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When someone calls you and has a common ancestor, do you share or share it with a fee? Does it matter if it is a distant cousin? There are no right or wrong answers. Just wanted your opinion as this has been on my mind recently.


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I am a sharer and I hope that when I share they will share their information with me and my family group. In fact I started a group first on Delphiforums and then on yahoo groups for a particular family and encourage family members to share and discuss the line. That particular line has been very successful.

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But, that not mean that I will copy all 6000 records that I might have in my possession free of charge.

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I usually send information via snail mail once it is requested. It is rewarding to find relatives - distant cousins or not. If my genealogy ever expands to over 500 pages, I'll likely have to request postage and a copy fee. It is unreasonable to request 6000 pages for FREE.

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Welcome - I do share a lot and either scan or make photocopies and send. In the old days, a requester always sent a self addressed, stamped envelope so that the person they were writing to would not have to spend a cent to respond. Of course, the hope was that you would get a response if you provided the envelope.

Over the years, it was polite to offer to pay for copies or to just send a check to reimburse for postage if you received a lot of copies. If there was give and take, then there might not be any charge.



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I am a sharer. I have a scanner and send copies of documents and photos via email. I will make hard copies if anyone asks, but I haven't had to do that yet, with the exception of one family book.

A distant cousin and I were looking into our family line, he had a copy of a book written in the 1970's and he copied it and mailed it to me for free. I offered to pay for the copies and postage, but he refused. His only request was to "pay it forward" to the next cousin we find that doesn't have the information; and I did.

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Welcome:

That is great. I do that every chance I can. My family group on Yahoo share a lot of information. Every piece of information helps fill in the tree and it is not good to have to re-invent the wheel each time someone begins researching.

Last edited by Angie; 09/16/08 06:29 PM.
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shocked I would like a to share a recent 'sharing' experience and get your opinion. Just for background, I have only been doing Internet research for about 6 weeks. I have done genealogy (by leg-work) for 35-40 years. So about a month ago, on a surname forum site, I found a posting from a person looking for information of a distant relative of his who was my uncle-in-law. In essence, he was looking for my first cousins. I sent him everything I had: dates, locations, births, deaths, current addresses - the works - all without his asking. It only amounted to a few sheets of paper, and almost no time, so there would never have been the thought of his paying for anything.

Wouldn't a "Thank You" from him have been appropriate. Granted he never asked for specifics, but he was looking for information, and he got it. I feel like some acknowledgement was called for. What do you think? As I reread this I sound bitter; that is not what I intented. I would just like to know what I should have expected?


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GrannyH,

I think you should at least have gotten a "much appreciated thank you" note.

To share and get nothing in return is rude. This is family history and should be made available to every family member who is interested - but, if someone has gone to a lot of expense to duplicate info, then they should be compensated.

Last edited by Phyllis, BellaEd; 09/17/08 02:42 PM.

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Unfortunately, that happens more often than you would think. The person should have definitely responded with a thank you and a follow up. After all, you're family and you might have more information and leads. Once in awhile something happens and a response might be slow in coming but ultimately you hope one will arrive.

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