing this in paragraphs, it all seems to be posted iin one paragraph. I'm using Safari. My Firefox won't even allow me to post here in the Forum. Wild Bill
      • Bill Feller
          LOL...... Kevin, I guess you are not the only naughty boy using bad language here. I just realized that in my above post I used F A G for FindaGrave and it got censored out. I suppose everyone got it, or gets my drift. ....... ....... .... Now, I would like to post my own related experience, but think I should do it in another thread. HELP. PLEASE. Where? Which Forum? .... A distant relative has posted here on, a photo of my mom and some gravestone photos I put on F A G. Now Ancestry is offering a hint to me to copy those photos into my tree here. It says my distant cousin was the original poster, with no credits given to me, who originally posted them on FindaGrave. Is this the fault of my cousin, or the so-called glitch in Ancestry? I really think F A G and Ancestry need to be more ethically responsible......Anyhow, is this a question I should pose to Product Team, or just where? Thanks.....Wild Bill
        • Moderator - LHiggins

          Hi Wild Bill, smiley

          To create your own new post simply click here. The "Product How-To - Get a boost from the community" forum is probably the best forum for your post, but feel free to review the discussion topics to decide if another forum would work best for you. 


          Community Moderator

          • Bill Feller
             Thanks, Moderator Higgins. Is it surprising to say that I am still confused about the set-up of forums? It seems that there is a place to suggest or comment/complain about how things work. Is that in a Feedback? or Product Team that someone referred to? Is a post to the Team open to discussion?
            • Victoria Camp

               Bill - be vigilant in your choice of which community you post to. Every time I've tried to find a place to make my comments about the stealing of images or the bulky, awkward, overkill image viewer with the lousy image resolution (my two main gripes) I've been written to by the moderator saying that they are 'taking the post down because it is not relevant.' (whatever that means).... rather than them moving it to a thread where it IS pertinent. Apparently any negative comments are not welcome.

              As to removing photos, good luck with that. Seriously. See my lengthy post below (if it doesn't get removed.)

              Warm regards.


            • Moderator - LHiggins

              Hi Wild Bill, 

              Thanks for asking these questions.  If you are asking these questions, then chances are others are asking them too. smiley  Where you post your feedback/suggestions depends on what you are providing feedback/suggestions on.

              If you would like to provide feedback or a suggestion regarding the Support Community you would do that in the "Community Feedback & Suggestions" .  This is accessible from the "Community Home".  Here you would have open discussions with the Ancestry Support Community Team regarding feedback/suggestions regarding the community site.  

              If you want to provide feedback or suggestions regarding Product (also referred to as, include subjects (but not limited to) such as: 

                   Advanced Search                            Message Boards   
                   Family Tree Maker                          My Account (
                   Learning Center                              NEW Search
                   Member Trees                                 
              Product does not come into the community site as this is a place mostly for peer-to-peer assistance.  You would post your feedback/suggestions or anything related to new features and functionality for the Product Team in their feedback channel, which they monitor. This is their feedback form rather than a place for discussion. 

              Hope that makes sense.  

              In reference to the removal of photos due to copyrights, let me research that.  We hope to have a response to your question shortly.

              Community Moderator

              • Moderator - LHiggins

                Hi Bill, 


                Here is the information that was provided in response to your other question on the removal of media due to copyright violations (some of which I believe Jeff Zupan and others in this tread have touched upon).  

                First whenever a person submits content to Ancestry, they have to acknowledge and agree to Ancestry's Content Submission, which basically says that any media they upload to their tree/individual belongs to them and will not violate the property or other rights of other people or organizations. Then a reminder is given each time new media is added that says the following: 

                All content submissions are subject to the Content Submission Agreement, which you have previously accepted.

                Find-A-Grave doesn't block photos from being copied, but they do have a disclaimer that photos on their site are copyrighted.  

                In your particular case, I would suggest contacting your distant cousin and requested that they either remove the photo or at the very least asked them to credit you for the photos and then if they do not comply, please send an email with the following information to

                • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to be infringed, and the basis of the claim
                • Identification of the material which is claimed to be infringing, including the URL
                • Full contact information on the claimed copyright owner. This should include the name, address, telephone, fax and email information.
                • A statement that the information sent is accurate and the complaining party is the owner.
                • A physical or electronic signature of the claiming party

                Hope that helps clarify things on how you can submit your copyright violations to

                Community Moderator 


        • Kevin Corkhill


                 The experience if recieving hints that turn out to be your own material from another site is frustrating.  The problem seems to be the pay to share format of ancestry itself.  Apparently ancestry management  not only lets the subscribers supply the content they seem to have a hands off approach on as much of the process as possible.   I subsribe for access to census records and other documents not trees.   I used to check trees for hints but I find they are often riddled with errors and guesses.  I have yet to come across an example of the "glitch"  and personally have only found ceses where someone had either through inexperience or intent decided to repost material in a way that denied credit to the original poster.    
                As to where to post questions on this subject; I only posted mine here because I found no other place in the forums to post it.
                Regarding DNA I have always wanted to have it done but it isn't economicaly feasable right now.   I am of Manx descent and my name Corkhill is supposedly derived from the Norwegian Thorketyl.  On the island of Man a good percentage of the population have Viking ancestry and I think with my last name I would have Viking roots.  A DNA test would provide that info wouldn't it?


          • Bill Feller
             Kevin, ..While I may look at other Tree hints, I would never incorporate them. Just looking at them makes me cringe at all the errors. If I am really bored or disgusted, I try to write to the owners to make them aware of their mistakes. But very little response. You know how that goes. .... ....Sometimes I forget, and just presume that anyone in this forum is a paid subscriber to Ancestry. But that is not required, I guess. Anyhow, for subscribers the $129 cost of the DNA test does not seem too terrible. And actually, Diana got hers for that price, then Ancestry ran a special before Christmas, so mine was only $99. Well worth either price. Diana has actually connected with over 30 new cousins, I think, since Dec. One side of her ancestors came to the US pre-Revolutionary, so she has lots of US relatives. (I believe the test is only sold in the US yet). ....Since Jan I have only connected (with actual records) 5 new cousins, out of 10 who are suggested about 96% probablilty 3rd-6th cousins. I don't know where my Irish ancestors came from, so that is my limiting factor. .... .... But no, actually the ethnicity part of the test is nothing more than a starting point for conversation, like " Nice weather today". We do not necessarily inherit genes that tell us where all our ancestors lived. I think 1/3 or 1/2 of my ancestors came from France & Germany, but my test doesn't show any central European genes.........Further, the test says i am 11% scandanavian, but i am not aware of any scandanavian ancestors. They are probably linked in with my British/Irish genes. Most of my suggested matches who are British also have Scandanavian genes. Your test may or may not show your Scandanavian genes. .....There is supposed to be a new forum designated just for DNA, but I haven't found it yet.
          • Jeff Zupan

            "A DNA test would provide that info wouldn't it?"

            The short answer is "no".  The test will tell you that it's highly likely, on a statistical probabilty basis, you have a large percentage of Scandinavian heritage. DNA provides more precise data only when the results of two (or more) individuals are directly compared. And unless you actually discuss things with those individuals, surnames will never be mentioned.

            Too many people are listening to the marketing hype.  DNA testing is just another tool to be used along with all the others.  DNA testing only works by comparing and matching. On its own, it does NOTHING.  Even those cute little semi-inaccurate ethnicity pie charts are only the reflection of comparing your results to all the others previously tested.

            Would I recommend you get tested? Emphatically YES!  The more people who test, the bigger the reference database grows. The bigger the database, the more accurate the results.

            (I envy Bill. In five months I've only managed one remotely possible connection.)

            • Bill Feller
               Jeff, Are you serious? After my first day of results back I couldn't find any sign of a real cousin with my matches ( I think 5 were 96%). And my ethnicity showed I was not Central European, but I WAS Scandanavian. So I started calling Ancestry, thinking they screwed up my test. Then the next day Diana found one of my surnames in a subsidiary( but not linked) tree belonging to a "match". From there I realized my test was good, but that I just wasn't getting as many cousins as Diana( I lied, she only has proven about 25 so far). Anyhow, that first match was with a 2nd cousin, once removed, who has a treasure trove of family heirlooms and photos of ancestors that I had never seen. Just that one was worth the cost. .....And since then I have connected with 4 more positive cousins. ....... KEVIN......Since you haven't taken the test yet.... ..... You will get "genetic matches", hundreds of them, ranging from probability of 95-99%, to moderate, to low, to very low and from 2nd to 3rd to 4-6th to 5-8 distant cousins. ....... ......Jeff...... can you tell us when, or direct us to the new specific DNA forum? Will you transfer posts like this to that new forum? Thanks.......Wild Bill
              • Jeff Zupan

                Yes, I'm serious. And I do look at the presented trees and not just the shared surnames. I have found four connections with in-laws. But only two actually genetic matches, one of which proved to be unfounded and the other we're still discussing. Neither one of us have paper trees that go back far enough to really make a connection, although there is some circumstantial evidence.

                To be fair, though, they did find three real connections. But they were all people that I already knew about and was already in communication with, so I don't credit the DNA system for them.

                In all, I'd guess my "matches" are 95% 5th through 8th very low confidence. And half are no tree/private tree.  It takes a maddening amount of time to step through these to find non-"common surnames" since the pages take forever to load. And of course, they provide no searching or sorting capabilities.

                On Feb. 15 we were told the DNA forum would show up in "approximately two weeks". We are now approaching three weeks with no forum in sight.  They say all DNA related posts will be transfered. Whenever it happens.

          • Merry Atric

            Kevin, The "glitch" I spoke of was intermittent toward the end of 2012 and involved the Syncing feature between an on-line tree and a desktop program, Family Tree Maker tree.  If you haven't experienced that "glitch" you are fortunate.  Ancestry's developement team is now aware and is presently researching the problem but cannot explain how it happened in the first place.  Although they assured me it had been fixed in a recent patch.  I recognize the problem of users uploaded a photo of multiple people individually to each person in the photo who is in their tree as well as the same with documents.  I assist other users when I find this to be the case and walk them through clean-up but, the multiple records and multiple photo glitch was not a result of inexperienced people not aware they can attach more than one person to a photo or document.

            The "Glitch" I speak of caused many with large trees months of clean-up.  Some people disconnected the sync with their tree and reloaded it to as a new tree.  Therein lies virtually thousands upon thousands of photos that previously had source and repository information stripped.  The Family Tree Maker program does not store that information.  So when you find someone who has snagged your photo without acknowledgement to the originator I suggest you check all the photos in their tree and you find a common upload date when they reloaded their tree after cleaning up triplicate and quadruplicate records.  I have a public tree and even with my clean-up I was able to find numerous examples to show the support desk so that they could show their developement and programming department.

            All in all I have found it rewarding finding the few people who properly document information. 

            My purpose for this post is to caution anyone against using the Sync feature until we can be assured that it will never happen again.


        • Jeff Zupan

          Find A Grave is basically a volunteer site and they rely on members self-policing and being responsible citizens. Users are told all about copyright and other ownership issues somewhere in the FAQ.  Three problems arise with copying. One - no one reads the FAQ unless they're really looking for an answer to something.  Two - most people really don't understand copyright anyway and think that it only applies to commercial use. Three - there is no way to attribute ownership when downloading.

          On the Ancestry side, "original poster" only refers to the person who uploaded the photo. They have no way of knowing who the original owner was. So if you want "fault", it's your distant cousin who did not provide the proper attribution of the source. This is one of the few things you can't really blame Ancestry for.

          • Victoria Camp

             Jeff, see my post down the page. While it's true one 'cannot blame Ancestry for' the actual copying, as I' said in my longer post - they set the standard. There's no reason for people who are ethical and caring to suppose it is NOT OKAY to copy, it's fostered and encouraged by Ancestry.

            THAT, i.e. the lack of having an ETHICS AND COURTESY statement where people can VIEW IT - i.e. on the FRONT PAGE (not that most will - I probably wouldn't...) would at least be helpful.


            • Jeff Zupan

              In this instance, I stand by the :can't blame Ancestry" statement, as you acknowledge.  In return, i acknowledge that they "set the standard" and make no effort to educate their members or even inform them of "proper" behavior.  Yes, some sort of Ethics and Courtesy guidelines would be welcome. In fact, any sort of proactive communication from Ancestry to the memberbership would be refreshing. 

              The larger problem is that for decades the American public has been indoctrinated into an entitlement mindset.  "It's all about me".  And more relevant to this thread, "If it's on the internet, it's free for the taking".  Asking for a return to a culture of respect and civility is like fighting a forest fire with a squirt gun.



              • Victoria Camp

                 Jeff -

                Your writing is excellent! What a phenom statement!

                I DO carry a squirt gun, just in case. Better than nothing.

                Antiquated hippie here.... who occasionally grieves for the state of the 'me, me, me' of the American public.

                Well said!


    • Victoria Camp

      Nicely said, Bill, and thank  you for the compliment. (smile).

      Please note that even with a 'social' site like Facebook, one has to be 'friends' with another in order to view/respond/copy data. I hate Facebook, and have long since stopped using it. NOW, Ancestry offers to share our data on a Social site some of us do not even belong to?

      Point being - PRIVATE tree is the way to go - BUT, I think (in the past) I've found that this does not make PHOTOS private. Maybe now it does - it appears to.

      That way, one can 'invite' someone else to view the tree - like a 'Facebook Friend.'

      Still I find it appalling. That and the lousy graphics - THOSE are the two main reasons I'm no longer tolerant of Ancestry.

      NOTE: some members are wonderful! I emailed 40 of them and said 'Your family member so-and-so was NOT a witch in Salem, that was another person by the same name.' EVERY SINGLE ONE of them wrote back and thanked me.

      NOW, after 4 years of working diligently, communicating politely with others, and making changes to HORRIFIC transcriptions (TOWNS of people on the Censuses, appalling...) I find that I could have had an annual discount for doing work that I DID FOR FREE, and they never mentioned that to me in the 'thank you for participating in Ancestry' emails they inundate me with each time I fix a name? That offer is hidden way away from the public eye.... and I grimace, because I simply anticipate that I will be expected to work for below minimum wage to do just that.

      Well, I've strayed from the topic at hand - but seriously, I'll keep my photos to myself, thank you. Even ONE I shared with a distant family member is all over the Ancestry site, and again - used often for the wrong person. I RESENT THAT.

      There are those that are here just to see how many 'family members' they can 'collect...' and copy photos even though those relatives so ridiculously distant... well.... I'm going to stop my rant. I've spoken to Ancestry many times over the years about their photo and RECENT DEATH data. The only reply I get is 'well, you could write us...,' or 'We will pass that along...'

      As if that will help. After all, for CEOs, the salary comes first. I'd rather use the money to pay for sites that charge less and have better quality images.

      That is, if Ancestry doesn't suck them all up first.

      If they buy FindAGrave, I can guarantee you every single photo and piece of data that I manage is COMING DOWN.

      In fact, I think I"ll do that anyway....

      Warmly to all -






      • Jeff Zupan

        Tory -

        I agree with most of what you have to say.  In my case, there are so few people researching my families that the stolen photo issue has never really been a problem. But there have been just enough cases of my pix showing up on the tree of the second cousin of the uncle of greatgrandpa's second wife (i.e. a total stranger), that I've taken them all down. I now have two trees, one public with some data edited out and only events from Ancestry and FamilySearch attached. The second is private, with complete data and additional individuals provide by paid research. I'm sure as heck not going to put that out there for the "name harvesters" to scoop up. But still no photos since they serve no purpose. I use Ancestry for research, not as "social media", even though they are trying hard to turn it into Facebook West.

        You should keep in mind (as it seems you do) that to, genealogy (and now DNA testing) is merely a product to be marketed. As long as your credit card is approved, they don't have much other interest.

        Now that they've been taken private, they're not required to publish their financials.  We can no longer go to the corporate site and see the tens of millions of dollars they're sitting on. Assets they only seem to use to buy competitors rather than maintain and upgrade a sorely broken system.

        But Find A Grave is a different story. It's basically a volunteer site.  It is such an important asset to so-o-o-o many people that I beg
        you to not even dream about removing anything.

        And to Mary Neal (below), I can only quote Mr.Spock: "Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".  Stories like hers are rare, while tales of theft are legion (at least on these forums).  My mantra has become simply "If you don't want it copied by everyone, don't post it. Period"  Cynical? Yes, extremely.  But despite "friending" and "inviting", if something is on the web, somewhere, sometime, somehow, it WILL be copied.


        • Merry Atric

          Jeff and Tory, I am not exactly sure why the quote from Mr. Spock but I do believe that only by collaborating and sharing information will we find the answers we all seek in less time than when I was sitting on courthouse basement floors looking through records.  I don't fault private trees that have issues or have gone to the expense of paying for their research and don't wish to share, that is as long as they are not "havesting" data and photos from public trees.   I do have issue with private tree owners who continually "harvest" information from my tree and then don't respond to my messages or comments.  

          A public or private tree on Ancestry, just as in the authorship of a book, it is up to the discretion of the reader to determine the value, the worth and the accuracy of the information within. I learned a long time ago the importance of more than one footnote proving data. But, the onus is on each of us to keep our own camp clean.

          I too have a situation with a distant cousin and I was, for a time,  extremely annoyed with him.  He fancies himself as being the authority on my great-grandmother’s family of which I inherited all her tintypes and photos and records.  I worked over 20 years identifying those photos by sending of photocopies to all the elderly people in the family and many took part reducing my pile of unidentified photos to a fraction of what I started with.  As soon as was available I scanned and uploaded each of these photos only to have this distant cousin immediately snag every single one and either post it or crop it without any credit to my being the originator and the repository for the photo.  It was very thoughtless and a bit narcissistic on his part but spinning my wheels to force him through Ancestry to take them down seemed a bit pointless.  He now has a private tree and can virtually do whatever he wants with photos I had taken and those I inherited without my having any knowledge.  Do I regret sharing the photos, no.  Do I hold him in low regard, yes.  Does he care, I seriously doubt it. 

          My story is not rare as I am still being contacted by distant cousins uncovering facts and information about either my photos or a new one in the family that has been identified as a result of one that I posted; not uncommon at all.  Several of the contacts have come for being matched through DNA and then discovering we had similar family photos. 

          As for DNA testing, yes it is a product to be marketed.  All the free DNA testing laboratories offering genealogy collaboration lost funding.  Ancestry bought one or we would not have the advantage of DNA testing connected to the most successful genealogical website of our time.  I am truly baffled by those availing themselves of the test and then holding their tree private, what is the point?

          • Victoria Camp

             Wow, Mary!

            What an adept comment on the authorship. I kept groping for a solid explanation of why I felt 'privacy' issues were important. Even on Facebook, unless you INVITE someone, they cannot view your material.

            So it's a learning curve on Ancestry - it didn't take me long at all to figure out that public means just that... when I saw a photo of my grandmother in the 'search' area, I quickly took it down and stopped putting photos up altogether. I was even afraid they'd eventually somehow make their way to GOOGLE images... just as the INCORRECT information about some of my relatives shows up as 'Ancestry facts' when you google on their names (So and so had such and such wife and X children.) Heaven knows where they get that info; it's usually wrong and no way to correct it - it's just an ad, per se, to get people to sign up, but it's THERE, and WRONG.

            DNA is another animal altogether. I had an uncle do his, but I can't even really understand it (and I'm not exactly stupid...) Ours got delivered in scientific terms that would cause me to seek another degree in order to truly comprehend it. Even the 'Help' was delivered in that manner - no layperson's interpretation. I wonder if they're deliberately vague so that you order more tests....

            So I don't share it only because I don't understand it. I realize that DNA is a collaborative effort, and totally support that. But what WE are looking for cannot be determined - i.e. a family word-of-mouth passed down story of a full Native American ancestor... a woman, passed down thru my father's line.

            So, Mary - all I'm really saying here is thank you for sharing your thoughts; well said. I'm SO sorry about you distant cousin - we all have them, including me.... and one, like yours, who TOTALLY claims authority. Grrrr.  I trust that MANY people here (as I interpret Jeff's comment) are kind and considerate and therefore data should be shared, but there are others who are not, and feel that anything they 'pay for' - thru Ancestry - is THEIRS.

            I'm more inclined to agree with the 'privacy' and 'authorship.' I didn't sign up here to do others work for them.

            Aggravating, isn't it?


            • Merry Atric

              I know you have left Ancestry but hopefully the door will remain open if you decide to change your mind Tory.  I think "aggravating" is a good adjective in summation of the endeavor to research ones lineage.  I guess I am more inclined to share what I have learned from my years lurking around graveyards, in basements of courthouses, gathering family records, etc. I know at this point I am not going to write a best seller on the topic. In all those years, prior to computer genealogy, I learned that the accuracy of any information was illusive no matter how reliable the source appeared to be.  It is no different once computers came on the scene only inevitable  In 1978 I started with a genealogy report that a member of my family paid a professional genealogist to compile. My first visit to the Mormon Library opened my eyes as to the accuracy of the professional who charged a nominal fee. Apparently little research was involved other than copying the records from proxy Baptisms which uncovered my great grandfather being listed and Baptized over 12 times and connected incorrectly to many different families one which the professional had picked which happened not to be my family.  So the reality is that the Garbage in, Garbage out" theory has been around for a long, long time by less than stellar researchers. 

              I am not even remotely close to understanding DNA but I keep reading and reading.  I have worked with several distant cousins that matched between the 4th and 6th with 96% accuracy.  We were able to make the connection and it has proved extrodinarily gratifying.  Also, several distant cousins I have collaborated over the years on Ancestry turned up on my DNA report.  That was truly gratifying because it verified for both of us that we definitely had not ventured off the path, or tree. 

              Some other very illusive bits of information came from my years of searching (over 20) for my Cherokee blood on one Nancy Jane Turnipseed that my grandfather on my mother's side told me was his great grandmother.  Then on my father's side of the family my great grandfather could quote all the direct descendants of Pochohantas down to himself.  For generations family lore had our family related to Pocahontas.  Something I have yet to uncover and if my DNA can be believed my Native American Indian blood would have to be floating in the 1% Unknown.  Family Lore, even though heavily dependant on by the Irish (of which there is a big chunk in my DNA), is more than just a bit "aggravating" but I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor Tory.  It is always worth the aggravation.

              Warm regards, Mary Neal

    • Merry Atric

      I have a huge vintage photo collection consisting of paper, daguerrotypes, and tintypes.  I inherited the photo collections from my mother, my aunt, a cousin and each of my grandmother's and great grandmothers'.  Even though I have been frustrated with irresponsible people taking advantage of what I have posted I have never regretted sharing the hundreds of photos I have scanned, if not into the thousands by now.  I had a large number of unidentified photos that only by connecting with distant cousins on ancestry have we each been able to reduce our stockpile of unidentified photos.  I was able to identify a baby picture of my grandmother that was priceless.  Had I not shared that unidentified photo on ancestry I never would have received the response from a newly found distant cousin who had the same photo with my grandmother's name written on the back.  Think twice before you close the door on sharing what you do have as you might be cutting yourself off from collaborating on photos that will enhance the experience for everyone. 

    • Victoria Camp

       Hi, all - thanks for all the thoughtful posts. I've been reading, but I'm no longer an Ancestry member for reasons I've cited and agreed with, above. Fortunately, I have a big, loving family of cousins - and together we've pretty well identified the photos that we all share and own. I'm the photoshopper - so have repaired and 'cleaned' the tattered ones. As a child, I often sat with my Dad and (in my childish handwriting) wrote the names of people on the back - he loved sharing those pieces of information, as did his brothers and sisters; so I guess I'm more fortunate than most. Ergo, the sharing of photos is NOT done here nor outside our own private 'family.' I do NOT like seeing photos of my intimate family on trees such as the one Kevin cited; it's a disease that some have here called 'collecting people.'

      Jeff, I'm grinning at your very adept phrase 'Facebook West.'

      PRIMARY REASON I LEFT and WILL NOT BE BACK: That's all it is now - junk. I'm thoroughly disgusted at the reduced image quality and the awkwardness of saving documents with all the extra clicking from the 'media server' - if you're not fast enough, they only half-save; that's my VERY PRIMARY reason for leaving - if you look at old censuses and documents, they used to be at 150px per square inch, now Ancestry globally cut those by half. AND, they 'share' with their 'partners' to provide 'documentation without documents' and VERY BADLY transcribed data. The new image viewer with its SUPER DUPER OVERKILL flashy underlining also caters to the '14-days-for-free' crowd; a quick highlighted look at what APPEARS to be a family member (if people look at all...) an boom - add it to your site. Click quickly and wham! You now have 2000 people attached to your tree.

      I have Scandanavian roots. GOOD LUCK with THOSE records. They copped those from the Swedes, and now they've started to transcribe, with NO UNDERSTANDING of what the records contain. A little study of the structure and understanding of Swedish geography (records were registered in Parishes; but there is NO SUCH TOWN. Ancestry has transcribed them all as though the parish was the town.

      Ah, I'm done ranting. Basically, the only thing I've been grateful for in the past is the immediate availability of the census documents (most of which I'd already gathered in the 90s at the Mormon Church WITHOUT the assistance of the internet) - it's shamefully RAPID to find this stuff! That has been nice.

      But for the sake of bandwidth, one supposes, they've cut the quality of the images so badly that one cannot print them or even read them properly close up; they pixellate into NOTHINGNESS. Whoever, as I've said many times, is making decisions in charge of the graphics production should be FIRED.

      It's really sad - stealing of photos and data from FindAGrave is tragic THEFT on the part of Ancestry, so you can see why people here think it's okay to copy anything - Ancestry sets the standard, itself. Old, rotten data from One World Tree and whatever those other silly 'Family data' sites are they copped that are meaningless without the research behind them - and the thievery of community-run and provided information - well, we are doing THEIR work for them, are we not?

      And paying for it, on top of that?

      I don't think so. Ethics are a big part of my own life. Be well, all- and thank you for your insights, positive and negative. They're all valid and very interesting; I've totally enjoyed this exchange. If nothing else, it's total proof that Ancestry doesn't pass along any customer opinions; I would think that some of the things we (mainly I) have said here would have caused them to take the posts DOWN or close the thread.

      STEALING IS WRONG. PERIOD. Kevin, thanks for starting this thread. I know there IS SOME WAY to contact Ancestry and ask them to remove the photo, but good luck with that. You have to go through a lot of paperwork to PROVE it was originally yours. A friend of mine did try, with no success, and while a few were removed, people continue to put it BACK; which means the paperwork would have to be done over and over again.

      Warm regards to all - I will miss the lively interchange and interaction of serious others, such as all of you here... but I will not miss what started out as a serious site that has tanked into Jeff's 'Facebook West.'




      • Bill Feller
        Like Tory, I think Kevin sparked some good exchange. Not all was pertinent to the original topic, but nevertheless it got some people listening, thinking, and contributing. .......Kevin, I hope it has helped. I know that every once in awhile i need to get on a soap box and vent too. When we spend lots and lots of time, effort, and maybe money, we just need some appreciation, sometimes in the form of just being credited, a thank you, or even a simple response rather than being ignored or told to "Never contact me again". I know all those feelings....... Hopefully here is a story for a happy ending..... 2 days ago I messaged someone who was saving things from my public tree to his private tree. I simply asked if we might be related. After a day and a half of no response (other than him saving more records that I had actually traveled to Europe to get), I messaged him again, briefly saying that the tree he was saving things to had no name common to my relatives. He finally responded simply giving the name of his wife. I have one person in my relatives who married someone with her maiden surname. So I suggested how we might be related that way. His simple response was to give 6 or 7 generations or his wife's direct ancestors, 1/2 of which are my relatives. I had to show him his error in confusing people with the same name, suggesting he separate my relatives from his wife's, and that I still might be able to help him find her correct ancestors. Not giving up, his next brief response was to reference the 1910 census, containing that common name "Henry". So from there I just decided to research his wife's relatives. And since I like to thorough in my research, I found that I already knew who her real ancestors were --- same surname as mine, lived in the same states, and even both in Luxembourg, but not related( as far as I have found yet). ..... So here I was trying to collaborate with someone and could barely get a response, as tho I was invading HIS privacy. Anyhow, making a much longer story short, I did a bunch more research on his wife's family and last sent him a couple messages telling him a big bunch about his wife's family. So far now, after 4-5 hours, he is not responding for some reason. So far today I have gone thru a lot of feelings, from being ready to give the guy a piece of my mind, to feeling sorry for someone who doesn't know how to use tools for research, to joy of finding 3 generations of ancestors for someone, to amazement at lack of further response or appreciation, etc. ......... It's all part of what we do when we are hooked on genealogy, isn't it?
    • Victoria Camp


      Nice of you to say. I think everyone here has had some very valid points. I am not one to judge those who see differently than I, but I think a lot of points got made. For the most part, my experience with others here has ranged from warm to courteously cool. Sounds like 'your guy' may have reasons for not responding ranging from indifference to resentment; who can ever tell?

      What you did, though, was thoughtful and caring. THAT is the point...

      I wrote to over 60 people at one point here, probably took me 3 days...  they had MY  'Elizabeth Jackson' in their tree, who was also THEIR correct Elizabeth Jackson who was married to a man named Boynton. They came to America on the same boat with a man named Jackson who ALSO fathered an Elizabeth, who married a man named Howe.. THAT Elizabeth (not MY Elizabeth), but Elizabeth Howe, was eventually hung as a witch. SO......... I guess that was exciting to folks and they just took the word of whomever started the 'bad chain.'

      I wanted to ensure that MY (THEIR) Elizabeth was NOT cited as daughter of William Jackson, so I wrote (warmly and politely) to each one, referring to their OWN tree in the subject, and pointing them to documented evidence. I knew I was setting myself up for being ignored or responded to rudely, but, like you, I believe in eliminating what 'garbage-in, garbage-out' that I can. (Referring to that 'squirt gun' that I carry from Jeff's earlier, very humorous statement.

      Without exception (yes, I tracked it), each one wrote back and thanked me. AND made the change. There were only 2 online that hadn't been on Ancestry for MONTHS; for those, I went to their page and wrote a COMMENT saying 'this is patently incorrect.'

      Yes, I've had a couple of non-responses here over the years I was a member, and a terse, non-follow up, like you. But again, that's on THEM, right?

      So again, it's ETHICS. Maybe your guy has a heart; you never know. And if not, ah well... we do what we can.

      Since I've been away, in the past week, I've found free alternate sources for almost everything here (kinda like when I got rid of cable and found out tht most of the channels I watched were actually free...) GRIN.

      I LIKED Ancestry. AND folks such as the ones in this forum I met. I just can't tolerate bad graphics - it's my profession and it irks me undyingly. I've found sources since (in the last week) with high-resolution alternatives. It's all good.

      I don't mind sharing, either - BUT, having said that, I kept my tree private because I came here NOT for SOCIAL NETWORKING, but to do my research. It's a side of Ancestry that I never really cared for (member connect) and I can't say I've found any clues that aided me in any way. So, that wasn't my reason for being here, ever. The shaky leaves didn't float my boat.

      I was, on the other hand, ALWAYS HAPPY TO SHARE INFORMATION with those who contacted me. I have even emailed close relatives photos of lovd ones they did not have. BUT THEY, TOO, did not want to have photos of OUR family all over the 'net. Let's face it, up to about 4 generations back, there's NO PHOTO that exists, anyway... for someone my age, at least. Those few I've met have felt 'private' about it too. I've not found ANYONE here that is 'distantly' related that even gives a hang about the photos; they're happy to have the info.

      So, that sums it up. Hoping Ancestry fixes the lousy images and lousy image viewer. Until then, I'll save my dollars. It IS a good place to do one's work and SHARE (WITH DISCRETION.)

      Folks like all of you here. SUPER!



      • Bill Feller
         Thanks Mary & Tory for your comments. ..... The comment "ranging from indifference to resentment, who can ever tell" really hits home. .......Here is more of the story... I told yesterday that I had last sent 2 messages of more info without response. Well, I mis-spoke, because today it seems he only got one (but at least it told him who his wife was really related to and a website of her relatives). For some reason the other message never got sent. So I did another message with the same and more info. But that didn't send. So I was about ready to call Ancestry to see if their message service was on the blink. After one more fruitless try, I resorted to finding one of the referrals to the guy, where he saved my family info to his private tree. When I tried to "contact" him, I got a message I never got before... something like "This user is not accepting any messages". Then came even MORE feelings. Maybe you gals are all wrong about me. I'm really a bad boy, to be avoided. ........"who can ever tell? " , "you never know, And if not, ah well...we do what we can." LOL ....... ....... After all this discussion, i've had real strong thoughts of making my tree private. But so far I have resisted. My tree is called Feller-Forret Documented, with only 538 people, but documented with 2115 sources (official documents, almost no photos(none from F A G). So i'm hoping that if anyone wants to copy info on my relatives, it will be accurate info from MY tree, avoiding repeated copied errors(which a few of you may have noticed in your own families??? ) I guess I would rather deal with people who copy correct info from me(even if copyrighted) than deal with all the incorrect info on my relatives.............. Wild Bill
    • Merry Atric

      Wild Bill, nah; I still think you’re one of the good boys. 

      Tory, I haven’t had the experience you have had with the resolution, at least on screen.  I will have to look into it and try printing something.  I hadn’t noticed difficulty with saving documents to my tree either.  Maybe I have missed noticing the awkwardness.  I rarely print any documents anymore from Ancestry or any other sites for that matter. I have a cupboard full of notebooks, filled with documents, from past research before much of the information went on-line.  I am trying desperately to not add more as I have run out of room to put another bookshelf.  Besides, no one in the family, so far, is showing any interest in wanting to take over my hobby in the near or distant future.    

      And to both Tory and Wild Bill: The "indifference to resentment" I quantify as a potentially bad relationship I am better off without. My feeling is that you will only receive the acknowledgement and recognition they are capable of giving which appears to be none. In most of these situations it appears to be the unrefined and/or the very self-absorbed; you'll never receive a decent response from them. The more opportunities they have to ignore you the more satisfied they are. These days I do make the effort to point out errors to people but if they don’t respond to my first message I don’t follow-up.  You are very patient Wild Bill.

      Like I have said before, I am in a constant state of scrubbing my tree from mistakes I made early on. Copying errors from other user trees is not the only nemesis I face.  Deciphering the numerous errors in transcription of valid records is also a huge challenge.

      I will continue to keep my tree public and probably always will. No matter the weather, when I step out on my front porch to enjoy the time I get to work in my garden I do it because of my love for my garden. When a friendly neighbor passes by to admire what I have accomplished I feel appreciated on top of all the joy my garden has brought me. And, sometimes I have to replace plants people have helped themselves to or pickup after a dog that has an errant master. I wouldn't dream of staying inside with the door locked because I can't stand the jerk who lives next door or the people who don't bother picking up after their dog. But, that's me. My yard is not a public park but can be admired by the public and many have gone home and copied my ideas into their landscaping.  I still maintain that the ability to collaborate openly and publicly advances the research far more than a lot of closed doors you have to stand and knock at in hopes that at some point the door will open.

      I do wish that those with private trees, that don’t want to bother with being contacted, set their security settings so that their private tree does not come up in a search.  If that rule were followed then wemight have a better idea as to whether or not a private tree owner will bother with a response.

      Good luck to you both,  Mary Neal


    • Moderator - LHiggins


      Hi Everyone, 

      We have a had some really great discussions or as Bill stated "Exchanges".  smileyBoth pro and con on the issue and some that have strayed just a little from the topic, but great discussions all around. It does seem that the initial discussion regarding the post has run it's course and so we are going to close comments to this post here. We would like to encourage you to create a new / similar post in the support community that matches your topic.

      Thank you Kevin for opening this post and thank you everyone for your participation. 


      Community Moderator